Navasana (Boat Pose)

English Name(s)

Naukasana, Ardha Navasana,

Sanskrit

नावासन / Nāvāsana

Pronunciation

nah-VAH-suh-nuh

Meaning

nava: “boat”
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

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.

Energetic Benefits

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.

Contraindications

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.

Going into the Pose

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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