Friday, July 20, 2018

Strong Core - Navasana

Navasana (Full Boat Pose as it is called) is a difficult pose. It builds strength all the way to the core. No matter how do I feel about Navasana, I always take extra consideration when I get to this pose in my practice.

Navasana is repeated five times it gets increasingly more intense each time it is performed. The first round usually cause a burning sensation in my stomach muscles (abs) and legs. The last round culminates in shaking, sweating and shortening of breath.

It is true, Navasana builds core strength. In yoga, the "core" refers to more than just muscles. Ashtanga yoga leads you on an inward journey from the periphery of your mind flow to the core of your being, to the sense of presence itself.

Practicing Navasana, you'll understand how weak your abdominal muscles are, you will see why you have lower back pain.

Coordinating legs and your torso while strengthening your spine will also teach you about your breath, your attention span, your emotions, and your very nature.

This is a simple pose but it penetrates beyond the muscles, nerves, bones, and organs to your sense of presence. It requires you to draw everything toward your center: The abdomen moves toward the spine, the spine moves forward to support the front of the trunk, the shoulder blades move down and in toward the chest, while the chest spreads, and the arms and legs stay firm. You're feeling strong mentally and emotionally.

But be sure your mind will wander, the inner firmness you've cultivated will waver and eventually, you'll lose your balance. So, to find your inner core and stability in the pose, keep your face soft and your breath relaxed.

The idea is that when your brain is tense and your eyes bulge, your focus becomes external. When your are relaxed, however, your attention draws inward, and you can find stability again.

Navasana deserves love. Whether you are a beginner yoga student or if you have a more advanced practice, you can work on perfecting this pose.

If Navasana is not performed correctly it can cause some issues for lower back. So if you are just starting out, do not hesitate to modify Navasana by bending your knees.

Also, remember to breathe! In most core strengthening exercises we tend to hold our breath, but keeping a steady inhale and exhale helps us with focus and in building heat.

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