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Asana of the Week with Kellie Dearman – Navasana

Navasana (Boat Pose)

I teach boat pose as a way of building core strength to my students of all levels. I particularly love poses that you can use for beginners and that can easily be adapted for more advanced practitioners. For beginners this pose helps to build awareness of the abdominal, back and hip flexor muscles. I start from a regular bent-leg seated position with hands holding onto the backs of thighs. To begin, raise bent legs while maintaining hold on thighs. Move your weight backwards over the sacrum and until you find the spot to balance upon with lower legs parallel to the floor. Begin to explore the muscles and strength required to hold in this position. Release the hold on one leg, and then the other if possible, and position the arms in a line parallel to the floor. Keep the abdominal floor firm and gently broaden through the heart and chest, relaxing the shoulders and neck tension.  Maintain a firm and strong spine but let the head rest gently in alignment with the rest of the spine. Use breath to release any tension building in the shoulders. Breathe deeply throughout the hold. With practice lengthen the amount of time.
When sufficient strength has developed, begin to practice this pose with legs extended in a straight line, about a 45-degree angle with the floor. Match that angle with the torso. For more challenge, extend the arms up overhead, in line with the spine.

Benefits

Builds strength in the abdominal, hip flexors and spine
Stimulates internal organs, particularly kidneys and intestines
Improves digestion
Calming, stress relieving
 

Contraindications

Any issues with digestive track or lungs that are aggravated by squeezing of internal organs
Neck injuries or headaches if exascerbated
Low blood pressure
If tailbone is bruised or sensitive, a variation of this pose can be explore while resting on forearms, but watch for added pressure in back of neck.

Bio

Kellie Dearman teaches Gentle Hatha Yoga in a style adaptable to all ages and abilities. She runs Aware Yoga studio from her home in Stirling, Ontario and also
teaches many classes of Yoga for Older Adults for the City of Belleville

Aware Yoga on Facebook


Date Added: August 14, 2013 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga



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