Yoga Asanas

Paripurna Navasana - Boat pose

Posted on 2018-12-17


 How to do Navasana Boat Pose

Navasana better known as the boat pose is a seated yoga asana that is known to be an ab and hip flexor strengthener. The asana requires you to balance in between the tail bones and the sitting bones, and core strength is needed. The name is derived from Sanskrit Nava which means boat and asana which means pose, and therefore it translates to boat pose. 

It is also known as Naukasana, or Paripurna Navasana pronounced as par-ee-POOR-nah nah-VAHS-anna which translates to the full boat pose. (Paripurna means full)

Navasana Step by step

Step 1: start in a seated position with your knees raised and your feet on the ground. 

Step 2: Lift your feet off the ground keeping your knees bent at first. You will form a V shape at the pelvis. 

Step 3: Lift the shins of the feet so that they are parallel with the floor. This is a variation of the full boat pose. Stay here and hold back of thighs if needed or spread out your arms parallel to the floor so that they form a straight line with the shins of your feet. Keep a straight spine and maintain the V shape you formed earlier. 

Step 4: Straighten the knees so that the legs are straightened but do not lose the integrity of the upper body. Ensure that the upper body is straight. The legs should now form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Keep your arms stretched out with the palms facing upwards. 

Step 5: hold the pose for the set time or number of breaths required. To release from the position lower the knees and lower your arms simultaneously and return to the seating position.  Ensure that it is easy for you to breath and that the lower belly is not hard during the pose.

Modifications Boat pose

Some modifications can be made to enhance the performance of the pose. You can hold the back of your thighs when your legs are lifted up to ensure that you do not lose the V and the back is straight. You can also use a strap under the soles of the feet to ensure you are able to maintain the position as required. 

Preparatory Poses

Uttanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana

Follow up poses

Adho mukha svanasana, Utkatasana, Baddha Konasana, Halasana, and Salamba Sirsasana

Benefits of Navasana

  • Strengthens the core and abdominal muscles and the deep hip flexor
  • Stretches the legs and thighs
  • Strengthens the pelvic region
  • Stretches and opens the hips and groin
  • Stretches the back
  • Strengthens the back



Variations of boat pose

The pose can be done in several variations. First, there is Arda Navasana in which the back and the legs are held closer to the ground. This means that you make a wider V than in the full boat pose.  Some people go further to make the pose more challenging by lowering the torso and the legs simultaneously towards the floor. Go low but do not touch the floor and then come back up to the normal position. 

Pose type

Seated pose, ab strengthening pose

Beginner tips Boat pose

Ensure that you are able to breathe comfortably during the pose. Do not concentrate so much on raising your legs that you forget that the back needs to be straight. It is best to maintain the straightness of the back and be unable to lift the legs. In such a case you can just do the half boat pose. 

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