Boat Pose / Paripurna Navasana
Step by step
- Sit with your knees bent, feet on floor, hands behind you, fingers pointing towards the feet.
- Lengthen the spine, draw the belly in and widen the collar bones to open the chest.
- Lean back on the tripod between sitbones and sacrum and lift your feet off the floor, bringing the shins level with the floor.
- Maintaining the lift through the spine and keep the chest open, arms extend to the front parallel to the floor.
- When possible straighten the legs out, still keeping the lift through the spine.
- Stay for 2-5 breaths, work up to 10 breaths.
- Watch a free tutorial of Boat Pose here.
- You can prepare for this pose on a chair. Sit on the edge of a chair, knees at right angles. Hold onto the sides of the seat and lean forward a little. Firm your arms, lifting your buttocks of the seat slightly. Raise your heels off the floor. Let your body feel the pull of gravity but don't forget to keep your chest open and relaxed!
- For the full Boat Pose you can start with a strap around the soles of your feet to help straighten your legs. You can also hold the pose for longer with this support.
- Improves core strength
- Strengthens the hip flexors and spine
- Helps to relieve stress
- Stimulates digestion
Watch out for
- If you have neck issues/injury, perform this pose with your back near a wall. When you tilt your torso rest the back of your head against the wall.
- If you suffer from lower back problems/weak core you should follow the beginners tip until you feel strong enough to do the boat pose. Start with variation 1 - where your legs are bent at right angles.
- It's best to avoid strong core work when you are pregnant.
- Full Boat is often presented as an abdominal strengthener, which it is to a certain extent. But more importantly this pose strengthens the deep hip flexors that attach the inner thigh bones to the front of the spine. Learn to anchor the heads of the thighs bones deep in the pelvis and lift from that anchor through the front spine. Remember that the lower front belly should never get hard.
- For a variation of the pose practice holding it with a block between your thighs.
- Complementary poses
- Try it in class