How to Do Naukasana or Boat Pose & What are its Benefits, Contraindications
Naukasana like all other yogasanas has got its name from Sanskrit where "Nauka" means "Boat" and "Asana" means "Pose" or "Posture".
The final of Naukasana resembles the shape of a boat and hence the name Boat Pose. This pose is very beneficial for people who have been facing difficulties in getting rid of the stubborn belly fat. This pose is the best treatment to get rid of stomach fat as well as to tone your abs.
Naukasana or Boat Pose is one of those few yoga poses that can be practiced by lying on stomach i.e. - Prone Position and also on back i.e. - Supine Position.
It can be a little difficult yoga pose to be practiced by beginners but people can get really better by practicing this pose gradually over a period of time.
How to Do Naukasana or Boat Pose?
- To practice Naukasana or Boat Pose, lie down in Supine Position i.e. – on your back on the floor or on the yoga mat.
- Keep your palms alongside your body with the palms facing down towards the floor.
- Always keep your eyes open while practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose.
- Breathe in deeply while being in this position.
- Retain your breath and raise your legs, shoulders, arms, head and trunk off the floor or yoga mat in such a way that the distance between feet and ground or between shoulders and ground should not be more than 15 cms.
- Always keep your spine straight while in this position of Naukasana or Boat Pose.
- Please note that the whole body is supported by buttocks in this pose.
- The arms should be kept straight and be held at the same level and in line with the toes.
- Your hands should be open with your palms facing down while practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose.
- Focus your gaze on your toes while practicing Naukasana.
- This is the final Naukasana or Boat Pose position.
- Breathe normally while being in the final position.
- Practice this pose for a few breaths or for as long as you feel comfortable.
- While exhaling, return to the original position or the supine position.
- Be very careful while releasing the asana so you do not injure your back or head while coming down to the original position.
- Relax the whole body.
- This completes one round of Naukasana or Boat Pose.
- Practice 4-5 rounds for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Come in Shavasana to relax the body after each round by gently pushing the abdomen out with deep inhalation thereby relaxing the abdominal muscles.
- Naukasana or Boat Pose can also be performed in prone position by lying on the stomach.
- While practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose in prone position, the arms should be resting on the floor over the head and chin is resting on the floor.
- The head, arms, torso and legs are raised from the floor in such a way that the whole body is resting on the abdomen.
- You can stay in this pose for a few breaths or for as long as you feel comfortable in.
- Lie down in prone position after every round.
Breathing Pattern to Be Followed While Practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose
- Breathe in before raising your body.
- Retain the breath while raising the body.
- Maintain the breath in the final Naukasana or Boat Pose position.
- Retain the breath while lowering the body.
- Exhale deeply after coming in original position.
Benefits of Practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose
- Naukasana or Boat Pose is very useful for relieving nervous tension and bring a sense of deep relaxation.
- It helps in eliminating the stubborn belly fat.
- While holding the pose, Naukasana or Boat Pose stimulates the digestive organs including kidneys and intestines. This stimulation helps in improving digestion, alleviating increased acidity and relieving constipation with regular practice.
- Naukasana or Boat Pose also promotes blood circulation to the stomach which also helps in controlling digestive problems.
- Naukasana or Boat Pose helps in strengthening the muscles of back, abdomen, thighs, calves, arms and neck.
- Regular practice of Naukasana or Boat Pose helps in improving the balance and posture of your body.
- Regular practice of Naukasana improves concentration.
- Practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose regularly secretes pancreatic juices which relates the function of pancreas and thus helping in treatment of Diabetes.
- Practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose regularly helps in keeping the endocrine system in proper condition and make it work properly.
- Naukasana removes toxins from the body and makes one more active and energetic.
- Naukasana improves lung function.
Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Naukasana
- Avoid practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose if you have Diarrhea or have had any very recent episodes of Diarrhea. The excessive stimulation of the intestines while holding the pose if you Diarrhea can increase the stomach disturbance.
- People with low blood pressure should not practice Naukasana or Boat Pose.
- People suffering from ulcers and severe arthritis should also not practice Naukasana.
- Pregnant females and females on their periods should avoid practicing Naukasana or Boat Pose.
- Asthmatic people should not practice Naukasana.
- People with chronic spinal disorders should not practice Naukasana.
- People with severe headache and migraine should also not practice Naukasana or Boat Pose.
Tips While Practicing Naukasana
- It can be a little difficult for the beginners to practice Naukasana or Boat Pose initially since it gives a lot of abdominal stretch. But with gradual effort and perseverance it become easy to practice naukasana.If you practice Naukasana for a long period of time and still feel difficulty while doing it, ask a yoga expert and do it under guidance.
- Naukasana or Boat Pose is also a part of Padma Sadhna Sequence. In this sequence Naukasana is done after Dhanurasana.