Paripurna Navasana (Complete Boat Pose)
Boat Pose Yoga or Paripurna Navasana is a basic pose of Hatha yoga. ‘Paripurna’ in the Sanskrit language means ‘complete’ and ‘Nava’ means a ‘boat’. This asana resembles like a boat with oars, thus the name.
Boat Pose Yoga Basic Details
|Sanskrit Name||Paripurna Navasana, Naukasana|
|English Name||Complete Boat Pose|
Boat Pose Yoga (Navasana) benefits following Muscles:
- Core (ABS)
- Lower Back
- hip flexors
Story from ancient India
There are many references to the boat from the literature of ancient India, whereby Sage Manu, the author of Manu Smriti, carried the sacred Vedas, along with seven sages in a boat during the great flood. The Boat was tied to the horn of the fish and the boat reached safely a resting space atop Mount Meru.
How to do Boat Pose Yoga (Navasana)
1. Sit on your yoga mat keeping your legs stretched on the floor in front of you. Place your palms on the floor by your hips, your fingers should point towards your feet.
2. Now keep your back erect, and stretch your hands straight. This posture is known as ‘Dandasana’. Where ‘Dand’ means a ‘rod’ and ‘asana’ means a ‘pose’.
3. Breath out, slightly move your upper body back, and simultaneously raise your legs from the floor. Keep your legs stiff and your knees tight, your toes pointing forwards.
4. You have to maintain your balance on your buttocks and no part of your spine should touch the floor. You have to keep your legs higher than your head at about the angle of 60 to 65 degrees from the floor. Do not keep your feet at the level of your head as is done in ‘Ardh Navasana’
5. Now remove your hands from the floor and stretch your arms in front of you, keeping your arms parallel to the floor and near your thighs. Your shoulders and your palms should be on one level and your palms should face each other.
6. You can hold this pose for about 30 seconds with normal breathing. You will only feel the effect of the asana after 20 seconds. You can gradually increase the time to stay in the pose from 30 seconds to about one minute.
7. To come out of the pose, breathe out and lower your hands and legs on the floor. Lie down on your back and relax.
Boat Pose Yoga (Navasana) Benefits
1. This asana is very helpful to those suffering from gastric complaints.
2. It gives relief to a person who due to gas feels bloating sensation in the stomach.
3. It also strengthens and tones the kidneys.
4. This pose helps reduce fat around your waistline.
5. Extremely helpful to build abdominal and core strength along with hip flexors.
6. Useful to people with a hernia problem.
7. Very helpful to give strength to the spine.
8. Stimulates thyroid and prostate glands and also intestines.
9. Improves digestion.
10. Helps to relieve stress.
Boat Pose Navasana Tips
These tips will help beginner practitioners from injuries and help them in perfecting their pose.
- Those yoga practitioners who are new to the world of yoga can start with Ardha Navasana before going full-fledged for Paripurna Navasana
- It will be better to practice this pose at the beginning of the yoga class to prepare your core for the rest of your poses.
- If practitioners find it difficult to raise their legs then they can keep their hands on the floor beside their hips or they can also holdbacks of their thighs with their hands.
- Those practitioners who find it difficult to straighten their raised legs, can bend their knees and put a strap around the soles of their feet. To practice this pose with a strap, they can inhale and lean their torso back and then exhale and lift and try to straighten their legs by pushing their feet as firmly as possible against the strap.
Boat Pose Common Mistakes
- The practitioners, in the beginning, think that the pose is about strengthening their leg muscles, and to achieve that target they forgot to straighten their spine and upper body.
- Keeping your legs straight and your spine slumped or round will defeat the purpose of this pose.
- Another mistake the beginners make is that they hold their breath while doing the pose. It is a wrong approach to the pose, breathing is the most important part of this pose to take full benefit out of the pose.
- While doing the pose the breathing should be normal inhalation and exhalation and in no case practitioner has to hold his breath, which they are most likely to do in the beginning.
Boat Pose Modifications and variations
- Practitioners can hold the back of their thighs with their hands if that helps them to keep their spine straight.
- Keeping your back straight and away from the floor is more important in this pose than straightening your legs. Don’t rush for straightening your legs as a prime target of the pose.
- In the beginning, you can take the help of the strap on the soles of your feet to help you straighten your legs.
Boat Pose Contraindications
- If you are suffering from low blood pressure then avoid this pose.
- If you are having severe headaches or migraine then also you can avoid this pose
- People suffering from Asthma and heart patients are also advised to refrain from this pose.
- Women during pregnancy should not do this pose
- Women and girls during menstruation can avoid this pose.
The body in this pose is entirely balanced on the buttocks or the sit bones and the legs and the arms are balanced in the air using the core muscle strength. This pose looks very simple from the outside but it requires tremendous abdominal power and balance to perfect this pose.
With regular practice, this pose helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles, core, spine, muscles of the back, hip flexors, and pelvis along with a perfect sense of balance.
Frequently Asked Question:
Q1. What are the benefits of navasana?
Ans: This asana is very helpful to those suffering from gastric complaints, gas and bloating sensation in the stomach strengthens and tones the kidneys, reduce fat, helps to build abdominal and core strength, in hernia problem, strengthen the spine, stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands and intestines, Improves digestion, relieve stress.
Q2. Why is boat pose so difficult?
Ans: One of the main reasons or difficulty in doing a boat pose is that requires tremendous core strength which can only be attained with regular practice of yoga poses that strengthen the core (abs).
Q3. How long to hold the boat pose?
Ans: You can hold this pose for about 30 seconds with normal breathing. You will only feel the effect of the asana after 20 seconds. You can gradually increase the time to stay in the pose from 30 seconds to about one minute.
You may also like:
- Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
- Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- wheel pose(Chakrasana)
- Sirsasana (Headstand)
Share your experience of doing Navasana (Boat Pose) and let us know if you have any questions or comments regarding this Pose in the comments section below.