Half Boat Pose
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.
Ardha Navasana is a very effective yoga pose to tone your hips. The asana also stimulates the thyroid, prostate glands and the intestine. The half boat pose is also very effective in relieve sciatica pain and constipation. With regular practice of this pose, one can regulate the menstrual cycle too.
Benefits of Half Boat Pose
Strengthens the abdomen, hip flexors, as well as lower back muscles. Benefits a number of abdominal and back conditions, including sciatica, lumbago, colitis, constipation, and irregular menstrual cycle. Tones kidneys and improves digestion. 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.
How to Do Half Boat Pose (Ardkha Navasana)
- 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.
- Bend your knees and keep you feet comfortably on floor.
- Lift up through the sternum (breastbone) and lean at the back, making sure to keep your back straight.
- 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.
- Lift the arms parallel to the floor and keep your palms facing each other, close to the body.
- Stay in the pose for as long as you can. Try to keep your back straight.
- Exhale on a count of 3, release, relax and repeat.
Rest in Child’s pose, if you feel exerted.
Half Boat Pose for Beginners
If this pose is too challenging for you, you can practice by sitting on the edge of a chair with your knees bent at right angles. Hold the sides of the chair with your hands and gently lean your body forward. Straighten out your arms and lift your buttocks off the seat of the chair. Hold this pose and raise your heels off the floor. At this point make sure that only the heels are off the floor and not the balls of your feet. Raise your sternum forwards and upwards and hold the pose for 30 seconds at a time. This will help strengthen your core and leg muscles and get them ready to perform the Half Boat Pose.
- If you don’t have enough strength to hold the pose - just Keep hands on the floor beside your hips or hold on to the backs of your thighs.
- 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.
Half Boat Pose for Advanced
Feel free to maintain leg position while placing hands back down on the floor and lifting yourself up. If you feel particularly frisky, try working on crossing your legs and floating back.
- From Half Boat Pose, slowly lower your legs to the floor. Place your hands behind your head and stretch the elbows out to the sides in a line with your ears.
- When you are ready try Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana).
Set Sail for Strength
Ardha navasana is often presented as a pose that tends to strengthen the abdomen. It also strengthens the deep hip flexors. Hence, you must practice to anchor the heads of the thighs bones into the pelvis. Always keep into consideration that the lower belly must remain firm.