Rocking Boat Pose

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Rocking Boat Pose Mean?

Rocking boat pose is an intermediate core-strengthening posture that is a variation of boat pose involving a rocking movement in rhythm with the breath.

There are several variations of rocking boat. The body balances on the sit bones with the torso and straight legs lifted to form a “V” shape. In the simplest of the rocking versions, the torso and legs drop several inches on an inhale, forming a wider “V,” and raise again on an exhale. In another variation, the yogi grabs the toes or ankles and rocks the entire body back onto the shoulder blades on an exhale and then up onto the sit bones on an inhale.

The simple version of rocking boat pose is also known as a V-up or jackknife situp.


Yogapedia Explains Rocking Boat Pose

In addition to building core strength, rocking boat offers the following benefits:

  • Improves balance
  • Strengthens the hip flexors, thighs and lower back
  • Stretches the hamstrings
  • Develops stamina and focus
  • Relieves stress

The rocking motion is also believed to massage the internal organs, thereby improving digestion.

Rocking boat pose can be a challenging posture for beginners because of the strength and hamstring flexibility required. In a gentler variation for beginners or yogis with limited flexibility, the knees can be bent so the shins are parallel to the ground and the hands can hold on to the backs of the thighs.

The full posture can be practiced with several arm positions. Typically, the arms extend straight and parallel to the ground, but the hands can be placed in prayer position in front of the heart center or extended toward the sky.

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