With this Pose, You Nourish Your Abdominal Muscles for a Flat Tummy
The Ardha Navasana, or the “Half Boat” pose, is meant for those who find it difficult to do the full Boat Pose. In doing this pose you do not lift yourself up as much as you do in the full boat pose and you also support your head with your palms while lifting it. The half boat pose tones the abdominal muscles and all the abdominal organs like the pancreas, gall bladder, spleen and liver. As compared to the Full Boat Pose, this pose is easy to learn.
How to Do the Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose)
Start by lying down on a carpet. Your feet should be held together. Place your arms by your side. Inhale and exhale normally and relax. Be comfortable and prepare for the next step.
After a long exhalation, stiffen the muscles of your abdomen and those of your legs. Place your arms behind your head after folding them at your elbows. Now bring both palms near each other and interlock the fingers of both palms into each other. Support your head with both your palms. Now stiffen the muscles of your arms and push your head up using your palms to support this upward movement.
When you try to lift your head also lift both your legs at the same time and keep both your feet together. The action of keeping your feet together and supporting your head with your palms gives that added strength to pull both your head and legs up with less strain on the neck.
If you find it uncomfortable to rise any further, then stay put at this pose with your back still be on the mat. But if you feel you can comfortably raise yourself further using your hips as the pivot, then you may do so. Now your back, along with your legs, is held aloft with only your hips on the floor. Remain steady some time at this posture before you exiting.
How to Exit the Half Boat Pose
Ease the muscles of your legs and place both your feet on the carpet. You are still holding your head up cradled in your palms. Only after your feet rest on the carpet should you lower your head while continuing to support it with your palms.
Never make the mistake of placing your head on the mat before you lower your legs. If you do this, there will be sudden pressure at your neck while lowering it and you could even end up spraining it.
Who Should Avoid Doing the Ardha Navasana
If you suffer from ailments like spondylitis, sciatica, slipped disc or any other neck, back or hip related ailments, then you should avoid doing the Ardha Navasana.
Buefore you start doing the Ardha Navasana, do consult your doctor and yoga therapist
Benefits of the Ardha Navasana
During the Ardha Navasana your abdominal muscles are under pressure. So you gradually nourish these muscles as a first step for heavier exercises that can eventually give you a flat washboard tummy and also six pack abs.
This posture benefits your Liver, Pancreas, Gall Bladder and Spleen as the abdominal section is under pressure. All your abdominal organs function better.
To derive comprehensive benefits from the different yoga exercises, do this exercise along with other yoga exercises like the Ardha Chandrasana to resist ailments like osteoporosis and slipped disc,the Mandukasana to resist diabetes, and the Halasana to exercise your entire body with a single posture.
Eat Healthy Nutritious Food to go with Yoga
Please also do remember to eat healthy and nutritious food that is high in fiber, is non-greasy and low in calories. This will supplement your yoga exercises and help you to get the best out of Yoga.