March Pose of the Month
Paripurna Navasana - Full Boat Pose & Ardha Navasana - Half Boat Pose
Paripurna (Entire or Complete) Nava (Ship, Boat or Vessel), Ardha (Half)
Level 1 Pose
Spring is a time for renewal and rejuvenation. This time of year we instinctively lean towards cleansing our bodies and our homes of unwanted items and clutter. As a little bit of sunlight and warmth starts to return we intuitively try to create new space for our dreams and desires to manifest .
In our yoga practice we can help to promote these qualities as we strive for self improvement. As a Yoga teacher I gravitate towards moving in a more fluid way building heat in the body by using poses to reignite the energy that lies dormant during the Autumn and Winter. The weather in early Spring can still be cold and wet despite the extra sunlight and Navasana brings some internal heat awakening our digestive fire which can sometimes be reluctant to ignite during the dampness of Spring and this is why Navasana is a great pose for this time of year. In Ayurveda late Winter and early Spring time is Kapha Season which tends to create more coldness, heaviness, congestion, and sometimes low motivation and dullness and that's why Navasana is good any time of year but even more so in Spring as it helps to balance out these qualities bringing lightness, heat and strength, naturally cultivating focus, stamina and energy.
Navasana is also wonderful for strengthening our core muscles which is good for our bikini bodies and lets be honest we start to think more about that now, but Navasana does so much more than just strengthening the 6 pack muscles. The core is everything in the trunk of the body that connects the limbs to the the body. It strengthens most of our core muscles, the abdominals, the hip flexors, the back and shoulders the only thing missing is the glutes. Often thought as an abdominal exercise Navasana is a wonderful pose to strengthen the back. B.K.S Iyengar says in his book Light on Yoga
"As long as it (the back) is strong and needs no support, one feels young though advanced in age. The two asanas (Full Boat and Half Boat) bring life and vigour to the back and enable us to grow old gracefully and comfortably."
In Navasana everything is drawing towards the centre of our being... the abdominals move back towards the spine, the back moves forward to the front of the body, the shoulder blades move down and in towards the heart, the chest broadens and opens and the arms and legs are firm. All of this integration when done with awareness leaves you feeling strong and supple physically, mentally and emotionally.
ENERGETIC AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS
Improves focus and clarity
Strengthen abdominals and lower back
Tones the waist
Increases heat and circulation in the body
Reduces gas and bloating
Promoting healthy kidney energy
CAUTIONS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS
Lower back injury
HINTS AND TIPS
Keep knees bent especially if hamstrings are tight
Keep big toes in the floor with heels lifted as you build up strength
Use your hands as support behind you if your back is weaker