Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat Pose is one of the most well-known yoga poses for core strength. There are variations provided alongside the article.

How to

  1. Begin seated with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands resting beside your hips. Draw your awareness inward and focus on your breath. Allow your inhalations and exhalations to be smooth, calm, and even.
  2. Keeping your spine straight, lean back slightly and lift your feet, bringing your shins parallel to the floor.
  3. Draw in your lower back, lift your chest, and lengthen the front of your torso. Then, extend your arms forward, in line with your shoulders with your palms facing each other.
  4. Balance on your sit bones, keeping your spine straight. Take care not to let your lower back sag or chest collapse.
  5. Lengthen the front of your torso from your pubic bone to the top of your sternum. The lower belly (the area below your navel) should be firm and somewhat flat, but not hard or thick.
  6. With an exhalation, straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle from the ground, bringing your body into a “V” shape.
  7. Keep your breath easy, steady, and smooth. Focus your awareness within. Soften your eyes and your face. Gaze at your toes.
  8. Spread your shoulder blades wide and reach out through your fingers, actively engaging your hands.
  9. Stay in the pose for 5 breaths, gradually working up to one minute. To release the pose, exhale as you lower your legs and hands to the floor.


Practicing Boat Pose will build strength and power throughout your entire torso.

It’s more important to keep your spine straight and the front of your torso long than it is to straighten your legs or balance without hand support. Keep your hands on the floor and knees bent until you have built up enough strength to deepen the pose while keeping proper alignment.

The lower front of the belly should never get hard. Although it will get firm, it should not puff forward or become thick. If it does, make a modification until you have built up enough strength that it does not become hard.

Benefits

  1. Navasana deeply challenges the abdomen, spine, and hip flexors, building strength and steadiness at the body’s core.
  2. It stimulates the abdominal organs, including the kidneys and intestines, which improves digestion.
  3. This pose also encourages healthy regulation of the thyroid and prostate glands, helping to maintain metabolism and relieve stress.

Caution

  1. Do not practice Boat Pose if you are currently experiencing headaches, low blood pressure, or diarrhea.
  2. Those with heart problems and asthma should not practice the full variation of the pose, but should gradually and softly practice Half Boat Pose instead.
  3. Women who are pregnant or menstruating should also not practice Boat Pose.
  4. Those with neck injuries can practice this pose with their backs and heads supported against a wall.
  5. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.