Boat Pose is an energetic posture and a fantastic way to strengthen and tone your core and legs! Begin in a seated position with your knees bent and your feet flat your mat.
Firmly press your tailbone into your mat and lean back. From there, create a ‘V’ with your torso and legs keeping both active and straight. Reach your arms towards your feet or straight up to the ceiling and strongly flex your feet. To create stability in this pose activate your legs and hug them toward your centerline. Keep your lower back straight, pull the pit of your belly in and up and press your breastbone up to the sky.
Modifications can make Boat Pose more accessible to beginners. Common modifications include: bending your knees, holding the back of your thighs, or lowering your hands to the mat, shoulder-width, a few inches behind the tailbone.
For more advanced yogis, Ardho Navasana, or Half Boat, is a great way to take Boat Pose further. From Navasana, straighten your legs and lower (both) your upper and lower body to a hover a few inches above the mat. Continue to press your tailbone down. Flex your feet and hug your outer shins in. Hug your belly to your spine and press your upper arm bones back. Hold this pose for several breaths and then return to Navasana, using the strength of your core and legs to lift you up.
Side Plank is a heat-building pose that strengthens the entire body! Begin in a high push-up position. Bring your feet together and roll to the outside edge of your right foot. Lift your left hand to the ceiling. Stack your feet and your hips. Keep both feet flexed as you press your inner arches together. Hug your legs together and bring the pit of your
belly in and up. Tuck your tailbone. Stack your right wrist under your shoulder and lift your left arm to the sky. Draw your shoulder blades away from your ears and into your spine. Create a strong straight line from your heels to the crown of your head and from your right to your left hand. Return to a high push-up and take Vasisthana on the opposite side.
A simple modification to make Side Plank more accessible to beginners is to bring the bottom knee down to the mat in line with the bottom hip.
For the more advanced yogi, Vasisthasana can be taken to a fuller expression. To do this, raise your top leg. Keep both your legs straight and active and flex both feet. Lift your leg as high as possible while maintaining a strong core and a straight back. Hold for several breaths and return to a high push-up and repeat Side Plank on the opposite side.
For more great poses visit us at Dancing Dogs Yoga in Beaufort, Bluffton or Hilton Head!