Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose) is a Yoga pose that lays a great deal of emphasis on core strength. While you give a lot of importance to your abdominal area, Paripurna Navasana also pays attention to your spine and hip flexors.
These are considered two extremely important areas in Yoga practice, particularly as far as digestion and stress relief is concerned. People with poor innate core strength usually tend to have some problems in fully realizing this pose. However, this yoga pose can be somewhat modified to suit their needs. This is done by keeping the knees bent until such time as your strength improves.
Full Boat Pose: Step by Step
1. To start the pose, sit on the floor with both legs stretched straight out in front of you. Now, press both hands slightly into the mat behind your hips. Your fingers should point toward your feet; firm up your arms. Lean back a little and raise the top of your sternum. While doing this, see that you don’t arch your back. Continue stretching your front torso between your top sternum and your pubis. You should be resting on your tailbone and two sit bones.
2. With a deep exhalation, bend your knees and raise your feet off the mat. Your thighs should be around 45 – 50 degrees relative to the floor. Pull your tailbone into the mat and raise your pubis toward your navel. If you can, slowly straighten both knees, lifting the tips of your toes a little above the level of your eyes. If you can’t do this, keep your knees bent, maybe lifting and keeping your shins parallel to the floor.
3. Let your arms stretch straight out alongside your torso, parallel to your body. Spread your shoulder blades across your back then strongly reach out through your fingers. If you can’t do this, keep your hands on the floor next to your hips or take hold of the back of your thighs.
4. Your lower belly should be firm and flat, not hard and thick. Press the heads of your thigh bones toward the mat. This will help you anchor the pose and raise the top of your sternum. Breathe normally. Tip your chin a little toward your sternum so that the base of your skull lifts a little away from the back of your neck.
5. In the beginning hold the pose for 10 – 20 seconds. Slowly and progressively increase the time to 1 minute. With a deep exhalation, let go of your legs and with an inhalation, come up to sit upright.
Benefits of Full Boat Pose
- Strengthens and stimulates the thyroid and prostate glands, the abdomen, kidneys, intestines, hip flexors, and spine
- Helps relieve anxiety, stress and tension
- Helps improve digestion
Full Boat Pose Contraindications
- Low BP
- Heart trouble
- In case of back or neck injury, sit leaning against a wall and do this pose. As you tilt your torso backward, make sure to rest the back of your head against the wall.