Our lives are increasingly becoming more stressful thanks to the endless responsibilities we have to fulfil in our personal lives and the strict deadlines we must meet to advance our careers. Amidst all this, we often end up neglecting our health which takes a beating as we go about chasing our dreams. However, there is nothing more precious than our physical and mental health and no amount of success or money can bring back those years gone by in not taking good care of it.
While some of us totally neglect our health, some also spend hard-earned money on buying expensive gym instruments or paying hefty fees for fancy fitness centers. Amidst all this, we tend to forget that there is a totally fruitful practice that can be done at home without having to invest in any of the above. At the most, you might need to spend a little amount of money to train yourself initially and then you can continue reaping the benefits of this practice for the rest of your life. In fact, the more you do it, the better you get at it, bringing a holistic positive impact on your mind, body and soul. This practice is yoga.
It is believed that yoga originated centuries ago through the knowledgeable minds of Rishis and Munis in ancient India. Since then, it has evolved into a practice that makes you physically fit and mentally strong. Such is the wholesome impact of yoga that it can increase your self-awareness, helping your harness the power of your mind and taking you close to bringing complete harmony.
Yoga, which is a combination of asanas (physical poses), meditation and breathing exercises, comes in different forms and styles. All these individual styles and forms provide different benefits and impacts on your life. Which one you choose will depend on what you are looking to gain from yoga. However, regardless of which form or style you choose to follow, you can rest assured that it will change your life forever.
Naukasana yoga, or Boat Pose, is one such yoga pose that comes with ample benefits if done properly. In this blog, we will tell you everything about this pose, how you can do it, the benefits it provides and the precautions you must follow while doing it.
Table of Content
- What is Naukasana or Boat Pose?
- Procedure of Naukasana
- Benefits of Naukasana
- Psychological Benefits of Naukasana
- Things to take care while doing Naukasana
What is Naukasana or Boat Pose
The word Naukasana or Navasana has been derived from Sanskrit where Nauka means a boat and asana means a pose. This is the reason why it is also referred to as the Boat Pose as the final posture that your body gets into looks like a boat or a yacht. This pose is believed to be great for your lower back and abdominal muscles as they expand and contract during the building of the pose, strengthening your core muscles and boosting the energy levels in your entire body.
As is true for all yoga asanas, it is recommended that you start slow while mastering the art of doing Naukasana. As there are different variations of this pose, it is best to start with the simpler ones before moving on to the more complex and complicated poses.
Procedure of Naukasana
Naukasana yoga pose has a few variations. This includes the Supine position and the Prone Position. Here is the procedure of Naukasana and its variations:
The Supine position
This is done by lying on your back, facing upward. Follow it up with doing a Dandasana (seated staff pose) as it is simpler to perform and is apt for beginners.
- To do this pose, face upward while lying on the floor. Position your hands behind your knees while keeping your legs and knees straight forward
- Slowly lift your legs while slowly exhaling. Now, move your thighs to a 45-degree angle keeping your legs straight. If you bend your knees, the pressure will be lost
- Slowly lift your chest while keeping your shoulders and back positioned on the floor. Try balancing your body on your buttocks area
- Slowly straighten your legs and push the tips of your toes above your eyes, creating a full boat position
- If you are unable to hold this pose for long or find it difficult to pull it off, bend your knees while keeping your shins parallel to the ground, making a half-boat pose
- Push your shoulders back while stretching your hands in order to grab your toes. Keep your back straight for a toned lower stomach
- Try to hold this position for 10-20 seconds while breathing slowly. You can try holding this position for longer as you continue doing this multiple times
- To return to the normal position, release your toes and lower your body down. Lower your legs also slowly while getting your back into the supine position
The Supine position has two variations:
- Paripurna Naukasana or full-boat pose: To do this pose, balance your body on the tripod of the tailbone. Keep your legs and thighs at a 45-degree angle above the floor while keeping your knees straight in the air. Keep your head straight and grab your toes with your hands.
- Ardha Naukasana or half-boat pose: This pose is quite similar to the full boat pose, except that your knees are bent and your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Keep your hands stretched forward and your head absolutely straight to complete this pose.
The Prone Position
To do Naukasana in a prone pose, you must lie on your stomach with your face down. Keep your hands, chest and legs stretched forward while resting on the floor. You can follow a Dhanurasana as a preparatory pose for this asana.
- Lie down on your stomach with your face down and your forehead touching the floor
- Position your arms in front of your head right close to the ears. Rest them on the floor with your palms joined
- Raise your arms, forehead and chest together while inhaling slowly. At the same time, lift your legs from the waist and keep them straight. At this point, your entire weight would be on your stomach
- Slowly lower your entire body to return to your original position. Bring your arms back on the sides and your chin back on the floor to the prone position
Benefits of Naukasana
Like all yoga asanas, Naukasana also provides ample benefits. These include:
Relaxing your Nervous System: Naukasana is known to bring positivity and balance to your nervous system, reduce stress, fatigue and laziness and add an element of vitality to the body. It is also known to improve your concentration.
Enhancing your Core Strength: Naukasana is known to strengthen your core muscles and help alleviate body fatigue. It also works on your chest by stimulating the abdominal area and developing the hip flexors. It also strengthens your hips and the general endurance capacity of the body.
Improving Digestion: Regularly practicing Naukasana will improve your digestion by boosting your metabolism. In this position, the diaphragm gets elevated, increasing air circulation in the belly, removing gases, easing stomach pressure and facilitating digestion. It also helps reduce constipation, acidity and any kind of digestive sluggishness.
Strengthening Physical Aspects: The boat pose strengthens your legs, calves, thighs and arm muscles, increases blood circulation in your legs and other parts of the body, works on complications related to hernia and kidney problems, creates positive pressure on the stomach, loosens tight hamstrings, improves flexibility and reduce abdominal fat.
Psychological benefits of Naukasana
Like most yoga asanas, Naukasana also is a great stress reliever. It calms and relaxes your mind, helping you enjoy the present moment, work with more attention and concentration and maintain a healthy body and mind.
Things to take care of while doing Naukasana
Every yoga pose requires careful practicing. There are always some kinds of risks involved with these poses, which is why it is important that you follow precautions while doing them. The best way of avoiding any discomfort is to practice under the guidance of a trained instructor. However, if you are practicing the Naukasana at home, people with the following conditions must avoid it:
- If you have had recent stomach surgery or stomach ulcers
- If you have high or low blood pressure, heart conditions or asthma
- Pregnant women and those in the first two days of their menstruation cycle
- People with severe migraine, vertigo or a history of paralysis must take precautions as wrongly done Naukasana can aggravate them
Perform Naukasana for Several Benefits
Naukasana is a comprehensive yoga pose that provides a lot of benefits and strengthens your body. With this pose, you will be able to enhance your breathing while strengthening your core muscles. However, it must either be done under the guidance of a trainer or must be done with a lot of precautions. Any yoga pose, if done wrongly, can hamper your health and have an adverse effect on your body. On the other hand, if done right, there are ample advantages to reap. So, begin your yoga journey with Naukasana and see how it transforms your life.
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