When our core and back are strengthened, we’re balanced and strong. When our hamstrings are flexible, we bend deeper. These benefits and more are what the yoga postures full-boat and half-boat will give you.
- Karen Britton
Full and Half Boat Poses
When our digestion improves we feel light, clear and healthy. When our core and back are strengthened, we’re balanced and strong. When our hamstrings are flexible, we bend deeper. These benefits and more are what the yoga postures Full Boat *(Paripurna Navasana) and Half Boat *(Ardha Navasana) will give you. Finding stability in these postures can help calm and align your body, mind, and emotions. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga – it makes you flexible.
Benefits of the Full Boat Pose:
Tones abdominal muscles, improves digestion and balance. Gives relief to bloating sensations in the abdomen. Reduces fat around the waistline. Strengthens spine and hip flexors. Stimulates kidneys, thyroid, prostate glands, and intestines. Stretches hamstrings. Aids in stress relief and improves confidence.
**Once you become strong in the core and back with Full Boat pose, then it’s appropriate to move onto the Half Boat.
Benefits of the Half Boat Pose:
The core and back muscles are strengthened deeper and toned. Strengthens liver, gall bladder, and spleen. Tones the waistline, strengthens the spine and hip flexors. Aids in stress relief and improves confidence.
** It’s very important to note when doing both Full Boat and Half Boat, balance is maintained only on the buttocks and no part of the spine should be allowed to touch the floor. Otherwise, you can modify the pose by placing your hands on the floor, with arms straight and press down into hands and/or lift only one foot and keep knee bent. Or both feet can lift off the floor with your knees bent. Keep your toes pointed. As your core strengthens, keep your ankles aligned with your knees.
**Full Boat – keep your legs at an angle of 60-65 degrees from the floor. The feet in Full Boat pose are higher than the head.
**Half Boat – keep your legs at an angle of about 30-35 degrees from the floor. The crown of the head should be in line with the toes pointed.
Breath in Full Boat – normal yogic breath (Ujjai- in and out the nose) Do not hold your breath. Work on holding for thirty seconds and gradually build to one minute.
Breath in Half Boat – normal yogic breath (Ujjai) Do not hold your breath. However, in half boat, its a quick inhale, exhale and if possible hold out the exhalation for about 3 – 6 counts.
*Sanskirt Language Translation:
Full Boat Posture – Paripurna Navasana – Paripurna means entire or complete – Nava means a ship, boat or vessel – Asana means posture.
Half Boat Posture – Ardha Navasana – Ardha means half – Nava means a ship, boat or vessel – Asana means posture.
Watch the video to learn how to practice the boat postures:
About the Author
Karen Britton is a certified Yoga Instructor and a regular contributor to Fit to Print. She teaches Yoga classes and programs at Fitness Incentive.