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What Is the Boat Pose (Navasana) In Yoga? Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes 

The boat pose is a core strenghtening asana in yoga. (Image by@weareyogapose via Instagram)
The boat pose is a core strenghtening asana in yoga. (Image [email protected] via Instagram)

The Boat pose (Navasana) is a seated pose in yoga in which you extend your arms and legs so that your body creates the shape of an upside-down capital 'A'.

This asana requires great core strength, balance and coordination and can potentially help in digestion, strengthening the torso and stretching the hamstrings.

The Navasana is among some of the finest yoga poses that work on your abdominal strength, which is crucial for performing other yoga postures, especially ones that require inversion and arm balance.

The boat pose is a complicated yet effective asana that can be practiced every day. Learn how to perform it correctly with the below-mentioned steps:


How to do the boat pose (Navasana)

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Take a seated position. Keep your knees bent and both your feet on the floor or yoga mat.
  • Raise your feet off the mat, and keep your knees bent so that your shins get parallel to the floor.
  • Doing that will allow your torso to naturally fall back, but do not let your spine curve.
  • Straighten your legs at a 45-degree angle without losing the posture of your upper body. Make sure to keep your torso as straight as you can so that it creates a 'V' shape with your legs.
  • Bring your shoulders down, and extend your arms parallel to the ground with your palms facing upward.
  • Try to balance yourself on your sit bones, and lift your chest to support your body.
  • Stay in this posture for a few breaths, and release your legs.
  • As you inhale, sit up, and relax.

Watch this video for reference:

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Few tips to consider

If you're a beginner, you may consider the following tips when doing the boat pose:

  • It may be difficult for you to balance your body in a 'V' shape with your legs extended in the air. If that's the case, you can start by keeping your palms on the ground behind you and bending your knees slightly. You can even keep your feet flat on the floor as you do in a sit-up position to help align your back.
  • To engage your thigh muscles properly, you can hold a yoga block between your thighs.
  • When doing this pose, do not focus on lifting your arms and elevating your legs, as that will make the posture more difficult for you. Instead, be mindful of your contact with the floor, and try to maintain your breathing pattern.

Common Mistakes

The following common mistakes should be avoided:

Wrong upper body and spine position

When doing the Navasana, always focus on keeping a 'V' shape between your torso and thigh.

Do not focus only on extending your legs when your spine is bent and your upper body is leaning against the floor. Start by doing the Half Boat pose with your legs bent at knee level.

Not warming up

As this pose involves stretching, make sure you perform a quick warm-up to open your muscles before you start practicing the Navasana. That is very essential for preventing fatigue and injuries.


Benefits of doing the Boat pose

The Boar pose helps build core and abdominal strength. Moreoger, it also strengthens the deep hip flexors, which get weakened due to prolonged sitting.

The Navasana also helps build your balance and improves the functioning of the endocrine glands, which helps in controlling your metabolism and mood, and strengthens the reproductive organs.

Practicing this yoga pose regularly promotes blood circulation and helps in boosting your immune and cognitive abilities while also preventing infections.

Some more benefits of the Boat pose include:

  • Helps in stretching the leg muscles
  • Relieves tension
  • Strengthens the spine and hip flexors
  • Stimulates the thyroid gland, kidneys and prostate glands
  • Enhances digestion
  • Strengthens the abdominal muscles.

Takeaway

Generally, the Boat pose (Navasana) in yoga is a safe and effective asana, but it's not recommended for people with blood pressure issues, diarrhea, asthma, headaches or migraines. You may also avoid this pose if you have recently recovered from any chronic illness or any type of spinal abnormality.

Pregnant women, women in their menstrual cycle and people with cardiovascular disease should also not attempt this pose.

If you have any of the aforementioned health concerns, it's best to consult your doctor to ensure everything is safe for you. Also, make sure you perform the Boat pose or any other yoga asanas under the guidance of a certified yoga practitioner to avoid injuries.

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Edited by Bhargav
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