The Boat Pose is the western name for Navasana or Naukasana. In Sanskrit Language, Nava or Nauka means Boat, while Asana means Pose or Position. It is pronounced as - NAUK-AAHS-uh-nuh. The Boat Pose (Navasana) is an essential part of the Yoga and Pilate curriculum worldwide.
The central intention of this pose is to create a V shape by using the thighs, hips, and torso. Maintaining straight legs during this pose can be achieved at the later stages.The boat pose is considered one of the best yoga postures for abdominal strength that prepare the performers for the more advanced balancing and inversion exercises. In addition to strengthening the core and abdomen, it also works excellent for hip flexors.
The Idea of The Child Pose
This posture was first mentioned in Sritattvanidhi (a collection of 122 Hatha Yoga exercises) somewhere during the 19th century.
This pose requires the performer to enter into a “V” shape, with all the bodyweight balanced on the hips and the legs and spine raised upwards. It is very beneficial for people who sit for long hours or drive too much.
It is also considered one of the best bodies for balancing yoga postures. Keep in mind not to bend your spine while performing this pose; if you find it challenging to achieve, you can start with bent legs.
Steps: How To Perform A Boat Pose
The first step includes sitting on the floor or the yoga mat with bent knees while placing the feet flat on the floor. Let your hands rest behind the hips, concentrate on your breathing, and shift all the awareness inwards. Be calm and relaxed; take slow and deep breaths to attain a relaxed state.
With an erect spine, start leaning backward while lifting the feet at the same time. Keep your shins in a parallel position with the ground. With your lower back pulled inwards, raise the chest, and straighten the front side of the torso. Now, start stretching the arms in the front direction; the palms should be facing upwards, while the height of the arms and shoulders should be at equal length from the floor.
Maintain the body balance on the hips; keep the spine erect in a linear position. Don’t allow a tilt in the lower back or let the chest fall back. Now, stretch the torso from the sternum to the pubic bone. Keep your lower belly area flat and firm without causing too much thickness or harness.
While exhaling, lift your legs by around 45 degrees; try to keep the legs as straight as possible. This will transform the body into a “V” form. Focus inwards, and take smooth breaths. Relax your face and eyes while looking towards the toes.
Remember to widen the shoulder blades by using the fingers of your hands. Maintain this posture for a few seconds or five to six breaths. To end the pose, exhale profoundly and move back to the starting position. Preparatory poses for Boat Pose include Adho mukha svanasana and Uttanasana. As follow up poses you can start with Adho mukha svanasana, Sirsasana, Baddha Konasana, Utkatasana, Halasana.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long is The Duration of Boat Pose?
You can maintain the Boat Pose for anywhere between 30-60 seconds, though this depends on you and your baseline abilities. A remarkable fact is that It targets the abdomen and core, which reduces belly fat in a very efficient manner. It’s also an excellent workout for the spine, hips, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles.
When To Avoid Performing Child Pose?
You should not attempt this pose if you suffer from injuries or pain in the hips and back. Plus, like all exercises that involve stretching and increase blood circulation, Boat Pose helps you gain height by straightening out your spine.
Is the Child pose Beneficial For a Herniated Disc?
It can cause injuries and pain if not performed under proper guidance. Even if you know all the steps, don’t force your body too much to achieve the perfect position. You should likewise avoid this pose if you suffer from back pain as well, as it can condition your back.
The boat pose can Increase the strength and mobility of abdominal and spinal muscles, which can alleviate back pain in itself. Plus, it can benefit individuals who suffer from hernias. It’s also considered an excellent pose for toning up the arms and legs, improving body balance, and opening the hip flexors. Moreover, it can be utilized to enhance the functioning of the thyroid, kidneys, intestines, and prostate. Lastly, it’s also used to help with stress management, not a surprise, as yoga is known for its mental relief.