Boat Pose is a challenging balance pose that engages the core. Beyond creating physical strength, it has the the potential to create great mental strength within us as well. It does this by showing us our ability to conquer difficult situations, and by stimulating our Root and Sacral chakras. This lends itself to increased confidence, a defined sense of self, and a balanced ego.
This is a pose that brings us into harmony with ourselves, and allows us to celebrate the strengths of those around us without fear of inadequacy.
There are a number of variations of Boat Pose that help modify it for students of all levels.
Traditional Boat Pose starts in a seated position with knees bent and feet on the floor. From there, extend the arms out straight at shoulder height. Then, lift one foot so the legs are bent at 90 degrees.
Once you find balance, lift the other foot.
If possible, extend the legs straight so the feet point up and your body makes a “V” shape. You can play with extending the arms straight up.
Focus on connecting down through the tailbone and engaging the core while extending through the crown of your head.
Here are some of the benefits of Boat Pose you may experience when you incorporate it into your practice:
By practicing Boat Pose, you're not only strengthening your core, but also the hip flexors and spine. This helps with good posture, so if you practice Boat Pose regularly, you should be able to keep your posture erect for years to come.
Boat Pose also stimulates the kidneys, and helps improve your digestion so that everything runs smoothly!
Balancing the Root Chakra
The Root Chakra is the energy center located at the base of the spine. It is the place that harbors our physical identity, ambition, stability, and overall sense of groundedness and connection to self. When it is out of balance, we can feel tired, depressed, and lacking in self-esteem.
Typically, the cause of an unbalanced Root Chakra has to do with a feeling of not living in an authentic and truthful manner that honors your unique needs. This could be an unfulfilling job, a toxic relationship, an unstable living environment, or simply not taking time for self care.
Connecting back to our Root Chakra is important for us on a daily basis, regardless of how we’re feeling that day. To do this, we simply need to get physically grounded, and yoga poses are a great way to do so.
All standing poses can help, but Boat is special because it literally connects our root into the ground. The tailbone is the foundation for this pose, the place of power that allows the rest of the body to grow long and tall. Therefore, in Boat Pose, we create this wonderful connection to the earth, grounding ourselves and coming back to a place of self knowing.
Balancing the Sacral Chakra
This chakra is located in the stomach, the part of the body doing the work in this pose. Boat can be a pretty extreme workout for our abs, and mine usually shake like crazy. Not only is having a strong core great physically for easing back pain and improving balance, but it also creates great mental strength.
The Sacral Chakra is home to our self-confidence, emotions, and ego. When it is out of balance we can feel physically sick to our stomachs, feel depressed, and generally hopeless.
In Boat Pose, we are able to progress overtime and see improvement in our own strength by holding the pose longer and finding the advanced expressions of the pose. In doing so, we prove to ourselves that we are capable of great, even seemingly impossible things. This, coupled with the firing up of the core, can help reaffirm our belief in ourself.
When we feel strong, capable, and proud, we are less susceptible to negativity, and more empowered to take on our lives. We no longer feel the need to expend energy on jealousy or companions, because we known that our light shines just as bright as those we admire.
Whenever you’re feeling disconnected from your purpose, fearful of failure, or doubting your abilities, find Boat Pose. Prove to yourself that everything you need to succeed already lives inside you and is just waiting for you to turn it back on. We all have a strong, bright light inside of us just waiting to shine!
What are some of the holistic benefits of Boat Pose that you have found? Share them with us in the comments below!