Navasana (Boat Pose)
Naukasana, Ardha Navasana,
नावासन / Nāvāsana
Navasana (nah-VAH-suh-nuh) is a balancing pose that strengthens the abdominal muscles, back and hip flexors and tones the digestive organs. It also gives strength and flexibility to the hip joints and legs.
This pose requires endurance and strong will power to hold, therefore this pose will develop a strong mind for the practice. Sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra states “abhyasa vairagyabyam tan-nirodaha,” 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.