Half Boat Pose

Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) – Navasana

Ardha asana is done on the back in a supine position. It focuses on training the abdominals, adductors, and hip flexors.

Aside from this, the quadriceps, hamstrings, and spine are all involved. 

It develops and enhances the practitioner’s mental health and delivers flexibility and strength to the body. ‘Ardha’ means ‘half’ in Sanskrit, ‘Nava’ means ‘boat,’ and ‘asana’ means ‘position.’ This posture is so named because the body resembles a half-boat form.

How do you do a half boat pose?

Paripurna Navasana, or simply Navasana (boat position), is a more advanced half boat pose requiring strong core and thigh muscles to hold. 

Ardha navasana is an excellent posture to open up the hips and the groin area. In addition, it improves flexibility in the leg muscles, especially those of the legs, chest, and back.

Level of Difficulty – Intermediate

Alignment: Ardha Navasana, like any other asana, has to be done carefully and correctly. The body should form a straight line from the head to the toes.

Muscles targeted 

  • The main muscles involved in this posture are the legs and abdominals.

How to do the pose:

  • Sit up straight on a yoga mat or the floor.
  • Stretch your legs out in front of you. It’s the starting position, and don’t forget to check your back.
  • Bend your legs and knees slowly.
  • Place your hands behind your back for support and go slowly and quickly through the asana.
  • Raise your half-bent legs, with the front of your leg below the knee parallel to the floor.
  • Maintain a firm yoga pose while balancing on your pelvic bones.
  • Straighten your arms in front of your leg, just below the knee, and keep your body balanced throughout the yoga pose.
  • For best results, keep your back as straight as possible.
  • Breathe out and unwind.
  • From the starting point, repeat the steps.

Tips

  • Rather than lifting the feet off the floor, concentrate on keeping the back straight. As a beginner, keep the feet and hands flat on the floor to balance the position while keeping the spine straight.
  • Maintain abdominal firmness without allowing the tummy to become inflated or bulky.

Modifications

What are the benefits of boat pose?
  • Using a wall: In Ardha navasana, place your feet on the wall while keeping your lower legs parallel to the floor. It aids in the maintenance of balance while holding the pose.
  • Use a block: Place a block at the base of your spine. Lean back and accept its assistance. It also aids in supporting and easing your back while holding the pose.
  • Using a Folded blanket: Sit on a folded blanket or foamed block to complete the asana. By adding a little height, you will provide an extra extension to your spinal muscles and prevent slouching on the back.

Variations

  • Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) – In contrast to the half boat pose, the knees are not bent, and the legs are fully stretched. The head and feet remained in place. The upper body forms a V with the lower body, giving the impression that the entire body is a boat.
  • Eka pada Navasana (One-legged Boat Pose) – This pose requires only one leg to be extended. On the other hand, the second leg remains on the floor, bending towards the stretched thigh. The process is then repeated with the legs switched.
  • Arms Overhead Half Boat Variation – Raising your arms overhead with your fingers pointed towards the ceiling after achieving the pose. Extend the arms so that they are parallel to the spine.

Precautions

  • Always keep your back straight, with the spine erect and in a neutral alignment.
  • Avoid bouncing movements.
  • For beginners, it is not advisable to fully extend their legs in Ardha navasana. Instead, they should start their first steps by going slowly and gradually into the half position of Ardha navasana (Half Boat Pose).
  • It is not recommended for people who have asthma or diarrhea.
  • If you have a neck, back, hip, knee, or ankle injury, do not do Ardha navasana.
  • If you have insomnia or a heavy head, avoid doing the half boat stance.

Benefits 

Increases body strength

The abdomen, hip flexors, and spine muscles are all worked out in half boat position. It improves muscular endurance and makes them stronger.

In addition, because the core muscles and the arms and legs are involved, the entire body is strengthened.

Improves balance

Your entire body is balanced on the sitting bones while holding the position. Because both the lower and upper bodies get lifted, the position finds equilibrium. Body balance develops with continuous practice.

Reduces belly fat

This pose requires abdominal muscular activation and serves as a workout for them. This tones the practitioner’s body, and the energy expended on holding the pose aids in burning the additional fat layer of the abdomen.

According to one study, Ardha navasana, along with other yogic practices, aids in weight management and the elimination of obesity.

It aids digestion.

Ardha navasana engages the abdominal muscles, which stimulates the digestive organs. It enhances digestive system function and prevents associated diseases.

Improves blood circulation

It controls blood circulation in the lower body. Increased blood circulation aids in the relief of leg discomfort, shivering, and stiffness. Furthermore, it strengthens them.

Increases self-esteem

It stimulates the Manipura chakra, which is located behind the navel. This chakra is linked to energy and willpower. As a result, Ardha navasana promotes self-esteem and confidence.

Enhances detoxification

Ardha navasana stimulates the kidney and aids with cleansing. Improved detoxification aids in the absorption of essential nutrients. It also contributes to the filtering of blood and the maintenance of homeostasis.

Stress reliever

This position soothes the mind and decreases stress, anxiety, and even despair by eliminating toxins from the body. As a result, the Ardha navasana also functions as a stress reliever.

Conclusion:

What muscles does Half Boat Pose work?

Ardha navasana is an excellent pose for weight management, improving digestion, and building self-esteem. It is also one of the most basic yoga poses, making it easy to master and perform. 

So, if you want to get fit and healthy, start practising Ardha navasana today!

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