Navasana is part of the primary series
of Ashtanga yoga and is foundational in other schools of yoga because
of its physical and mental benefits. In addition to building core
strength, the eka pada variation is believed to improve focus and
the asana is thought to activate the manipura
(solar plexus) chakra because of its focus on the body's core. By
opening the manipura
chakra through practice of eka pada navasana, the yogi gains
self-esteem and a sense of power and energy. A healthy manipura
chakra helps the yogi to be self-motivated and decisive.
Other variations of navasana include:
- Ardha navasana, or half
boat pose, in which both legs lift off the ground with the knees
- Eka pada salamba navasana,
or supported one leg boat pose, in which one leg bends with the
toes touching the ground and one leg extends, while the hands grab
the back of the thighs for support.
In all variations, the drishti is on
the toes of the lifted leg(s). The asanas are held for two to six
breaths. In the one-legged variations, the asana is repeated for the opposite leg.