stabilise & strengthen with boat pose!

Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)

Our Zamasana for November 2016 is a popular pose that is used to build strength in the core region and lower back. Full boat pose or paripurna navasana is a great way to stimulate the kidneys, thyroid, prostate glands and digestive system. You will also find that your balance and concentration is put to the test when practising this pose!

Navasana comes from the Sanskrit words “nava” (meaning “boat”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”). There are some variations that are commonly practised: Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana) One Legged Boat Pose (Eka Pada Navasana) and Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana). We will work with these variations in class this month, while focusing on the full or complete version, where both the legs and arms become fully extended and our body forms a “V” shape resembling a small boat.

To practice boat pose…

  1. Start in a seated position with your with your knees bent and feet flat on floor. Place your hands slightly behind your hips behind you, fingers pointing towards the feet or front of your mat.  Remember to keep your back straight, find length in your torso and open up your heart space.
  2. Lean back onto the “tripod” (space between the sit bones and tailbone) and lift your feet off the floor, bringing your shins level with the floor.
  3. Extend the knees (where possible) to a 45-degree angle from the mat. Point your toes and keep length through your spine. If straightening the legs isn’t possible keep your knees bent, or lift the shins parallel to the floor.
  4. Stretch the arms out, parallel to one another and the floor. Reach out strongly through the tips of your fingers. If bringing the arms out isn’t possible, just keep the hands on the floor beside your hips or hold on to the backs of your thighs or knees. Tighten the belly and return to the breath.
  5. Stay in the pose for 10-20 seconds. Gradually increase the time of your stay to 1 minute. On the exhalation release the legs and return to sitting.