Modifications Make It Happen!
An amazing asana for strengthening your core, boat pose can often by intimidating! In the infographic below, I demonstrate three different modifications to help build strength while working towards mastering the full expression of this posture.
Always Remember The Yoga 101 Basics
Yoga is a personal journey and about self love, understanding and improvement. Everyone’s postures look different, and that is what makes us as individuals beautiful! There is no right or wrong, as long as you listen to your body and do not let the ego play its evil tricks.
There are really only two ways “do yoga wrong."
Do not listen to your body
Form Comes First
As with all exercise, it is most important that each posture is performed in a way that is of optimal safety & benefit to YOUR body. In yoga, we often talk about finding our edge. This is that sweet spot between challenging ourselves and listening to when it is time to stop pushing. Patience is one of the many disciplines we practice each time to come to our mat to learn.
Safety First: Support Yourself
The first variation of Navasana (Sanskrit term for Boat Pose) has the hands resting on the ground. This allows you to really focus on shining your heart forward and reaching up / out through the chest. Sucking your belly button to your spine and consciously inhaling and exhaling will allow your core to do the work (which is perfect because this is what we are aiming for here, hooray)!
Be. Here. Now.
How do you feel? Physically? Mentally? Emotionally? This discomfort allows us to be in the present moment as mindfulness is a lot easier when your abs are SCREAMING at you lol. This is your time to BE. HERE. NOW. This is “you" time; make the most of it. While you are certainly going to be working hard in this pose, there’s no doubt about that, is there anywhere that you are tensing that is not helping with the pose?
Check In With Yourself
Are you expending energy or causing stress that is unnecessary in the present moment? Let’s check ourselves out and see if we can use our energy more wisely here.
Take a moment to do a quick body scan.
Maybe you notice that you are clenching your jaw. This is extremely common. Stick out your tongue and exhale like a lion.
Are you holding your stress in your traps (muscles between shoulders and neck). Inhale your shoulders up to your ears and mindfully let them relax down and back on an exhale. You have your strong core to support you 🙂
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Once you are comfortable practicing the first modification, here comes life to say “back to make sure you aren’t too comfortable ;)"! We need to continually challenge ourselves to see change, right? So let’s get after it you mindful, brave, courageous, beautiful, badass!
Try, Fail, Try Again, Practice Some More, Progress
If transitioning into the second or third modification causes strain, not gain, then step back. But good for you for trying. Are you getting a better understanding of your edge? This is a perfect example of how yoga is a not just a physical practice, but one for the mind, body, & spirit.
Challenge Yourself; You’re Stronger Than You Think 😉
One of the trainers at the bootcamp I go to on weekday mornings was encouraging me to grab heavier weights and put it perfectly. He said to me “You need to challenge yourself if you want to make progress and see change! You need to make yourself uncomfortable so you can grow!" The following sentence is truthfully why I remember this, as I still laugh every time I recall this. “You don’t want to be driving yourself to middle school, do you?!" Haha. Hopefully that distracted you if you are trying to multi-task practicing the pose and reading this simultaneously. After all, laughter is the best medicine, right?!