Yoga is a form of exercise that requires you to perform a series of movements that focus on strengthening your body and helping you concentrate on your breathing. Yoga's benefits include a decrease in your stress level, which will improve your health. A naukasana is a pose included in many yoga workouts that is thought to have physical and mental benefits. Proper form is important to doing the naukasana pose.
The naukasana pose comes from the words "nauka," which means boat, and "asana," which refers to the relaxed position you take to do the yoga move. When you do a naukasana, your body form resembles a boat. Hence, the naukasana pose is often referred to as the boat pose. A naukasana can be done on your stomach, which is the more common form, but a version can also be done while you lie on your back. Both forms of the naukasana may improve your physical and mental health.
Yoga is a healthy way to increase your muscle tone, strength and endurance. The naukasana pose may help tone your abdominal muscles, which can increase your range of motion, reduce fat deposits around your middle and relieve digestive problems, such as indigestion and constipation. The Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Center notes that the naukasana pose, done on your stomach, may also strengthen your spinal column. K.N. Pand, author of "Simple Yoga for Good Health," notes that the naukasana pose done on your back may improve your lung function and help ease back pain and stiffness.
Regular yoga may help you reduce your stress level. When you engage in yoga poses, you must concentrate on your breathing and focus on the movements of your body. As you do so, you may be able to find calm as you focus on your body instead of what causes you stress. The naukasana pose, whether done on your stomach or your back, requires you to concentrate on holding the pose while you take even breaths. The slow and precise movements of the naukasana pose are likely to help center you and reduce your stress level. As yoga strengthens your body, you may also find that your self-confidence increases.
To do a naukasana pose on your stomach, lie flat on the floor with your hands resting along your sides and your head turned to one direction. Raise your head, keeping your chin on the floor, and slowly bring your arms above your head. Raise your upper and lower body at the same time so you are resting on your abdomen. Hold the pose for three to five breaths, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. To do a naukasana on your back, lie flat on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your palms resting on the floor alongside your thighs. Slowly raise your head off the floor and your feet up toward the ceiling. Hold the pose for several breaths, then lower yourself back to the starting position.
- MayoClinic.com: Yoga: Tap Into the Many Health Benefits
- Ayurvedic Hospital and Research Center: Naukasana
- Simple Yoga for Good Health; K.N. Pand