An Easy Guide to Boat Pose or Navasana

Work your yoga practice with our easy guides to great yoga poses. Boat Pose, or Navasana, is a seated yoga pose, where the legs and arms are raised – so its great for building up the muscles in the core, abdomen, hips and around the spine. 


Boat Pose, or Navasana, is a seated yoga pose, where the legs and arms are raised – so its great for building up the muscles in the core, abdomen, hips and around the spine. 

This beginners’ pose also stimulates organs in the abdomen, so helps to improve digestion.

Boat Pose, or Navasana, is one of the star yoga poses for building strength in the hips, lower back and the abdomen, and is your go-to pose for building core stability.

How to do Boat Pose, or Navasana, in easy steps

Step 1:

Sit on the ground with legs extended out in front of you (Dandasana).

Step 2:

Lean back slightly. Inhale and lift your chest upward to lengthen the front of your upper body. Find the stability of the point created by your two sitting bones and the tailbone.

Step 3:

On your next exhalation, bend your knees and bring your feet off the mat until the shins are parallel to the floor.

Step 4:

Slowly extend your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor.

Step 5:

Soften the shoulders and move the shoulder blades down the back. Reach through the fingertips. Alternatively, keep the hands on the floor or gently hold onto the backs of your thighs.

Step 6:

Straighten your knees if possible. As you do this continue to lengthen the front of your torso, so your back doesn't round. If straightening the legs feels too strong, keep your knees bent.

Step 7:

Press the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor to help anchor the pose and lift the sternum. Breathe easily.

Step 8:

Stay for a few breaths. Gradually increase the time spent in the full pose - from 3 breaths to 10.

Step 9:

To come out of the pose, release the legs while exhaling, and sit up straight with an inhalation.

Image: yoga

Yoga pose category:  Seated and twists 


Boat Pose, or Navasana, is supposed to be one of those easy yoga poses for beginners. But if you have weak abs it could challenge you for a while. Keep at it! It’s a pose which, once mastered, makes lots of other yoga poses easier.   


Sanskrit words meaning:  

Nava – boat 

Asana – seat, pose or position  


Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Boat Pose has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:  





Back pain 



Round shoulders 


Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Boat Pose if you have any of the following health conditions:  

 High blood pressure 

Low blood pressure 



Back injury 



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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.