Little Boat Pose
(or pavana muktasana
) stretches and releases your spine, lower back and hips. This pose is often used as a warm-up pose.
While performing Little Boat Pose
, it is important to keep your arms and shoulders relaxed as you rest your hands on top of your knees. Do not use your arms to bring your knees toward your chest. Instead, release your hips so that your knees drop toward your chest naturally.
As you hold the pose, feel your body relaxing down to the floor with each exhalation. Visualizing yourself as a little boat bobbing on the waves of your breath may help you relax even further into the pose.
You can modify Little Boat Pose
to release and stretch your hips independently. You can perform Little Boat Pose
holding only one leg, while the other leg remains bent or stretched away from you. Do not stretch one leg away from you if you have lower back problems.
Avoid Little Boat Pose
if you have recently had a hernia or a knee injury.
|Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.|
|Draw your knees toward your chest.|
|Release your lower back toward the floor|
|Rest your hands on top of your knees. Your arms and shoulders should be relaxed.|
|Exhale as you relax your head, neck and spine toward the floor.|
|Soften and release your hips to allow your knees to drop further toward your chest.|
|Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes|
You can perform Little Boat Pose holding one leg at a time. This allows you to stretch your hips independently. Perform Little Boat Pose, except bring only your right knee toward your chest. Then repeat the modification for your other side.
You can perform Little Boat Pose holding one leg and stretching the other leg away from you. This allows you to feel a deeper stretch in your hips and lower back. Perform Little Boat Pose, except start with your legs straight. Then bend your right knee and bring the knee toward your chest. Repeat the modification for your other side.
Can I perform Little Boat Pose if I have stiff hips?
Yes. You can perform this pose if you have stiff hips, but you should move your knees wider than hip width apart when you draw them toward your chest. Widening your knees is also useful if you are overweight.
Resting my hands on top of my knees is uncomfortable. What else can I do?
You can wrap your arms around your legs or place your hands behind your knees in the area between your calf and thigh. In either variation, make sure you keep your arms and shoulders relaxed.
Can I add movement to Little Boat Pose?
To add movement to Little Boat Pose, perform the pose as described in the steps above and then rock your body from side to side. The rocking motion massages the back muscles on either side of your spine. This variation is particularly useful when you are using Little Boat Pose as a counter pose after performing a back bend.