In Sanskrit, “paripurna” means entire, full, or complete, “nava” means boat, and “asana” means pose; hence, the English name: Full Boat Pose. Despite the effort and many actions involved, finding stability in this posture can help calm and align your body, mind, and emotions.
To practice Full Boat Pose with a licensed yoga practitioner, check out our yoga class schedules by location (Syracuse, Rochester, Albany).
Getting Into Full Boat Pose:
Sit on the floor with knees bent, feet flat, and legs together. Slide your hands a little behind your hips, fingers pointing toward your feet and elbows bent away from you. Lean back slightly and lift your heels an inch or two off the floor. Make sure your back does not round, but stays straight throughout this pose.
Draw your shoulder blades together momentarily to lift and open your chest. Slowly begin to straighten your legs through the heels. Ideally, when your legs are fully straightened, your thighs should be angled about 45 degrees to the floor and the tips of your toes should be slightly above the level of your eyes. If you are unable to straighten your legs while raising them, try keeping your knees bent (shins parallel to the floor).
Now, stretch your arms forward alongside your legs, palms facing down. Spread your shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through your fingers (while maintaining a straight back and long torso). Your arms should be parallel to each other as well as to the floor. If you are unable to raise your arms while in Paripurna Navasana, either grip the back of your thighs or keep your hands behind your hips where they were.
Open your chest and relax your shoulders down your back. Put as much effort into lifting your chest as you are in lifting your legs. Breathe steadily and hold for 2-6 breaths. Gradually increase your endurance until you can hold the posture for a full minute. To release: bring the legs in as you exhale and sit upright as you inhale.
Benefits of Full Boat Pose:
- Tones and strengthens your abdominal muscles
- Improves balance and digestion
- Stretches your hamstrings
- Strengthens your spine and hip flexors
- Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and prostate glands, and intestines
- Aids in stress relief
- Improves confidence