Skip to main content

Boat Pose, Navasana: Yoga Pose for Strength & Abdominal Toning  – Hatha yoga classes in Milton Keynes

Navasana – Boat pose is one of the best for strengthening and toning the abdominal organs. It also works the muscles of the lower back. It is very challenging at first, but consistent practice will give benefits sooner rather than later.

Stage 1. Sit in seated staff posture with the hands beside the hips on the floor. On an exhalation, lean the body back slightly as you bend the knees and lift the legs off the floor. Hold behind your thighs with your hands. Draw in the lower back so it is more of a concave shape. Lift the heart centre. Stretch the arms forward so the palms are facing each other. Pull the shoulders back and lift the chest forward (towards the knees), opening the heart as you extend through the fingers. Breathe here for five to eight breaths. Then rest and repeat or progress to stage 2.

Stage 2. To practice the full boat pose from a knees-bent position, slowly straighten the legs upward until they are fully extended. Have the feet higher than the head. With the abdominals muscles working strongly, focus on keeping the legs extended and the upper body lifting so the back doesn’t round out. If you are very strong, interlace the fingers behind the head, keeping elbows wide, taking care not to sag in the lower back or collapse the chest towards the belly. After five to eight breaths, release on and exhalation.

For a very strong position – Interlace the fingers behind the head keeping elbows wide


Boat pose, Navasana is a challenging seated balancing posture that helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles, hips, thighs and spine. It improves digestion and aids detoxification the body. Practicing navasana will help you to develop focus and concentration.


Gaze: toes.

  • At the first stage, rest the toes lightly on the floor.
  • Keep the knees bent slightly.
  • Hold for a short time.
  • For easier variation, keep your knees bent and hold onto the back of your knees.

Effect: strengthening and Toning.

Look out for my next Tip!