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Core Strengthening: Navasana primarily targets the abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles) and the deep transverse abdominis. It helps to build core strength, stability, and tone. Balance and Stability: Boat Pose challenges your balance and requires stability in the core and hips. By practicing Navasana, you can improve your balance and develop a greater sense of body awareness. Hip Flexor Strengthening: As you hold the pose, the hip flexors, including the psoas and rectus femoris muscles, are contracting. Spinal Strength and Flexibility: Navasana engages the muscles along the spine, including the erector spinae, promoting strength and stability and good upright posture. Improved Digestion and Elimination: Boat Pose stimulates the abdominal organs, including the digestive system. It can help improve digestion, alleviate constipation, and support overall gut health. Increased Focus and Concentration: Balancing in Boat Pose requires concentration and mental focus. Regular practice can enhance your ability to stay present and focused, cultivating mindfulness. Energy and Confidence Boost: Navasana activates the core and promotes a sense of empowerment. It can increase energy levels and boost self-confidence as you build strength and achieve balance in the pose. Toning and Strengthening of Leg Muscles: Boat Pose engages the muscles in the legs, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. This contributes to leg strength and tone.
Recent or chronic lower back or hip injuries: If you have recently injured your lower back or hips, or if you have chronic issues in these areas, it's important to approach Boat Pose with caution. The pose requires engagement of the abdominal muscles and lifting the legs, which can potentially strain the lower back and hips. It's advisable to modify the pose or seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor to ensure proper alignment and minimise any discomfort or strain on the injured or sensitive areas. Shoulder injuries: Individuals with shoulder injuries or limitations should be cautious when practicing Boat Pose. Modifying the pose by keeping the hands on the floor can be beneficial. Diastasis recti or abdominal separation: If you have diastasis recti, a condition where the abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy or due to other factors, Boat Pose may not be suitable or may need to be modified. It's important to consult with a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional who can guide you on safe modifications or alternative poses that support the healing of the abdominal muscles. Pregnancy: Pregnant individuals should approach Boat Pose with caution, especially as the pregnancy progresses. Recent abdominal surgery: If you have had recent abdominal surgery, it's important to consult with your healthcare professional before attempting Boat Pose. The pose involves engaging the abdominal muscles, which may put strain on the healing incision site or internal tissues. It's essential to follow the guidance of your healthcare professional and wait until you have fully recovered before practicing Boat Pose.
Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana): Start in a seated position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly, engage your core, and lift your feet off the floor, bringing your shins parallel to the ground. Keep your hands either behind your thighs for support or extended forward. This pose strengthens the core and helps to build endurance in the abdominal muscles. Boat Pose with Block: Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place a yoga block between your thighs and squeeze it gently. Lean back slightly, engage your core, and lift your feet off the floor, extending the legs. This variation helps to activate the inner thigh muscles and intensify the engagement of the core. Low Boat Pose / Reclined Table Top: Lie down on your back and lift both legs off the floor while keeping them bent at a 90-degree angle. Extend your arms forward alongside your legs. This pose strengthens the core and hip flexors while providing support for the lower back. Plank Pose: Begin in a high push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Engage your core, keep your body in a straight line, and hold for several breaths. Plank pose helps to build overall core strength and stability, which is beneficial for Navasana.
1 - Sit on the floor, bend your knees, 2 - Lean back keeping core engaged and lift your feet off the ground, 3 - Lift your arms forward, and find balance in a V shape. “Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your navel towards your spine to support your core.” “Lengthen your spine and lift your chest.” “Relax your shoulders away from your ears and broaden across your collarbones.” “Keep your gaze focused forward or slightly upward to help maintain balance and stability.” “Press through your sitting bones and feel a connection between your sitting bones and the floor.” “Maintain a steady and even breath, allowing it to flow smoothly throughout the pose.” “Find a balance between effort and ease, challenging yourself while still maintaining a sense of stability and comfort in the pose.”
Hand-on-Back Assist: Stand behind the student and gently place your knee into their upper back to provide support and stability. Then use your hands to roll their shoulders back. This can help them maintain an upright posture and prevent them from leaning too far back. Hand-on-Thigh Assist: Stand in front of the student and place your hands on their thighs, just above the knees. Apply a gentle downward pressure to help them engage their core and lift their legs higher, deepening the pose.
Supine Twist: Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Then, let your knees fall to one side as you extend your arms out to the sides, forming a "T" shape. This twist releases tension in the lower back and spine, while also stretching the sides and outer thighs. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Press through your feet and lift your hips off the mat, creating a bridge shape. This pose opens the front of the body, stretches the hip flexors, and strengthens the glutes and hamstrings. Diamond Fold : Sit on the mat with soles of feet together. Slowly fold forward, allow your spine to lengthen. This pose stretches the back of the body, as well as the inner thighs part of the deep core line. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana): Lie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall open to the sides. Rest your arms by your sides. This gentle hip opener releases tension in the inner thighs and groin area.
"See the variations,
simple to complex"
Dynamic Boat Pose Variations : adds an element of fluidity and increases the challenge for the core muscles : Lowering to ground and back or to dish and back. Toe taps. Leg Pulses. Cross legs. Russian twists. Rock and roll balance. Entry from squat. From reclined.
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