core strength and balance
In boat pose, you use your spine and abdomen to support each other and instead of shortening the front of the body to contract the abdomen, you contract and extend the abdomen simultaneously. Pulling your ribs away from the abdomen to lift the chest and lifting the legs, all while balancing on your buttocks. As they move closer to each other in this pose, your back and abdomen are strengthened and lengthened.
The dynamics of Navasana will help with the practice of your standing poses, inversions, forward bends, and balancing poses. Even when you are standing in Tadasana (Mountain pose), firm legs and a long strong abdomen form the foundation to support your lifted chest. It also makes you balance on the buttocks and helps to build strength in sitting postures.
How to practice Navasana
- Sit with your knees bent, feet on floor, hands behind you, fingers pointing towards the feet.
- Lengthen the spine, draw the belly in and widen the collar bones to open the chest.
- Lean back on the tripod between sitbones and sacrum and lift your feet off the floor, bringing the shins level with the floor.
- Maintaining the lift through the spine and keep the chest open, arms extend to the front parallel to the floor.
- When possible straighten the legs out, still keeping the lift through the spine.
- Stay for 2-5 breaths, work up to 10 breaths, making sure to breathe deeply.