How To Do Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat Pose, also known as Navasana in Sanskrit, is a challenging yet exhilarating yoga posture. It strengthens the core muscles and improves balance. As someone who loves exploring different yoga poses, I have found this asana to be particularly beneficial for my physical and mental well-being.

While it may seem intimidating at first, with the right preparation and guidance, anyone can master this pose. In this article, I will share beginner tips on how to do Boat Pose safely and effectively. As well as modifications and variations to make the posture more accessible or challenging depending on your level of experience.

So get ready to set sail on your yoga journey!

How To Do Boat Pose (Navasana) Video

Yoga Pose Step-by-step Instructions

Here is a list of steps to do:

  1. Begin seated on your mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Place your hands on the ground behind you, fingertips pointing towards your hips.
  3. Inhale and lift your feet off the ground, bringing your shins parallel to the ground.
  4. If you can, straighten your legs, keeping your toes pointed towards the ceiling.
  5. Extend your arms straight forward, parallel to the ground.
  6. If you’re comfortable here, you can lift your hands off the ground and reach your fingertips towards your toes.
  7. Keep your core engaged, lifting your chest and lengthening your spine.
  8. Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling your core working to keep you balanced.
  9. To come out of the pose, release your legs and hands back to the ground.

7 Benefits Of Boat Pose

This asana, is a popular yoga pose that offers a variety of benefits to those who practice it regularly. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Strengthens the Core: The pose is a powerful core exercise. It engages the deep abdominal muscles, as well as the hip flexors. Regular practice can help to build a strong and stable core.
  2. Improves Balance and Stability: By requiring you to balance on your sit bones, the exercise helps to improve your balance and stability, both of which are important for overall movement and coordination.
  3. Stimulates the Digestive System: The compression of the abdominal organs in this pose can help to stimulate digestion and alleviate issues such as constipation.
  4. Enhances Focus and Concentration: The asana requires a great deal of focus and concentration to maintain, which can help to improve these skills in other areas of life as well.
  5. Stress Relief: Like many yoga poses, it can help to relieve stress and anxiety. The focus required to maintain the pose can help to quiet the mind and promote a sense of peace and relaxation.
  6. Improves Posture: Regular practice of Navasana can help improve your posture. It strengthens the back muscles and promotes a straight, aligned spine.
  7. Stimulates the Kidneys, Thyroid and Prostate Glands, and Intestines: The pose has a positive effect on various organs and glands in your body, promoting overall health.

Remember, it’s always important to perform yoga poses correctly to avoid injury and maximize benefits. If you’re new to yoga or have any health concerns. It’s a good idea to work with a qualified yoga instructor who can guide you in correct form and alignment.

Boat Pose Navasana / Canva

Beginner Tips

You’re probably feeling a bit intimidated at first. But don’t worry – with a few beginner tips, you’ll be holding the pose like a pro in no time!

It is an asana that focuses on core strengthening and is commonly practiced in hatha yoga. The benefits of this pose include improved digestion and balance, toned abs, and reduced low back pain.

To begin practicing, start by sitting on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your thighs to support yourself as you lift one foot off the ground at a time.

Once you feel stable enough to lift both feet off the ground together, extend your arms forward alongside your legs. Keep your spine straight and engage your core muscles to hold yourself up in this position. Remember to breathe deeply throughout the practice.

Preparing your body for navasana involves warming up with other core-strengthening exercises such as planks or crunches. This will help prepare both physically and mentally. For the challenge of holding the asana for an extended period of time without losing balance or stability.

Preparing Your Body for Navasana

Preparing your body for Navasana is essential to get your core muscles ready for this challenging exercise. This yoga posture not only strengthens the core but also engages back muscles, improves body awareness, and provides numerous benefits to our overall physical health.

Here are four steps you can take to prepare your body for Navasana:

  • Start with warm-up stretches that target the abdominal area and lower back region, such as spinal twists or seated forward folds.
  • Practice activating your core muscles while lying on your back by lifting one leg at a time or performing bicycle crunches.
  • Focus on maintaining good posture throughout the day, which involves engaging both the front and back of your core while sitting or standing.
  • Incorporate other core-strengthening exercises into your routine, like planks or side planks, to build endurance and strength over time.

As you begin to practice these preparatory steps regularly alongside, you will notice an increase in both physical strength and body awareness.


If you have certain health conditions like low blood pressure or pregnancy, it may not be suitable for you to practice this asana.

It’s important to always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime. Additionally, if you have any recent injuries, especially in your back or hips, it’s best to avoid this pose until fully healed.

When practicing Navasana, begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your chest and lean back slightly while keeping your spine straight.

Slowly lift your feet off the ground and straighten your legs at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Hold the pose for several breaths while engaging your core muscles. Palms should face each other with arms extended parallel to the floor.

Remember that there are contraindications for this posture. Therefore, it’s important to listen to what feels right in your body and modify as necessary.

Now that we’ve covered some of the contraindications, let’s move onto common mistakes to avoid during this yoga flow.

Boat Yoga Pose Navasana / Canva

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake people make during this exercise is not engaging their core muscles enough, which can lead to lower back pain and discomfort.

Interestingly, a study found that proper engagement of the core muscles during Navasana can improve balance and stability in other areas of life.

To avoid this mistake, start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and feet off the floor. Slowly lean back until you feel your abdominal muscles engage and lift your chest.

Another common mistake is failing to straighten the legs completely once in the pose. This can cause strain on the lower back and reduce the effectiveness of this core strengthening pose.

To ensure proper alignment, focus on lifting your chest towards the ceiling while straightening both legs at a 45-degree angle from your body.

Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed throughout this step-by-step process for strengthening your core through Navasana. In our next section, we will explore modifications and variations.

Modifications and Variations for Boat Pose

One modification is to keep your feet on the floor instead of lifting them off the ground. This can help beginners or those with lower back pain to still engage their core muscles without straining their back.

Another option is to place your palms on the floor behind you for added support. This helps maintain proper alignment of the spine.

Variations are also available for those who want to challenge themselves further. One variation is to lift one leg at a time while maintaining balance. This strengthens not only the abs but also the hip flexors and quads.

Another variation is to extend your arms straight above your head while holding the stance. Adding an extra challenge for shoulder blades and upper body strength training.

And finally, if you’re comfortable with all these modifications and variations, try lowering your tailbone towards the floor while keeping your legs lifted. This will intensify engagement in your abdominal muscles even more!

Boat Pose Navasana Yoga / Canva

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I hold the boat pose?

Try to hold it for 30-60 seconds, but sometimes I challenge myself to go up to 2 minutes. It’s amazing how strong my core feels afterwards!

Will boat pose help me lose weight?

It is a great way to engage your core and burn calories. But alone it won’t lead to significant weight loss. For best results, combine with a healthy diet and regular cardio exercise.

How often should I practice boat pose to see results?

To see results, practice 3-4 times a week. It’s helped me increase core strength and improve digestion.

Fun fact: Navasana is Sanskrit for “boat”and represents our ability to navigate life’s challenges with ease.

Can boat pose help with digestion?

The asana can stimulate digestion by toning the abdominal muscles and massaging the digestive organs. I find practicing it regularly for a few minutes after meals helps with bloating and discomfort.

Is it okay to practice boat pose if I have lower back pain?

It’s important to always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime. As someone who suffers from lower back pain, I understand the concern about practicing boat pose.

However, with proper modifications and alignment, it can actually help alleviate discomfort and strengthen the core muscles.


The Boat Pose, also known as Paripurna Navasana or simply Navasana in Sanskrit, is a core strengthening pose that is a staple in many yoga practices.

Where does the name come from? The name Navasana comes from the Sanskrit words “nava” meaning boat and “asana” meaning pose. This yoga asana gets its name from the shape it forms, which resembles a boat.

To come into the pose, sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your knees and lean back slightly. Keeping your back straight and your spine long. This is the starting position for the pose.

From here, lift your feet off the floor. You can keep your knees bent. Especially if you find the pose difficult at first. The goal is to balance on your tailbone and your sit bones. Forming a V shape with your body. If you can, straighten your legs.

If you find it difficult to hold the pose, you can use a strap. Wrap the strap around the soles of your feet. Hold on to the ends with your hands. This can help you maintain balance and keep your torso lifted.

The Boat Pose requires a lot of core strength. It works not only your core muscles but also your back muscles. It’s a great pose for improving body awareness.

In addition to the physical benefits, practicing also has mental benefits. It requires focus and concentration, which can help improve these skills in other areas of life.

There’s also a variation of this pose called the Half Boat Pose. In this version, you only lift one leg off the floor at a time. This can be a good way to build up strength and balance before attempting the full pose.

Remember, it’s always important to keep your chest lifted. Keep your shoulders back and away from your ears in this pose. This helps to keep the space between your shoulders and your ears open.

If you’re new to this pose or find it challenging, it might be helpful to work with a yoga teacher. They can provide step-by-step instructions and help you modify the pose to suit your level of flexibility and strength.

In conclusion, whether you’re practicing the full Boat Pose or the Half Boat Pose, this asana offers numerous benefits. The benefits of Navasana make it a worthwhile addition to any yoga practice.

So there you have it, the complete guide to performing like a pro!

So take a deep breath, find your center and give Boat Pose a try.


How To Do Boat Pose / Canva