Ardha is half and Nava is boat in Sanskrit. This pose is so called as it appears to look like boat. Ardha navasana is primarily done by yogis to tone the abdominal muscles and often suggested for people to reduce the abdominal fat. This pose can be seen done by various athletes, bodybuilders and other sports person as it is an isometric bodyweight exercise.
Ardha navasana works on abs, diaphragm, hip flexors and quads. This pose gives a very strong core which is very essential for day to day activities and also to excel in sports.
How to do Ardha navasana:
1. Sit on the mat with both legs stretched out.
2. Exhale, recline the upper body backward keeping the elbows first then lift the legs up and your body is now in boat shape.
3. Raise your arms placed on either side of your body and take them behind head and interlock the fingers.
4. In this position your legs are at an angle of 30 to 35 degrees from the floor and the crown of the head in line with the toes.
5. Try to hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute breathing normally. This pose held for more than one minute in correct form indicates stong core.
6. Release the pose slowly and repeat few more times for effectiveness.
Benefits of Ardha Navasana:
1. Increased strength in the abs and core body muscles.
2. This pose is wonderful method for strengthening the back muscles.
3.This pose works on abdominal organs like spleen, gallbladder and liver.
1. People with spine issues must avoid doing this pose.
2. Major or recent abdominal surgery.
3. You must avoid this if you have neck pain or headache.
How to intensify Ardha Navasana:
To maximize the benefits this pose can be intensified by twisting the torso side to side. This method can be done further to strengthen the core and to trim the midsection.
Simplified method of Ardha Navasana:
The beginner ’s who can’t hold navasana even for 10 seconds can bend their knees initially to reduce the load on back muscles. Develop strength in this pose and later the above methods can be tried.