Navasana and Their Benefits

Many shall admit to the fact that we are busy juggling to create a work-life balance, and at times it becomes really hard to keep a check on the health. The daily stress, consumption of packaged food, lack of time to indulge in self-care, and so many other factors contribute towards a poor physical-psychical health. While being busy running around with our jobs and personal commitments, we tend to ignore the early signs of warning that later develop into serious issues.

Therefore, it’s imperative that we spare a few minutes to our own health and wellness. And, what better way to do it than practicing the natural system of yoga? Even an everyday practice of 10 minutes shall benefit you holistically. Moreover, the practice of Boat pose (Navasana) is the adornment of a healthy being.

As you dig into the Navasana, your body mimics the shape of a boat with sails and oars. The pose challenges, strengthens abdominal muscles, enhances concentration, and builds stamina. Given below are the seven stages of performing a Navasana (Boat Pose):

1. Sit on a yoga mat with bent knees and heels as close to the hips as possible.

2. Keep your hands 2-3 inches behind the posterior.

3. Lengthen your body from the top of the head to the hips

4. Slightly lean back and with an exhalation, lift the feet off the yoga mat.

5. Gently extend the legs in the front and keep the shins parallel to the floor.

6. Stretch the arms outward alongside the legs.

7. To exit the pose, bend the knees and rest the feet on the floor.

Here are some of the health benefits of boat pose:

1. Strengthens the Abdominal Muscles: Who doesn’t like abs? Sure, they look nice. But they are also equally important for keeping the body’s health. Strong abdominal muscles positively support a person in daily function, sports, and physical health. Strong abdominal muscles make a strong core and form a powerful axis for the whole body. The boat pose also bestows various benefits such as reduced back pain, better posture, and greater balance.

2. Improves the Functioning of Liver and Kidneys: The abdomen of a human body constitutes liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc. The performance of boat pose improves the health of all the abdominal organs, especially the liver and kidneys. A proper functioning of these organs detoxifies the body from toxins and regulates its fluids thus establishing a robust health.

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips, fingers pointing toward the feet, and strengthen the arms. Lift through the top of the sternum and lean back slightly. As you do this make sure your back doesn’t round; continue to lengthen the front of your torso between the pubis and top sternum. Sit on the “tripod” of your two sitting bones and tailbone.

Step 2

Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that the thighs are angled about 45-50 degrees relative to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pubis toward your navel. If possible, slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If this isn’t possible remain with your knees bent, perhaps lifting the shins parallel to the floor.

Step 3

Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through the fingers. If this isn’t possible, keep the hands on the floor beside your hips or hold on to the backs of your thighs.

Step 4

While the lower belly should be firm, it shouldn’t get hard and thick. Try to keep the lower belly relatively flat. Press the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor to help anchor the pose and lift the top sternum. Breathe easily. Tip the chin slightly toward the sternum so the base of the skull lifts lightly away from the back of the neck.

Step 5

At first stay in the pose for 10-20 seconds. Gradually increase the time of your stay to 1 minute. Release the legs with an exhalation and sit upright on an inhalation

Physical Benefits

Navasana (nah-BAH-duh-nuh) is a balancing pose that strengthens the abdominal muscles, back and hip floors and tones the digestive organs. It also gives strength and flexibility to the hip joints and legs.

Energetic Benefits

This pose requires endurance and strong will power to hold, therefore this pose will develop a strong mind for the practice. Sage Palatalize in the Yoga Surat states “abyssal vairagyabyam tan-nimrod,” meaning the modes of the mind should be restrained through the practices and with dispassion. To make the mind strong yogis need to practice dispassion towards worldly objects. This will stop the stream of thoughts and bring stability to the mind.


Avoid this pose if you have any chronic lower back or abdominal conditions. Women who are menstruating and who are pregnant should not do this pose. The abdominal region should not take any load during a menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Elderly people can do this asana with the feet on the wall or on a chair as a variation. Do not hold the pose more than 20 seconds for elderly and fragile people. People with long tail bones will have difficulty doing this pose, instead use a strap around the upper back and the feet to keep the back lifted. Or you can keep the palms in cup shape by the sides of the hips to maintain balance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *