Learning to set sail into a strong, well aligned, and stable boat pose requires us to bring this nautical metaphor into action. Imagine that your sitting bones are anchors you have set deep into the floor below you and the earth below that. Now from that anchor, lengthen the mast of your torso feeling co-contraction and support from both the front and back body. Imagine that your limbs are the sails, and keep the outer body active yet light. Now how do we add power to this pose? Let your breath be the wind that keeps the boat floating and the sails filled!
- Start with your knees bent, feet to the mat, and lower down onto one forearm at a time, stacking elbows directly under shoulders.
- Press your palms down actively to broaden your collarbones apart and open your chest.
- Hug your knees together until the inner feet connect, and point your toes so they are tapping the floor.
- With control lift the shins parallel to the floor- you can either stay here, working on toe taps back and forth, or extend the legs out of a 45 degree angle.
- Start with your knees bent, toes pointed strongly down towards the mat and fingertips tented by either sides of your waist (tented fingers=just the tips of the fingers are in contact with the mat while the center of the hand is suction cupped up).
- Feel your sitting bones beneath you being mindful to stay upright through these next three poses and avoid tipping back onto your sacrum.
- Place your hands around your legs so fingers now find the inner thighs and peel the inner thighs forward (internal rotation).
- As you exhale, moving from your deep core lift one leg parallel to the floor at a time.
Ardha Navasana Prep
- Start with your knees bent, heels down this time toes up and wide apart.
- Take your left peace sign fingers (first and second finger) and wrap them around your big toe.
- Place your right hand around your right heel.
- Now inhale lengthen through your spine. As you exhale extend the left leg strait.
- Start with your knees bent, heels down this time toes up and wide apart. Take your peace sign fingers and wrap them around your big toes.
- Keeping the outer belly muscles (rectus abdominus) free of grip begin to extend your legs strait to the best of your ability.
- It is essential here to stay on the sitting bones (if you tip back to your sacrum it means you have gone too far, back up one step hold and breath). *Note a strap can be used here by placing it around the balls of the feet to provide more space in this pose.
- Press the heads of the femur bones into the floor to help anchor your sitting bones and stabilize the pose. Keeping this, begin to lift the sternum skyward creating length in your spine. Lastly, using bicep strength, drop your elbows into midline and notice the release at the tops of your shoulders.
- Let your breath bring wind into your sails and soar here for 6 full, deep, balanced, breaths 🙂