If the boat is a rockin, those bhandas must be la la, lockin’! As the summer solstice approaches, we are digging navasana or boat pose! Not just because this pose is named after a fun summertime water vessel but because of it’s solar qualities! This pose not only tones and strengthens your deep core muscles but it also helps to improves balance and digestion relating to the manipura or solar plexus chakra! You can also expect a deep stretch in your hamstrings and strengthening of your spine and hip flexors. This pose also makes for a great detoxifier in both body and mind as it helps to stimulate kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines while also aiding in stress relief and improved confidence!
How to get into Navasana safely:
1.Start seated with knees bent and feet on the floor and remove the flesh out from underneath the sits bones.
2. Take the hands and place the fingertips down to either side of your hips.
3. Start to shift the weight between the sits bones and tailbone as you continue to draw the shoulders down the back and pull your sternum forward so that the heart is lifting towards the sky.
4. Keeping flexion in your feet, start to lift your feet up the level of your knees as you draw the inner thighs towards one another.
5. Once you find your balance, start to float the arms forward, parallel to the earth with the palms facing towards one another and continue to lift out of the low back as you keep the belly engaged.
To modify or go deeper into the pose:
Modified variation: If you are a beginner (or just want to take it easy for the day) you can keep the fingertips on the ground or take the hands back behind the thighs as you continue to build strength to keep the core and legs engaged. You can also work with this pose by placing a block inbetween the thighs.
Advanced variation: Once you are comfortable in navasana, for an extra challenge you can start to extend the legs up towards the sky as you continue to lift through the heart. You can even work on taking the arms up towards the sky, biceps by the ears.
Cautions and Contraindications:
Asthma, diarrhea, headache, heart problems, insomnia, low blood pressure, menstruation, pregnancy, and neck injury.