While we are too busy running around with our 24x7 jobs along with day-to-day chores and duties, it can get really hard to keep a check on our health. All the stress and tension can lead to depression, which is why we need to de-stress and rejuvenate. And what better way to do it than practicing yoga? Yoga has proven beneficial not only for mental health but overall health too. There are many poses in yoga which are very effective; Naukasanaor the boat pose is one among them.
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. If you have always had a problem losing the extra paunch in your stomach area, then this asana is good for those who wish to reduce belly fat as well as to tone the abs. Naukasana is one of the few yoga poses that can be performed lying both on the stomach (prone position) and back (supine position). It is a little difficult to perform for yoga beginners. But don't be disheartened, you will get better with more practice and you can even ace at doing the advance yoga poses.
"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. The focus should be your back, make sure to keep your knees and waist straight" says Abhishek Maheshwari, Instructor and Owner of Mystic Yoga Café located in Kolkata.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Do Naukasana
First lie down flat on your yoga mat, with your feet together and your arms on the sides.
Keep your arms straight and your fingers outstretched towards your toes.
Start Inhaling and as you exhale, lift your chest and feet off the ground, stretching your arms towards your feet. Feel the tension in your stomach area as the abdominal muscles contract.
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.
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.
Benefits of Naukasana:
1. Naukasana strengthens the abdominal muscles.
2. It strengthens the muscles of the arms, thighs and shoulders.
3. It improves the health of all organs in the abdomen especially the liver, pancreas and kidneys.
4. It helps in regulating blood flow at sugar level.
5. It toughens muscles of neck, shoulder and the legs.
6. 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.
7. The stimulation while performing the pose helps improve and regulate your digestion, including alleviating excessive gas and easing constipation.
8. Most importantly it acts as a distress tool, keeping your mind free and peaceful.
9. Asthma and heart patients are advised not to practice Naukasana.
10. If you have low blood pressure, severe headache and migraine, you must avoid this yoga pose.
11. People suffering from chronic diseases or spinal disorders are advised not to practice this yoga pose.
12. Women should avoid it during pregnancy and also during the first two days of the menstrual cycle.