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Yoga for Beginners: Navasana (Boat Pose) - Free Online Yoga Video
Navasana (Boat Pose) is a great core strengthening Yoga Pose that utilizes the abdominal muscles as well as the muscles of the back. In this free online yoga video tutorial, Jasmine Punzalan adds a twist that deepens the work being done by the abdominal muscles to make this pose a go-to core strengthener for your daily practice.
Defining the Term “Core Strength”
The term “core” is an often over-used and under-explained term that refers to the complex web of muscles that make up the torso. It’s easy for the idea of the core to be interpreted as just your abdominal muscles - but that is not the case. Both your abdominal muscles and back muscles are included in what makes up your core, and both front and back are made of layers of muscles that ultimately overlap and support one another in their functioning. Some of the deeper muscles include: transverse abdominals, multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and many other deeper muscles. In order to train your core you want to make sure you move and strengthen the torso in all 3-dimensions and to pay attention to your back body as much as your front body.
Setting Up for Navasana (Boat Pose)
Sit with a block between your thighs (in the narrowest position)
Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground in front of you.
Place your hands on the floor behind you and rock back so that you’re sitting just behind your sitting bones.
Take your hands to the backs of your knees, and use your arms to pull your chest forward through the gates of your arms.
Lift your chest up and forward, and then lift your legs off the ground. Maintain the length in your spine, and release your hands and bring your arms parallel to the floor.
Take one more breath and then release your legs back to the floor.
Adding a Twist to Navasana
Come back into boat pose just as you did before.
Bring the palms together in front of your heart.
Inhale to lift your chest even more, then exhale and bring your hands to the outside of your right knee. Inhale in this position, then exhale and come back to center.
Repeat the breath and twisting sequence to the left, and repeat several times in both directions.
Further Resources for Understanding Core Strength
For a more in-depth understanding of core strength check out this great interview with master Yoga Teacher (and licensed Physical Therapist) Julie Gudmestad
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