On Navasana or Boat Pose
Now that I’m pregnant with my second child, I especially miss boat pose. It is a pose of strength, grace, and calm.
Most of us don’t feel that way when we practice it. Even as a teacher, I feel myself getting tense on the students’ behalf when I instruct, “Straight legs! Lift your chest! Soften the shoulders!” This pose is challenging because it deals directly with the core body that remains so woefully unattended as we sit in chair, cars, couches, and other “slouchy” pieces of furniture. Were we to practice Mountain Pose, Staff Pose and even Half-Standing-Forward Fold, Navasana or Boat Pose would feel more easeful and steady as asanas, or poses, are meant to feel.
And yet, we love to hate this pose (or vice versa) because it *is* so challenging and makes us sore the next day. We learn from it that we need to strengthen our core and loosen up our groins, because both take a beating when we practice this pose with rigidity and fierceness, rather than focus, steadiness, and grace.
Think of how you feel when you’re sitting in a boat in calm waters. It’s so relaxing! This is literally the steadiness that your muscular body wants to offer your breath and nervous system in Boat Pose. So keep trying this pose, this one that we all love in June anyway as it’s so close to bathing suit season! Even a little bit of work in it pays off — just like a nice trip to the lake does!