Boat Pose

Definition - What does Boat Pose mean?

Boat pose is a core strengthening yoga posture. In this posture, the body and legs are held straight and the torso forms a "V" shape with the legs. The whole weight of the body is balanced on the buttocks with the feet lifted.

This is an important posture in yoga for building strength, particularly in the abdominal muscles, and for improving balance. It can be a challenging posture for beginners because of the strength and hamstring flexibility required. A gentler variation can be down with the knees bent.

Boat pose may also be referred to by its Sanskrit name, navasana.

Yogapedia explains Boat Pose

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.

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter