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All Aboard for a Firmer Core

ALL SECTIONS

ALL SECTIONS

— April 2, 2017

All Aboard for a Firmer Core

  • Beach season isn't that far away and your abs aren't going to tone themselves.
pocket

Pose: Boat
(Navasana)

Why You Should Do It: Beach season isn’t that far away and your abs aren’t going to tone themselves. There’s a lot more to floating your Boat, however; other benefits include:

  •  Strengthening the hip flexors and the muscles
    around your spine.
  • Stretching the hamstrings.
  •  Helping to ease stress.
  •  Improving digestion and balance.
  • Stimulating the kidneys along with the
    prostate and thyroid glands.

How to Do It: Sit with your knees bent and feet flat, hands positioned a little behind the hips with fingers pointing toward the feet. Then:

  • Engage your core and lean back until you balance on your sitting bones. Keep the back flat and lengthened; arching or roundness will put pressure on your lower back.
  •  Exhale and lift your feet as you lift the upper part of your body with an open chest.
  • Depending on where you are in your practice, you have three options:
  •  Keep your lower legs parallel to the floor (knees bent); extend your arms and gently hold onto your knees.
  • Maintain the bent knees while reaching your hands toward your feet; keep the hands energized.
  • Straighten your legs to roughly eye level so that your body assumes a V shape. (You can use a strap if needed.)

Note: Remember to breathe. And while you may have to keep your hands on the floor the first few times you go into Boat, you won’t get the pose’s full value without making your arms work, too.

Variations: If you really want to blast your core, pump your knees in and out with the legs bent.

Be Careful If: You have lower back or neck problems, or have either low blood pressure or diarrhea; you should also avoid this pose if you’re pregnant.

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