Boat pose as an exercise strengthens the muscles of the hip, as well as the abs.
Name in Sanskrit: Paripurna Navasana
- The Boat pose gives strength to the arms, waist and spines.
- It helps to relive stress after a hard day.
- This pose also arouses other body parts like the kidney, thyroid and prostrate gland.
- And it makes digestion easier.
The following health issues should take cautions from the exercise:
- Heart problems
- Low blood pressure
- For individuals with neck injury, they can perform the pose while sitting their back against a wall.
HOW TO PRACTICE THIS ASANA
Extend your legs forward while sitting on the floor and put your hands in the space on the floor a little distance from your hips. Your fingers should be pointing to your feet.
Pull up your chestbones to lift it up, and relax backward for a short time. Your aim in this pose is to keep the front of your torso extended between the pubis and top sternum and your back shouldn’t be round. Now adjust your sitting to be on the two sitting bones and your tail bone as if you are sitting on a tripod.
Breathe out. Fold your knees to make angle 45 – 50 degree in relation with the floor.
Move your tailbone towards the floor. Then pull-up your pubis towards your navel. Now try to straighten your knees, if you can.
As you try this, try to lift your toes up above the level of your eyes. If you can’t straighten your knees, remain in the former position.
Keep your arms straight on each side, parallel to your body.
With that, open your shoulder blades out through the space across your back with your fingers reaching out strongly to them.
If you can’t do this for being too difficult, maintain your hands besides your hips. Or you could touch the back of your thighs and hold to it.
Keep the lower part of your body firm.
Note: your belly should be flat, but your body shouldn’t be too thick.
Now try to maintain and steady this pose by pressing the heads of the thigh bones to the floor. This will also push up the sternum.
Breathe as comfortable as you can. Now push your chin gently to the sternum and let this action push the base of your head away from the back of your neck.
Stay in this pose for 10-20 seconds for a starter and as time goes on push it to a minute.
Relax and free your legs as you breathe out. And sit up as you breathe in.
How to do Boat Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
For beginners, this pose is as easy that you can do it while sitting in chair. Sit and ensure your knees are making right angles.
Then hold the side of the chair and push your body gently forward. You should sit on the edge of the chair to make it easy to lean forward.
Keep your hands on the arms of the seat firmly. Lift your buttocks and lean forward. Then move your heels off the ground, slightly, not completely and not the balls of your feet.
Allow the bones of your thighs to go downward as though diving into gravitational pull. Finally, move the sternum up and forward.
MODIFICATIONS & PROPS
It might be hard to keep the legs straight in this pose. So it’s better to try another alternative.
Fold your knees. While holding the feet in tight grip with your arms, tie a strap around the soles of your feet.
Breathe in some air, push your torso back, and breathe out. You can now lift your legs and keep them straight. Keep the it tight by adjusting the strap, then push your feet against it.
MODIFICATIONS & PROPS
To be honest, a complete boat pose will strengthen the muscles of the abdomen. More than that, it targets the flexor of the hips, making it stronger.
This flexor is the connection between the thigh bones and the front of the spine. One thing you should keep in mind is that the lower body shouldn’t get hard.
Practice attaching the head of the thigh bones to the inner part of the pelvis, and learn to lift from there through to the front spine.
The presence of someone can help in many ways. The person can help to lift your sternum or draw your shoulder blades into your back by putting a hand on your back or upper side of the chest.
The hand will support you and give you a place to lift from.
There aren’t many variations. After performing the full boat pose, place your two palms together behind your head.
Now breathe out and bring your legs downward with the exhalation. Then round your back, though your body is still off the floor, your body will now rest on the sacrum.
Extend your elbows sideward. Finally, let your eyes be in line with the tip of your toes.
Benny Martica, a certified Hatha Yoga teacher based in Argentina, is a dedicated and passionate advocate of yoga’s transformative power. With a deep commitment to mindfulness and holistic wellness, she empowers her students to find balance and well-being through the practice of yoga. . Her mission is to inspire others on their path to personal growth and self-discovery.