Naukasana comes from the two Sanskrit words ‘nauka’ which means ‘boat’ and ‘asana’ meaning ‘posture’ or ‘seat’. It is a posture in which our body takes the shape of a boat.
This is one of the few Asanas which can be performed by lying down on your back (Supine Position) as well as on your stomach (Prone). Naukasana stretches the abdominal muscles and also tones the internal organs like Kidney, Liver and Pancreas.
This asana helps strengthen the abdomen core as well as the back muscles.Try and focus on straightening the position of your back rather than attempting to keep your legs higher.
Initially, you can practice Sulabh Naukasana .. means you raise only one hand up and lift the opposite leg up. This is easier to practice initially.
Steps –getting into the Asana (Sulabh Naukasana)
First lie down flat on your yoga mat (Supine Position) with your feet together and your arms on the sides.
Keep your arms straight and your fingers outstretched towards your toes.
Start Inhaling as you lift your chest and one foot off the ground, stretching your one arm towards your feet. Feel the tension in your stomach area as the abdominal muscles contract. The action of lifting the leg, chest and arm happens all together.
Let the weight of your body rest entirely on the buttocks. Make sure your eyes, finger and toes are all in one line. Hold your breath and remain in this position for a few seconds.
Initially you can practice just lifting your chest up to 30 degree so that you can see your toes.
Now exhale slowly as you bring the body down to the starting position and relax. You can perform 3-4 repetitions daily but do not overdo it.
After a few days of practice, you can then shift to doing Naukasana
Steps to do Naukasana
You have to follow all the above steps. Except that here you lift both the arms and legs together off ground.
Legs should be together and hold the pose for 30-40 seconds. You may increase the time with practice.
Naukasana in Prone Position (on your Stomach)
Lie down on your stomach.
Brings your arms before your head.
No gap between your legs and make your fingers interlocked.
Inhale raises your body at 30 degree.
Remain in the pose initially for 10-20 seconds. You may increase the time as per your convenience.
Bring your body down with deep exhale an
Benefits of Naukasana
* It strengthens the muscles of the arms, thighs and shoulders.
* It improves the health of all organs in the abdomen especially the liver, pancreas and kidneys.
*. It helps in regulating blood flow at sugar level
*It toughens muscles of neck, shoulder and the legs.
*The stretching, compressing and relaxation of the abdominal region involved with Naukasana is a really good and effective way of burning belly fat if practiced on a regular basis.
*The stimulation while performing the pose helps improve and regulate your digestion, including alleviating excessive gas and easing constipation.
*It is good for secretion of gastric juices and effective for digestion process and stimulates peristaltic movement of the intestine.
*The advanced variation of boat pose helps to secrete pancreatic juices thus regulates the function of pancreas and cure diabetes.
It is helpful to make weak back muscles stronger.
Good for hormones: More or less, it strengthens all the systems of the body like muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems.
Precautions and Contraindications
*If you are suffering from Hernia, Asthma, and heart disease do not practice Naukasana.
* If you have low blood pressure, severe headache and migraine, you must avoid this yoga pose.
*People suffering from chronic diseases or spinal disorders are advised not to practice this yoga pose.
*Women should avoid it during pregnancy and also during the first two days of the menstrual cycle.
*If you have a spine or neck injury do not practice this asana.