The Boat Pose

Inspired by Alison Hartman’s book Hatha Yoga and The Five Elements

Sit with your legs stretched out straight in front of you.  Place your palms on the floor by your hips.  Your fingers should be pointing toward your feet.   Straighten and extend the arms slightly (palms still on the ground), while lengthening the spine. Take the shoulders up toward the ears then toward the back, and  down the back as if you are tucking them into pockets on your back.

Recline the trunk back slightly.  At the same time, raise the legs from the floor.  Keep your legs straight and together.  You should now be balancing on your buttocks.  Your legs and torso will be at a 45 degree angle with the feet at the same height as your head.

Lift your palms from the floor and stretch your arms forward.  Your arms should be parallel to the floor, palms and shoulders level, palms facing each other.

Hold and breathe. 

On an exhale slowly lower your hands and legs.  Relax onto your back.     Repeat.

Nava means ship or vessel and asana means seat or pose.  The pose represents a boat where the arms are the oars.  The capacity for movement and fluidity is where water gets it power.  The essence of our inner journey is seen through the water element.

Boat pose has a beneficial effect on the skeleton, which is governed by the water element.  This pose can help to turn a weak spine into one of support and strength.  It is also said the Navasana tones the kidneys.  This pose will give them greater ability to regulate the fluids in the body. The pathway of the bladder runs up the back of the legs through the buttocks and along the spine.  The bladder official is responsible for the storage of fluids and helps us to flow and adapt to change, like a boat on the waves.