The Boat Pose
Kamala Venkat advises Navasana as a great way to strengthen your willpower along with your back and abdominal muscles
One of the most well-known yoga poses for core strength, the Boat Pose, or Navasana (nah-VAHS-uh-nuh), tones the abdominal muscles while strengthening the lower back. The name comes from the Sanskrit words ‘nava’ (meaning ‘boat’) and ‘asana.’ It is a balancing pose that strengthens the abdominal muscles, back and hip flexors, and tones the digestive organs. It also gives strength and flexibility to the hip joints and legs. This pose requires endurance and strong willpower to hold; therefore, its practice helps develop a strong mind. The Boat Pose can warm you up in an instant, especially during winter.
• Lie on your back with your feet together and arms beside your body.
• Take in a deep breath, and as you exhale, lift your chest and feet off the ground, stretching your arms towards your feet.
• With an exhalation, straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle from the ground, bringing your body into a ‘V’ shape.
• Balance on your sit bones, keeping your spine straight. Take care not to let your lower back sag or chest collapse.
• Feel the tension in your navel area as the abdominal muscles contract.
• Keep breathing deeply and easily while maintaining the pose.
• Stay in the pose for five breaths, gradually working up to one minute. To release the pose, exhale as you lower your legs and hands to the floor.
• Strengthens the back and abdominal muscles
• Tones the leg and arm muscles
• Useful for people with hernia
• Do not practise this yoga pose if you have low blood pressure, a severe headache, migraine, or if you have suffered from some chronic diseases or spinal disorders in the recent past.
• Asthma and heart patients are advised to avoid this pose.
• Women should avoid this pose during pregnancy and the first two days of the menstrual cycle.
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