Navasana – Boat pose
- Start in a sitting position with straight legs in front of you. Remove the flesh to allow your sit bones to sit firmly into the ground.
- Inhale and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Place your hands on the side of your thighs just below your hips, keeping your fingers pointed toward your toes.
- Exhale and slowly lean back lifting your legs, with bent knees, a few inches off the floor. As you do this make sure your back doesn’t round; draw your shoulder blades together to lift and open your chest.
- Slowly straighten your knees, raising your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If this isn’t possible remain with your knees bent, perhaps lifting the shins parallel to the floor.
- Keep your arms alongside your legs.
- Hold the pose for 10-20 seconds
- Release the pose by dropping the legs and returning to the sitting position.
*When performing Boat Pose, it is important to shift your body backward and rest comfortably on your tailbone. This will allow for correct balance and reduce any unnecessary stress on the lower back.
When beginning practice of Boat Pose, you may find it difficult to straighten your legs. One modification of the pose is to start in a sitting position with your feet flat along the floor. Loop a strap under the soles of your feet and grip the ends with your hands. On an inhale, lean back slightly at the hips while keeping the legs flat against the floor. On your next exhale, lift and straighten your legs, keeping the strap in your hands to help keep your balance and aid with stretching.
- Strengthens and stretches core muscles (abdominals, hip flexors and lower back)
- Improves balance
- Helps relieve stress
- Stretches hamstring muscles of the legs
- Improves digestion
- Aligns and stretches spine
- Stimulates the thyroid, intestines, kidneys, and prostate gland
- Heart problems
- Low blood pressure or high blood pressure
- Neck/back pain or injury