Yoga Pose: Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana)


The Half Boat Pose is a variation of the Boat Pose (Navasana) and is called the Ardha Navasana. ‘Ardha’ means ‘half’ and ‘Nava’ means ‘boat’. In this pose, the body attains the shape of a boat, totally balanced on the hips, hence, the name.

Health Benefits

The half boat pose strengthens the hip muscles, abdomen and spinal column (mainly lower back muscles). It tones the kidneys and stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands and intestines.

This yoga pose is helpful in relieving stress and improves digestion as well. It is beneficial for sciatica, lumbago colitis and constipation. The half boat pose is also helpful in regularizing menstrual cycles.

Getting into the Pose

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Initial Position: Sit on the floor with your legs spread out in front of you.

Drishti or Gaze: Forward

Steps

  1. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs spread out in front of you. Your arms should be on the sides with the palms on the floor.
  2. Bend your knees and keep you feet comfortably on floor.
  3. Lift up through the sternum (breastbone) and lean at the back, making sure to keep your back straight.
  4. Lift up your feet to the knee height, such that the calf muscles are parallel to the floor and the thighs remain perpendicular to it.
  5. Lift the arms parallel to the floor and keep your palms facing each other, close to
  6. the body.
  7. Stay in the pose for as long as you can.
  8. Exhale on a count of 3, release, relax and repeat.

Rest in Child’s pose, if you feel exerted.

Other Variations

Ardha Navasana (Hands at the back pose): Get into the full boat pose and clasp your hands at the back of your head. Exhale on a count of 2 and slightly lower down your legs. Round your back simultaneously and stretch out your elbows to the sides. Point the toe tips towards your eyes.

Preparatory Poses

Beginner’s Tips

  • If it gets difficult to raise your hands and keep them by your sides, then you can catch hold of the back of your thighs with your hands.
  • Sit upright every time, after you finish performing the pose. Inhale on sitting up.

Advanced Poses

  • Downward facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)
  • Plow pose (Halasana)
  • Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)
  • Chair pose (Utkatasana)

Important Notes

  • Students suffering from asthma, diarrhea or heart problems should avoid performing this pose.
  • Those suffering from low B.P. and having headache or menstruation should also avoid performing this pose.
  • Students who have had a recent or a fresh neck injury should also not perform this pose.

Last updated: 11th July 2014

Next scheduled update: 11th Sept 2014

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