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Seated Boat Pose (navasana)

Seated posture that strengthens your abdominals, lower back and hips.
 

Seated Boat Pose (or navasana) strengthens your abdominals, lower back and hips, while stretching the back of your legs.
 
Strengthening your abdominal muscles can help protect your lower back and spine. This pose is also beneficial for improving your balance.
 
In Seated Boat Pose, your legs should be together or only slightly apart. Try to keep your back flat and your spine straight as you straighten your legs. Do not round your lower back or cave in your chest to keep your legs straight. You should also focus on keeping your shoulders back and down. To ensure you are in the correct position, visualize your body forming a V shape.
 
Use caution performing Seated Boat Pose if you have injured your abdominals, hips or tailbone. Since this is a stimulating pose, you may want to avoid the pose if you have a heart condition or insomnia.
 
Steps:
Begin in Staff Pose.
Place your hands on the floor slightly behind your hips, fingers pointing toward your feet.
Lift your chest toward the ceiling as you lean back slightly. Make sure your back remains flat
Bend your knees and place your feet together, flat on the floor. Your thighs should be at a 45-degree angle with the floor.
Lift your feet one or two inches off the floor, keeping your feet together or slightly apart.
Balance on your tailbone and hips.
Inhale and slowly straighten your legs until the tips of your toes are slightly above your eye level.
Bring your arms forward at shoulder height, parallel to the floor with your palms facing in.
Relax your shoulders down away from your ears.
(If you cannot keep your balance, you can leave your hands on the floor behind your hips.)
Tip your chin slightly toward your chest to lengthen the back of your neck.
Hold the pose for 10 seconds to 1 minute and then exhale as you lower your legs to the floor. Then return to Staff Pose.
(After performing Seated Boat Pose, you should perform Seated Forward Bend to relieve your lower back.)
 
How can I make Seated Boat Pose easier?
To make the pose easier, bend your knees so that your shins are parallel to the floor. You can also try moving into the pose by straightening one leg at a time.
 
How can I stretch my inner thighs in Seated Boat Pose?
Perform the pose as described above, except separate your legs until they form a V shape. Make sure you can maintain your balance and keep your back flat as you separate your legs.
 
Can I use a strap to help straighten my legs in Seated Boat Pose?
Yes. With your knees bent, loop a strap around the soles of your feet and grip an end of the strap in each hand. Inhale and lean your torso back and then straighten your legs as you push your feet against the strap. Keep the strap taut, but do not pull on the strap.
 
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