Some of the many benefits of this relatively challenging pose include:
- Improves balance
- Strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, hip flexors, thighs and lower back
- Stretches the hamstrings
- Develops stamina and focus
It is also considered by many to relieve stress and improve the digestion.
One modification of the boat pose is the half boat pose, where the knees are bent and the shins are parallel to the ground. This can be easier to hold, but it requires more engagement in the upper abdominal muscles. Boat pose can also be modified with different arm positions by keeping the hands on the ground or by using a strap around the legs or feet for extra support.
It is recommended that this posture be held for a few breaths to start with, and then work up to holding it for one minute as the body becomes stronger in the pose.