The boat pose is a popular yoga asana that works as an efficient ab strengthener and hip flexor. This is a pose that requires a great body balance because you will have to support your body weight on only your tailbone and sitting bones. Here are the best tips and steps on how to properly perform this pose.
Sit down on the floor or on your yoga mat. Keep your legs in front, and try to maintain a straight position. Place both hands on the ground or on the mat just behind your hips, and press your palms slowly against the floor. Your fingers should point toward your feet. Both arms and both feet must remain straight. Keep your spine long and straight while you lean your upper body a little bit backward. Make sure your spine does not form a C shape or get round.
Exhale deeply, slightly bend your knees and lift both feet off the mat. Your thighs must form an approximately 45-degree angle with the floor. Push your tailbone further into the yoga mat until you feel your pubis lifting up toward the navel. The perfect boat pose requires you to keep your legs straight while maintaining them lifted. Still, if you cannot do it, don’t force your body.
Extend both arms alongside your legs, keeping them parallel to the legs. In fact, in this case, “parallel” is the key aspect that you must consider during the entire boat pose. Your legs must be parallel to each other. The same goes for your arms. Open your chest more and widen the space between your shoulder blades. If you cannot keep your arms lifted, you should rest them on the floor alongside your hips.
During the entire pose, you should engage your abdominal muscles as much as possible. Your core area should remain tight and firm without getting too hard or thick. Pull the abs inside toward your spine and keep it flat. To keep your balance, you must press your tailbone as well as your thigh bones into the floor. This will help you anchor the boat asana. Breathe slowly and lift the top part of your sternum. Bend your head slightly in front and place your chin closer to your chest. Do this until the back part of the skull reaches up and away from the neck.
It might seem like an easy pose, but it is quite challenging. Therefore, at first, you should maintain this pose for only 10 or 20 seconds at most. Then, you will gradually increase the period. In time, with practice, you can reach up to 1 minute or even more. To come out of the pose, you must release both legs while you exhale. Then, you can go back to sitting upright during an inhalation.
The boat pose is a well-known abdominal strengthener. One of the most important aspects of maintaining this pose the proper way is to learn how to anchor your tailbone and thigh bones. Starting from there, you will be able to lift your upper body and straighten your spine.