Navasana Benefits and Steps to do Boat Pose

blog images

The above quote was said by one of those few people who reportedly had what is known today as the “Greek God” physique. Not to mention that this individual was also one of the most revolutionary thinkers from his time and unarguably of all time as well. He was also one of the earliest known people in recorded history who hinted at a connection between physical and mental wellbeing, meaning that in order to be mentally well, you should be in as ideal a physical condition as possible for you. 

Speaking of physical wellbeing, it is a common belief that one begins to develop true physical fitness by working on their core muscles. Not only does working on them give you the flat belly you probably always wanted, it also ensures a high degree of core strength, which is a bonus to have while navigating through everyday life.

Today, we will talk about a Yoga asana which will not only help you attain those mouth-watering stomach biscuits, but also aid you in having a positive outlook at life. The asana is question is known as the Navasana also known as the Boat Pose. Let's embark on a journey into the depths of this elegant posture, exploring the benefits of Navasana, unraveling a step-by-step guide on how to perform the Boat Pose, delving into the anatomy of Navasana, addressing important considerations regarding when to practice the Boat Pose, and finally, addressing common questions and doubts that may arise along the yogic journey.

What Is Navasana a.k.a Boat Pose

Navasana, or the Boat Pose, is a core-building and thigh-strengthening yoga asana which requires the student to form a V shape while balancing their body on their mid section when doing the main position. This name has been given to this asana since the body of the yogi also begins to resemble a buoyant boat. This asana was first discovered in Sritattvanidhi, the 19th century Sanskrit text which has a separate section that also outlines 166 Hatha Yoga positions. It is also believed that by doing the Navasana, one also embarks on a journey of enlightenment, which can prove to be as tumultuous as the journey of a boat atop restless waters. However, there is always more than what meets the eye in the case of benefits that asanas like the Navasana can provide to their daily practitioners.

What Are The Benefits Of Navasana a.k.a Boat Pose

Some of the benefits of the Navasana also known as the Boat Pose are as follows:

Navasana Helps You Build Rock-Hard Abdominals: The primary target of the Navasana is the core muscles, which get subjected to microtears when in final form. The result of this ordeal would be a toned gut and fairly strong abdominal muscles. With a proper diet, you will also be able to make them prominent too.

Navasana Improves Your Confidence: In addition to physical, Navasana also has mental health benefits as well. This asana promotes the production of feel-good and self-confidence-boosting hormones and simultaneously curbs the secretion of chemicals that are at the root of most of the negative thoughts in one’s mind.

Navasana Builds Strong Legs: Navasana, if done properly, is a workout for the entirety of your legs. The glutes are activated while the legs are suspended in the air while the legs themselves are feeling the effect of this asana in places such as your hamstrings, calves, and adductors. The muscles found on the front side of the leg, on the other hand, start getting impacted as well in the end.

Navasana Helps You Build A Wider Body: As far as your upper body is concerned, the Navasana mainly attacks the back muscles, which eventually become stronger as a result of regular practice. As backs become stronger, they generally become wider, causing the yogi to have a confidence-boosting and intimidating body frame. 

Navasana Helps You Boost Your Concentration Levels: This asana compels you to focus on every single body part of yours while in the final position. Thus, if done consistently over time, the yogi can train his/her mind to bring themselves to the present as well as maintain focus on the tasks which are important to them.

How To Do Navasana a.k.a Boat Pose

You can execute the Navasana also known as the Boat Pose with relatively less discomfort if you are an intermediate-to-advanced level Yogi. However, if you are just starting, you might want to work on your body balance and flexibility before attempting to do the Navasana.

Irrespective of your proficiency level, here is a step-by-step guide for executing the Navasana with perfection. We would recommend you pay attention to every single piece of detail to make the most out of this asana.

Navasana Step 1: Sit down along the length of your mat in Dandasana, and then lift your knees high enough to create a 90-degree angle between your upper and lower leg muscles. Additionally, make sure that your soles are touching the mat.

Navasana Step 2: Hold on to the lower part of your thighs with your palms and then lean back approximately 30 degrees. Once you complete the motion, make sure that your spine is straight and your shoulder blades are stretched back.

Navasana Step 3: Hold on to your thighs as directed in Step 2 while simultaneously and gently lifting your feet off your ground up until only your toes are touching the ground. Make sure that the rest of your body stays in the posture as described above throughout the motion.

Navasana Step 4: Enter the final position by lifting your feet off your ground. At this point, you must look like the letter “V” written in lowercase.

Navasana Step 5: Stay in this position for a total of 5 breaths for maximum results. You can either do it while holding onto your thighs are mentioned above throughout the duration, or, you can let them float in the air parallel to your knees from the outer side, if you would like to challenge yourself.

When To Practise Navasana a.k.a Boat Pose

The Navasana also known as the Boat Pose can be done at any given point in time, as long as your stomach and bladder have been empty for 4-6 hours. However, experts recommend that you should always do it in the morning as soon as you wake up, as your stomach will presumably be empty, which is required for this pose as it puts a great deal of pressure on the students’ core muscles.

Navasana Contraindications

There are certain circumstances under which you should stay clear of the Navasana. Some of the main ones are as follows:

  • Avoid this asana if you are pregnant as it will put an undue amount of pressure on the fetus.
  • Do not attempt the Navasana if you have injured your tailbone and/or your spine.
  • Stay clear of the Navasana if you are menstruating.
  • Stay clear if you have injured your hips or any other bone/muscle/ligaments around it.
  • If you have Asthma, skip the Navasana at all costs.

It must be noted that the severity of contraindications 1-4 can vary from person to person. Hence you can always take the advice of your respective health care professional as well before taking the final call.

Anatomy Of Navasana

An anatomical exploration of the Navasana also known as the Boat Pose is as follows:

When in the starting position, you are causing a minor pull action in the muscles found on the backside of your thighs. This is your hamstring and adductor muscles getting activated.

As soon as you begin taking your back a little bit to create the 30-degree angle, you begin to engage your lower back muscles, your middle back muscles, or dorsals, and then your trapezius. All of them become attentive and supportive of your spine, which should be erect at the end of the motion.

Finally, you raise your leg. While doing this, you will begin to feel that your tibialis, abductor, calves and quadriceps have begun doing the heavy lifting. Here, you will achieve the final position for yourself, at which point you will begin to feel the expansion and contractions intensifying all over. Here, you will also get to test your patience, concentration, and endurance level.

Frequently Asked Questions About Navasana

Why Is It Called Navasana

The word Navasana is Sanskrit for “Boat Pose” and hence it is known by that name in the West. The yoga asana which goes by this name has been termed as such because upon achieving the final position, the student begins to look like a boat or a yacht. The word itself can be broken down into two pieces, namely Nav and Asana, which mean boat/yacht and pose/posture respectively.

What are the techniques of Navasana?

Some of the alternative techniques of the Navasana are as follows:

The Anchored Boat Pose: This is an easier version of the Navasana. Here, the student is allowed to support their upper body by placing their palms behind themselves on the mat and in line with their shoulders. This version is known as the Anchored Boat pose since the arms essentially act like an anchor for the rest of the body, which stays in one place courtesy of it.

The Love Boat Pose: This version of the Navasana is done by those who fancy a little bit of a challenge during their yoga session. Here, the Yogi raises their lower legs as well until they are in line with their respective upper portions. As a result, the shape of the student begins to resemble that of the capital letter V.

The Easy Boat Pose: This iteration of the Navasana sees the practitioner keep their feet planted on the mat to provide support to their lower body. The Easy Boat Pose is done by those who find the actual boat pose slightly challenging for their legs.

Half Boat Pose With Arms Flat: In this version of Navasana, the student begins to look more like a canoe than any other kind of boat. This is the case because in this version, the student takes their upper and lower body as close to the mat beneath as possible while still keeping it airborne. This iteration particularly is meant for individuals who would like to give their lower abdominal muscles a good workout.

Boat Pose With Bent Knees: This incarnation of the Navasana sees the student do everything required to get into the proper Navasana, with the only difference being that the student is supposed to leave their knees bent and their toes touching the mat. This version is done by Yogis who want to put more pressure on their hamstrings and adductor muscles while in Navasana.

How Can One Get Better At Navasana

You can only get better at Navasana with practice, patience, and resilience. This yoga posture is one of the more physically and mentally demanding poses to do, hence if you think that you are doing it incorrectly in any way, you should consider doing some warm-up asanas for the same. If in case you need a refresher on the correct way of doing the Navasana, you can always revisit the step-by-step guide for the same on this article.

Contact for Best Deals!