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Thinking about reducing belly fat or working hard for abs? Yoga can help you!
Yoga consists of many Yoga Asanas that can reduce belly fat. One of these asanas is Navasana or Boat Pose, which can amazingly reduce your belly fat and tone your core muscles.
Boat Pose: Navasana
Boat Pose is an excellent core strengthening posture, that tones the muscles of the abdomen and back. It is a simple balancing forward-bend. Here you have to balance your whole body weight on your tailbone and sitting bones.
This pose is quite challenging, but it also comes with a lot of benefits to the body. It puts the muscles of the core, hips thighs and back into work, making them more flexible and robust.
As its name suggests, the body posture in Navasana resembles a boat (Nava), that’s why we call it Boat Pose or Navasana. We form a ‘V’ like structure with our body while performing this asana.
How to Do Boat Pose
Navasana might look simple in visuals, but is it not as simple as it seems. It requires high core strength and a great focus to balance the body. Here are the steps to perform this asana
Steps to Perform Boat Pose
Preparing the Asana
1. Sit on the floor and straighten the feet flat on the floor, keeping your spine straight.
2. Now, fold your legs and place feet flat on the floor, knees pointing upwards.
Note- You have to bring your legs together, feet, and knees of both legs touching each other.
Getting Into the Asana
3. Now, draws your shoulder back and slightly tilt your torso back. Then, with an exhalation, lift the feet off the floor, balancing the body-weight between the tailbone and sitting bones. Keep the shins parallel to the floor, and the chest should be lifted.
This is the Half Boat Pose
Note- You can take the support of the hands, by grabbing the thighs, to maintain the balance.
4. Now, slowly straighten your legs, making an angle between 20-degree to 45-degree with the floor. Stretch the feet and toes should be pointing forwards. Make sure your spine remains straight, and the legs don’t spread apart.
5. Simultaneously, raise your arms straight at shoulder level, parallel to the floor. The palm will be facing towards thighs and finger-pointing forwards.
Here your body will look like the letter ‘V.’
Note- You can also bring your arms parallel to the raised legs, fingers pointing the toes, and both palms facing each other.
6. Now, start taking normal breaths and hold this position upto 5-8 breaths (around 20-60 seconds).
Releasing the Pose
7. When you are done, gently bring your legs down. You can take the support of your arms if you need it.
8. Now, come to a seating position and relax the body.
In the beginning, you might feel it hard to perform Boat Pose, so, you can use the following modifications to perform this asana.
Take the Support of Your Hands. You can use your hands for support while performing this asana. Just grab the lower thighs with your hands lightly. This will help you to maintain balance and proper body posture.
Then, after some practice, try it without grabbing the thighs.
Use the props. You can take the help of a yoga strap to perform Navasana in the beginning. Simply loop it around your soles, and hold it with hands, keeping the spine, arms, and legs straight.
Hold Less. In the beginning, it is okay if you can’t hold the pose for long. Just keep the pose for 1-3 breaths (around 5-15 seconds). Then, after some practice, increase it gradually.
Take Help of A Partner. In the beginning, partnering with someone or taking the help of someone can assist you a lot in this asana. So, in the beginning, you can ask your friend or yoga teacher for help.
Precautions and Contraindications
While practicing Navasana, you need to keep the following things in mind.
- As mentioned above, do not round your back. Bending your back will eliminate all the focus from your back, so keep the back straighten.
- Perform this asana slowly and gently. Do not perform it in a hurry. As this asana tighten your abdomen muscles, so, if it is performed incorrectly, it can cause pain in core muscles.
- If you have a deep or recent injury on your lower back, hips, thighs, or abdomen, do not perform this asana. As Boat Pose mainly focuses on these muscles, performing it in an injury will show adverse effects.
- People suffering from high or low blood pressure, headache, or migraine should not perform this asana.
- As Boat Pose puts pressure on the lower abdomen and lower back, performing it during the menstrual cycle can be harmful. Therefore, one should avoid it during her menstrual periods.
Science Behind Boat Pose
Navasana strengthens the core, hips, thighs, and back muscles. Let’s see how does Boat Pose works or the science behind it.
Starting from the beginning of the Navasana’s practice, firstly, and most importantly, this asana puts a lot of strain in the core muscles. Simultaneously, the pressure is felt on the lower back and middle back also. This pressure tones the muscles of these areas.
Then, this asana firms the muscles of the thighs and tone them. Moreover, our hip holds and balances all the weight and gets a good massage and toning.
Benefits of Boat Pose
- Boat pose puts the muscles of the core into work and increases their strength and flexibility. It makes the core muscles strong. In other words, it helps to build the abs and give excellent shape to the core.
- This asana tones the muscles and organs of the abdominal region. It massages the internal organs such as the liver, kidney, and digestive system. Thus, it helps in better digestion and increases the metabolism of the body.
- The exercise of the core and back muscles, in Navaasana, removes the extra fat stored in these regions. Also, it helps to reduce excess weight due to fat.
- When we perform this asana, we put the right amount of pressure on the muscles of the back, especially on the lower back. This pressure acts like an exercise to these muscles and strengthens them. Thus, the Boat Pose keeps the back healthy, makes it flexible, and prevents back problems.
- Navasana mainly tones and massages the muscles of hips, thighs, core, and back. This massage increases the relaxation and reduces the tension and stress stored at theses part.
Also, all the weight of the body comes to the hips, and hips balance it. So, this weight strengthens the hips, making them flexible and relaxed.
- The physical activity we do in this asana improves the blood flow throughout the body. This keeps us healthy mentally, as well as physically. Also, it helps to decrease insomnia, fatigue, and depression; thus, it helps you to achieve a good mood.