Boat Pose (Navasana) is a great seated posture that will not only help to strengthen your core, it also brings with it a host of other brilliant benefits as well. Here are a few tips to help you get started.


  • Builds abdominal and core strength.
  • Increases flexibility in the hamstrings.
  • Works the deep hip flexors.
  • Improves balance and digestion.

Common Mistakes

  • Too much focus on straightening the legs leading to a slumped spine and collapsed chest.
  • Hunched shoulders - instead lift the chest.
  • Ignoring the toes, which should be fanned out, pointed or flexed.


  • Focus on maintaining a tight V shape between the thighs and abdominals.
  • Begin with half boat and legs bent at the knee.
  • Roll your shoulders back.
  • Using yoga straps around the feet helps build up balance.
  • Make sure your feet are clean!


  • This pose is so good for your abdominals (this posture was around centuries before Pilates and core strength became popular!).
  • Don’t forget to breathe fully: it’s very easy to hold the breath or breathe too quickly here.
  • Prepare to meet your ego on the mat with this asana as you strive to lift those legs higher, often at the expense of the correct form.

Stephen Marks is a yoga, meditation and nidra teacher. Find him at and @stephenmarksyoga

boat pose with Stephen Marks

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