Paripurna Navasana Full Boat Pose
Stage 1 »
"Paripurna" means "complete" or "full," and "nava" means "boat." In this first phase of Paripurna Navasana, the back muscles are strengthened and the abdominal organs are toned. With regular practice of this exercise, the practitioner builds endurance and confidence.
1. Sit in Dandasana on the floor with legs out straight, back straight and palms pressed straight down to the floor. (See previous column at starbulletin.com/2006/04/09/ features/yoga.html.)
2. Take your hands a few inches behind the buttocks, shoulder width apart. Point your fingers toward your feet.
3. Press your hands into the floor to firmly straighten the arms. Turn the upper arm bones out to help open the chest.
4. Press your legs and buttock bones down and, as you press the palms down, lift and fully open your chest. Bring the lower spine into the body and lift your lower back up. Do not let your back slump and round.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Ray Madigan, co-director of Manoa Yoga Center, shows Paripurna Navasana, Stage 1.
5. Maintain the action of the chest and spine as you bend your knees and bring the feet closer to the buttocks. Now, with an exhalation, slightly bend your elbows and lean back as you lift the shin bones up until they are parallel to the floor. You will now be balancing on your buttock bones. Work to maintain the lift of your spine and keep your chest open.
6. Stay in this position for a few breaths, then, with an exhalation, slowly straighten your legs. Tighten your legs and keep your back lifted up. Hold for a few breaths, then bend your knees, bring your legs back to the floor and relax.
In the beginning, the legs' weight will cause some struggle as the back begins to slump. With regular practice you will become strong and steady and be able to hold the back in and up without strain.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.