fun pose friday: navasana

TGIF yogis! This week’s Fun Pose Friday is focused on navasana or boat pose.

Boat pose can be a very challenging posture. It requires a lot of strength and mental endurance to hold the pose. But the work you put into navasana really pays off by way of a stronger core and hip flexors, and improved posture and stability.  And we all know it’s all about the core!


How beautiful is Marilyn Monroe?!

To get into boat pose start by sitting on your mat with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the ground behind your hips with fingertips pointing toward the front of the mat. Keep knees and legs close together  and begin to lean back and lift feet up off the floor. Once the feet are up, peel hands up off the mat and extend your arms alongside your legs. Engage the core to keep the spine long and avoid curving the back. Roll shoulder blades back and down to make sure they don’t bunch up near the ears.

From here you can begin to straighten the legs. However if you are unable to maintain a straight back with the legs extended, put some bend back in the  knees and extend the spine.

FullSizeRenderMe, in a very serious navasana

navasanaDaisy, a.k.a. YogaNag, in the best variation ever – the FUN one!

Another variation for navasana is to loop a strap around your feet. Press into the strap with your feet and then lean back.

If it is difficult to keep your arms raised, try either holding onto the back of your thighs or return hands to the mat behind you for more support.

Breathe deeply and hold for several breaths. Increase time spent in navasana until it can be held for a full minute.

Benefits of boat pose include:

• Increased strength in the abdominal muscles, hip flexors, and spine

• Improved balance and digestion

• Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines

PopSugar offers some additional tips to rock your boat.

Have a great weekend yogis!