Boat Pose  -Paripurna Navasana

Step by step

  • Sit with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your knees, lift the chest, engaging the back muscles as you inhale
  • Engage your inner thighs and draw your lower belly in and up
  • Tip back on the back of your sitting bones and lift your feet up to about knee height, toes spread out
  • Bring your arms parallel to the floor
  • To go further, straighten your legs
  • Stay for 2-5 breaths, work up to 10 breaths
  • To come out of the pose, on an exhalation bring your feet down, and sit with a straight spine, holding on to your legs for a couple of breaths

Beginners tips

  • To draw your lower belly in and up, imagine zipping up a tight pair of jeans then closing the button
  • You can keep your hands behind the knees instead of bringing your arms parallel.
  • Try placing a block between your thighs to engage the inner thighs.
  • 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.

Benefits

  • Strengthens core, hip flexors and spine
  • Improves digestion

Watch out for

  • Focus equally on keeping your lower belly and your back muscles engaged
  • Pay attention to keeping the chest open so you don’t round in your shoulders and upper back
  • Keep breathing through the challenge

Variations

  • Test your balance - Once you come into the pose start to rock your boat, waving your arms and legs from side to side. Smile!
  • Try some variations with a block, holding it with a block between your thighs, or holding a block between your hands and then raising your arms for an extra challenge.