Yoga Central - Full Boat Pose

This is the latest article in our yoga central series and today we will be looking at a pose known as full boat pose or Paripurna Navasana. We will look at how to properly carry out the pose, the benefits you can get from it and anything that you need to consider before beginning. Please read the entire article before trying the pose.

How to Carry Out the Pose

We have put together instructions on how to carry out the pose correctly however there are also a number of modifications that can be done to make the pose easier as well as deeper. These modifications will be found lower in the article.

1. Start this pose sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you. Place your hands on the floor just behind your hips with the fingers facing forward. Strengthen the arms by pressing the hands into the floor and remember to ensure your back is straight. Now lift through your sternum and lean back slightly ensuring your back does not round. Sit on the sit bones and tailbone and continue to lengthen your front torso.

2. Now exhale and bend the knees. You should then lift the feet of the floor until your thighs are at about a 45 degree angle with the floor. Now slowly straighten your legs until your toes are just above the level of your eyes. If this is not possible keep your legs bent and bring the shins parallel with the floor.

3. Stretch your arms out in front of you so your hands are alongside your legs and your arms are parallel with each other. You should spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach through the fingers. This might be difficult for you to do so you can leave your hands on the floor or if possible hold on to the back of your thighs.

4. You should continue to focus on your breathing ensuring that the out breath is the same length as the in breath. At the same time you should ensure your stomach is firm but not hard. Press the top of the thigh bones towards the floor to stabilise the pose. Lower the chin slightly towards the chest to lift the base of the skull away from the neck.

5. You should initially hold this pose for around 10-20 seconds and gradually increase until you can hold it for 1 minute. Exhale and release the legs then inhale and sit up straight.


Tips and Precautions

If you are new to this pose then you can do some practise on a chair at any time. You will need to sit on the edge of a chair with your knees at right angles. You should hold on to the sides of the chair and lean forward slightly. Ensure your arms are firm and lift the bottom of the chair a small amount while lifting your heels off the floor.

It can also be difficult to straighten the legs and so you can use a strap for this. Loop the strap around your feet and while leaning back hold the strap and straighten the legs pressing the feet against the strap. Wrap the strap around your hands to create a feeling of traction rather than pulling on the strap.

This pose may not be ideal for everyone and if you are suffering from asthma, diarrhoea, headache, heart problems, insomnia and low blood pressure you should avoid this pose. In addition if you are currently menstruating or are pregnant then this pose should not be carried out. In you have a neck injury then you should practise the pose near a wall and when you lean back rest your head on the wall.

Benefits and Focus

The main focus for this pose is to help to stimulate the thyroid gland. In addition it can help to strengthen the abdomen, hip flexors and spine. As well as stimulating the thyroid this pose will also help to stimulate the kidneys, prostate gland and intestines and improve digestion. People who suffer from stress may also get benefits from this pose.

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Yoga Central - Full Boat Pose
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