Boat Pose, Naukasana, is a seated pose that engages the core (like crazy). This pose strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors, and vertebral column. Boat pose tones your abdomen and strengthens your lower back. There are two variations of this pose, half boat pose and full boat pose. In half boat pose your legs are bent at the knee and in full boat pose your legs are straight (your body is in the shape of a “V”).
This pose deeply challenges the abdomen, spine and hip flexors, it is building strength and steadiness in the core (which feels like a killer). Boat pose stimulates the internal organs and improves the digestive system. In the beginning of learning and practicing this pose, it will take concentration and stamina. When practiced on a regular basis, it will increase your ability to stay focused, internal awareness, and emotional calm. Boat pose encourages a healthy regulation of the prostate gland and the thyroid, helping to maintain a healthy metabolism and can relief stress.
To successfully do boat pose, begin in seated pose with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor with your hands at our hips. Keeping your spine straight begin to lean back slightly and lift your feet a little off the mat. Draw in your lower back, lift your chest, and lengthen the front of your torso. Begin to extend your arms forward, keeping them in line with your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Begin to balance on your sit bone and keep your spine straight (make sure not to round your back or lower your chest). Lengthen the front of your torso, keeping your lower back firm. Try to straighten your legs to go from half boat to full boat pose. As you straighten your legs, begin to bring your arms higher and higher towards the ceiling. Hold this pose for as long as possible working up to one minute. To release, exhale as your lower your legs and arms.