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Naukasana – The Boat Pose of Yoga


This Asana Makes Your Back Supple and Stimulates Insulin Secretion

Naukasana means the “Boat Pose” of yoga. This is one of the easier asanas of the many yoga exercises as it only involves balancing and stretching your body.

Among other benefits, this exercise will help diabetics to regulate blood sugar and also to reduce the chances of your suffering from back and hip related ailments.

How to do this Exercise

The Boat Pose of Yoga

To do this asana you need to lie facing downwards on a carpet. Lie still for some time in this position till you feel comfortable. Keep breathing normally. Now you are ready to move to the next position.

Place your arms in such a way that your thumbs touch each other. Similarly also place your feet together with your big toes touching each other. Your knees and ankles should also be placed together. The reason for doing all this is to give your limbs the added energy for the next move.

Now inhale deeply and stiffen the muscles of your feet, arms and back and lift both your arms and legs simultaneously. Keep moving them upwards using the momentum, but do not make any jerky movement by putting the upward pressure selectively or alternately only one pair of limbs. This could cause a sprain in the back or hip and can also cause your body to swing. You may even lose balance and your limbs may fall back to the floor.

The point is to lift your limbs firmly and steadily so that both pairs of your limbs are at the same height and you can hold them steady for some time after lifting them.

Initially you may not be able to lift them more than a few inches. The ideal angle is 45 degrees, but to attain this height, steady practice over a number of days is called for.

After you have lifted both pairs of limbs to a height you are comfortable with, hold them steady for some time again as long as you are comfortable. Do not overdo this as it could cause pain and even muscle cramps in your abdomen, as your abdominal muscles are under pressure with your hip acting as the pivot to support your limbs.

After holding up your limbs for a duration you are comfortable with, you can start simultaneously lowering your limbs to gradually touch the floor. Exhale while moving your limbs downwards.

Consult Your Doctor and Yoga Therapist

Repeat this cycle as many times you are comfortable doing so. But before you start doing this exercise do consult your doctor and do this exercise only under the guidance of a qualified yoga therapist. Those who have any back or hip related ailments should not do this exercise. You need to start doing this exercise before these ailments afflict you, so that you can make your body supple and strong to resist them.

Benefits of Naukasana

The benefits of this exercise are mainly two fold. It increases your body’s ability to resist back and hip related ailments. In addition as your abdomen is stretched and your pancreas and liver are under pressure, they can secrete more efficiently. As the pancreas secretes more insulin, you have better digestion and reduction of blood sugar. So this exercise is also beneficial to diabetics. You may do this exercise along with the Reverse Naukasana to get the added benefit of reducing abdominal fat.