Naukasan Naukasan(Boat Pose) : Benefits, Method, Precautions, Modifications

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Naukasan
(Boat pose)
After a tiring working day, it is very important to distress yourself for a good sleep and the best way is to practice yoga. Yoga not only releases tension but also enhances the overall health of an individual. Now the question that arises is what kind of yoga should we practice? There are numerous no of exercises and yoga poses that can be practiced. The best out of all is Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is one of the oldest forms of yoga. Hatha yoga texts talked about asana during the 17th century.
To release stress from your body you can practice naukasan. Naukasan is a Sanskrit word. Nauka means boat,asan means pose.
Hence, naukasan is called a boat pose. The was derived from the posture it makes. Its posture looks like a boat and is hence called a boat pose. The boat pose will release the tension from our body and strengthen our core. It is believed that naukasan is good for strengthening the core and improving the posture. The boat pose utilizes the muscles in one stationary pose. It strengthens the muscles and improves flexibility. This pose involves your core, legs, thighs, spine, hands, and buttock. the pose cures overall physical disorders as it includes all the parts of your body. Naukasan is for strengthening the lungs, liver, pancreas. The strengthening of the pancreas thus helps an individual to balance diabetes.
Benefits:
Naukasana strengthens the abdomen, back, chest, pelvis, legs, arms, hips, neck, and shoulders. The posture reduces bulges around the abdomen, hips, and waist. It develops physical and mental strength, coordination, and focus.

Technique:
Step 1: lie on the back with your arms and legs straighten.
Step 2: Take a deep breath in and then exhale and lift your upper body, hands, and legs in the air.
Step 3: Keep your eyes, fingers, and toes in one line.
Step 4: Feel the tension in your naval and the abdominal muscles stretching.
Step 5: Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds. Do not force your breathing as this may cause injury.
Step 6: Relax and get back to the initial position. You should not force yourself to stay in the position if you feel it is too difficult. Also, you must not continue this practice if you feel pain or strain in your body.
Precautions: Props: Modification:  
You can also practice the following poses as a modified version of this pose:
 
  1. LITTLE BOAT POSE
Little Boat Pose stretches and releases your spine, lower back, and hips. This pose is often used as a Warm-up pose.
While performing Little Boat Pose, it is important to keep your arms and shoulders relaxed as your rest your hands on top of your knees. Do not use your arms to bring your knees toward your chest. Instead, release your hips so that your knees drop toward your chest naturally.
As you hold the pose, feel your body relaxing down to the floor with each exhalation. Visualizing yourself as a little boat bobbing on the waves of your breath may help you relax even further into the pose.
You can modify Little Boat Pose to release and stretch your hips independently. You can perform Little Boat Pose holding only one leg, while the other leg remains bent or stretched away from you. Do not stretch one leg away from you if you have lower back problems.
Avoid Little Boat Pose if you have recently had a hernia or a knee injury.
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. 2. Draw your knees toward your chest.
  3. Release your lower back toward the floor.
  4. Rest your hands on top of your knees. Your arms and shoulders should be relaxed.
  5. Exhale as you relax your head, neck, and spine toward the floor.
  6. Soften and release your hips to allow your knees to drop further toward your chest.
  7. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
MODIFICATION 1
You can perform Little Boat Pose holding one leg at a time. This allows you to stretch your hips independently. MODIFICATION 2
You can perform Little Boat Pose holding one leg and stretching the other leg away from you. This allows you to feel a deeper stretch in your hips and lower back. Can I add movement to Little Boat Pose?
To add movement to Little Boat Pose, perform the pose as described in the steps below and then rock your body from side to side. The rocking motion massages the back muscles on either side of your spine. This variation is particularly useful when you are using Little Boat Pose as a counterpose after performing a backbend.
  1. LITTLE BOAT TWIST
Little Boat Twist is beneficial for increasing the flexibility of your back and releasing tension in your lower and mid-spine. This pose also helps to open your shoulders and chest. When you twist your body in Little Boat Twist, you stimulate your abdominal organs to help aid digestion. Although this pose is a useful warm-up pose, you may also want to use the pose to cool down at the end of a yoga practice.
While performing Little Boat Twist, make sure you keep your upper back and both shoulders in contact with the floor. You should also breathe evenly, visualizing your body softening deeper into the twist with each exhalation.
If you find the twist in Little Boat Twist too intense, you can perform the pose with your feet on the floor instead of drawing your knees into your chest. Avoid performing Little Boat Twist if you have abdominal problems or if your neck feels strained in the pose.
  1. Begin in Little Boat Pose.
  2. Extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height, with your palms facing down.
  3. Exhale as you lower your knees to the right toward the floor. Keep your knees together.
  1. Turn your head to the left and look over your left shoulder, keeping your neck relaxed.
  2. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then inhale as you return to Little Boat Pose.
  3. Repeat steps 2 to 5 for your other side.
MODIFICATION
You can modify Little Boat Twist if you feel discomfort in your neck or shoulders. How Can I Intensify The Pose?
You can intensify the pose to provide a deeper stretch for your spine, lower back, and hips. Perform the pose as described below, except after you lower your knees toward the floor, straighten your legs. Your upper body and legs should form a 90-degree angle. Make sure you keep your legs together and straight but do not lock your knees.
  1. SEATED BOAT POSE
Seated Boat Pose strengthens your abdominals, lower back, and hips while stretching the back of your legs. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can help protect your lower back and spine. This pose is also beneficial for improving your balance.
In Seated Boat Pose, your legs should be together or only slightly apart. Try to keep your back flat and your spine straight as you straighten your legs. Do not round your lower back or cave in your chest to keep your legs straight. You should also focus on keeping your shoulders back and down. To ensure you are in the correct position, visualize your body forming a V shape.
Use caution performing Seated Boat Pose if you have injured your abdominals, hips, or tailbone. Since this is a stimulating pose, you may want to avoid the pose if you have a heart condition or insomnia
  1. Begin in Staff Pose.
  2. Place your hands on the floor slightly behind your hips, fingers pointing toward your feet.
  3. Lift your chest toward the ceiling as you lean back slightly. Make sure your back remains flat.
  4. Bend your knees and place your feet together, flat on the floor. Your thighs should be at a 45-degree angle with the floor.
  5. Lift your feet one or two inches off the floor, keeping your feet together or slightly apart.
  6. Balance on your tailbone and hips.
  7. Inhale and slowly straighten your legs until the tips of your toes are slightly above your eye level.
  8. Bring your arms forward at shoulder height, parallel to the floor with your palms facing in.
  9. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears.
  1. Tip your chin slightly toward your chest to lengthen the back of your neck.
  2. Hold the pose for 10 seconds to 1 minute and then exhale as you lower your legs to the floor. Then return to Staff Pose.
Can I use a strap to help straighten my legs in Seated Boat Pose?
Yes. With your knees bent, loop a strap around the soles of your feet and grip an end of the strap in each hand. Inhale and lean your torso back and then straighten your legs as you push your feet against the strap. Keep the strap taut, but do not pull on the strap.
 

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