Definition - What does Navasana mean?

Navasana is a seated yoga asana that requires core strength to hold the body in a "V" shape. As well as a range of physical benefits, it is believed to build concentration, stamina and balance.

Its name comes from the Sanskrit, nava, which means "boat," and asana, which means "posture" or "seat.” It is so called because the shape of the body balancing on the buttocks is thought to resemble a boat floating on the water.

Navasana may also be known simply as boat pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Navasana

There are a range of variations of the classic navasana, including:

  • Ardha navasana - Half boat pose with the knees bent
  • Paripurna navasana - Full boat pose with the arms extended parallel to the ground
  • Eka pada navasana - One-legged boat pose with one leg bent and one leg extended out straight from the body

Traditionally, navasana is thought to stimulate the internal organs of the body. The full posture works the kidneys, thyroid gland, prostate gland and intestines. Due to the focus on the abdominal area in this posture, it is also believed to stimulate and balance the manipura chakra, which is the energetic center for self-esteem and personal power in yoga.

Navasana forms part of the primary series of Ashtanga yoga and is popular in a range of styles of yoga because of its physical and mental benefits.

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