Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat)
In Sanskrit “Paripurna” means complete. And Nava means “Boat” therefore this is an abdominal and deep hip flexor strengthens. This asana thus is a balance as a tripod on your sitting bones and tailbone. This asana can thus be performed as follows;
- Sit on the floor in Dandasana or the staff pose with your legs in front of you.
- Your back must be as straight as possible.
- Press your hands on the floor a little behind the hips with fingers pointing backwards to the feet and strengthen the arms.
- Lift yourself through the top of the sternum and lean back slightly. As you do this make sure your back doesn’t get rounded; continue to lengthen the front of your torso between the pubis and top sternum.
- Now sit on the tripod of the two sitting bones and tailbones.
- Breathe out or exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that the thighs are angled about 45-50 degrees in relation to the floor.
- Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pubis toward your navel. If possible, slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If this isn’t possible remain with your knees bent, perhaps lifting the shins parallel to the floor.
- Stretch your arms alongside the legs, parallel to each other and the floor.
- Spread the shoulder blades across your back and reach strongly out through the fingers. If you cannot do this keep the hands on the floor beside your hips or hold on to the backs of your thighs.
- While the lower belly should be firm, it shouldn’t get hard and thick. Try to keep the lower belly relatively flat.
- Now begin pressing the heads of the thighbones towards the floor to help anchor the pose and lift the top sternum. Breathe easily.
- Now bring the tip the chin slightly towards the sternum so the base of the skull lifts lightly away from the back of the neck.
- In the beginning stay in the pose for 10-20 seconds. Gradually increase the time of your stay to at least 1 minute. Release the legs with an exhalation and sit upright on an inhalation.
The benefits of this asana are:
- This asana helps in strengthening the abdomen, the hip flexors and the spine.
- This also brings about the stimulation of kidney, thyroid, prostate and the intestines.
- Helps in relieving stress.
- Brings about the improvement in digestion.
- Stretches the muscles of deep cores as the transverse and the psoas groups.
- Encourages a more aligned posture and provides strength to the spinal column.
- Because of the full and deep inhalation and exhalation this asana helps in revitalizing the whole body; since it brings about the elimination of various toxins and waste products from the body.
- Reduces the swelling in the feet.
- Increases the blood flow to thee gonads, adrenals and the islets of Langerhans.
The precautionary measures that are to kept in mind while performing this asana are:
- Should not be practiced when pregnant.
- And also be avoided by individuals suffering from asthma, headaches, diarrhea, heart problems, low blood pressure, and menstruation.
- Although it strengthens the spinal column but yet caution should be followed in individuals suffering from neck problems or an injury.