Boat Pose (Navasana)

Posted: May 02, 2018

Boat Pose Navasana (Navasana​) — is a part of the Padma Sadhana sequence and is well-known for increasing core strength and toning the abdominals. It gets its name from the Sanskrit words, Nauka, meaning boat, and asana, meaning posture. Boat Pose is also sometimes referred to as Navasana (Nava is another Sanskrit word for boat).

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Lie on your back with your legs and feet together and arms by your sides, palms facing upward.

*You can also start this posture in a seated position with the legs outstretched*

2. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, lift your chest, legs, and arms off of the ground, stretching your arms toward your feet, parallel to the floor. See if you can position your thighs at a 45 degree angle to the floor, sitting in a V-shape.  

Quick Tip: Keep your knees bent to begin with. You can slowly work your way to straight legs.

3. Contract your abdominal muscles and find a balancing point around the base of your spine and sit bones. Keep breathing deeply and easily while maintaining the pose.

4. Hold this posture for 10-20 seconds. As you practice, you can gradually increase the time to 1 minute.

5. On an exhale, release your arms, legs, and head back down to the floor. You can relax here or hug your knees to your chest for a few breaths.


  • Strengthens and tones the back, abdominals, arms, and hip flexors
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves stress
  • Alleviates symptoms of Hernia


  • Do not practice this yoga pose if you have low blood pressure, asthma, severe headache, migraine, or if you have suffered from chronic diseases or spinal disorders in the recent past.
  • Pregnant women and women who are on the first two days of their menstrual cycle should avoid practicing boat pose.

Modifications and Variations

  • To modify: Feel free to keep the knees bent. You can also hold onto the back of your knees if needed for extra support and balance.
  • For an added challenge: Try doing ‘boat crunches.’ On an exhale, lower your legs and arms so they are  hovering above the ground and then come back up into Boat Pose on the inhale. This is one repetition. Complete 5-10 repetitions and then rest flat on the ground or hug your knees into your chest.

Preparatory Poses and Follow up Poses

Browse our entire yoga poses library and learn more about each yoga pose in detail.

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at to find a  Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

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