Bharadvaja’s Twist
April 9, 2015
Bound Angle Pose
April 8, 2015

Boat Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Paripurna Navasana
(par-ee-POOR-nah nah-VAHS-anah)
paripurna = full, complete
nava = boat

BENEFITS

  • Strengthens the hips flexors, abdominals, and low spine
  • Focuses the mind
  • Improves overall core strength
  • Strengthens the quadriceps
  • Improves coordination and balance
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion
  • Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid, and prostate glands

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Hip pathologies
  • Low back pathologies (avoid rounding the lower spine)
  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Headache
  • Menstruation

HOW TO

  1. Begin in a seated position with the knees bent and feet together on the mat. Place your hands behind the thighs and draw awareness to your sitting bones.
  2. Inhale and lift out of the torso. Lengthen the spine while firming the abdominals.
  3. Supporting the backs of your thighs with your hands, exhale and begin to roll back onto your sacrum. Let your feet rise a few inches off the ground.
  4. As you inhale, release your hands and extend your arms in front of you. Keep your chest lifted and open. Slowly begin to extend the knees, lengthening your legs diagonally, at around a 45-degree angle with the floor. Reach through your toes.
  5. Maintain firm abdominals and extension in the spine to avoid rounding the lower back.
  6. Hold this pose for 5-10 slow breaths.
  7. To exit, inhale and reach length into the spine. Roll back onto the sitting bones as you exhale. Place the feet on the mat and hug your knees to relax the low back.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Keep the knees bent and hands behind the thighs for support.
  • Feel free to come in and out of the pose.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Keep the upper and lower spine lifted through the torso and firm your abdominals.
  • Squeeze the knees and reach through your toes to extend your legs.
  • Feel free to draw the hands in front of you, out to the side, or overhead.
  • Be cautious of your low spine and avoid rounding.

VARIATIONS

  • Reach the hands in front of you, overhead, or out to the sides.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Rounding the low spine
  • Pain/strain in the hips