If you’re trying to master any arm balance, then boat pose navasana, is the prep pose for you! Even if you’re not trying to get yourself floating in an arm balance, boat pose is a great way to strengthen your core, while forcing you to focus on your breath.
Strengthens the front and back core. Relieves bloating and gas by stimulating the intestines and kidneys. Stretches your hamstrings and strengthens hips.
- Start in a seated position with your knees bent in front of your chest and your feet planted on the floor in front of you.
- Place your hands behind your knees and lean back until your elbows are more or less straight. Lift through your heart, sit up tall, and lengthen through your spine. You can stay exactly here if this is where you are most comfortable.
- Engage your core, and slowly take one foot at a time off of the mat, balancing your weight onto your sit bones (in your bum).
- Work on bringing those shins parallel to the floor, or even lengthening through the legs entirely. At any time, feel free to bring your feet back to the mat to ground yourself
- When you’re ready, take your hands out from behind your knees and extend those arms long, bringing them parallel to the mat with your palms face up. For a little more of a challenge, reach those arms all the way up over head so that your whole body comes into a V-position.
- Breathe and continue to hold for as long as you’re able. Repeat.
There are lots of ways to modify boat pose to make it accessible to you and your practice. Keep one or both feet on the floor and play with the position of your arms, either keeping those hands under your knees, bringing them to the floor beside your hips, or extended the arms up and overhead . Alternately, keep your hands on the floor on either side of your hips and play with the position of your legs; elevate or extend the legs into whatever variation feels right for you in the moment.