Naukasana (Boat Pose)
If you are one of those who want to reduce their stomachs, then Naukasana is a great stomach reducing exercise that you can try. This simple but effective yoga asana will definitely work out for those who do not have enough time and money to visit the gym. It targets every part of your stomach, reducing fat from the waist, as it improves blood flow to the abdominal and pelvic organs. In the final position of this Asana, the body resembles the form of a boat; hence, it is named Naukasana. In Sanskrit word ‘Nauka’ stands for ‘Boat’. That is why Naukasana is also renowned as Boat Pose. Naukasana strengthens the core abdominal area, lower back, hips, thighs and arms. It helps to strengthen lungs, increases the secretion power of liver & pancreas and regulates blood flow at sugar level. It also improves digestion and relieves constipation.
To start with, lie flat on the back with the legs and feet together, and the arms and hands beside the body palms facing downward and the eyes open. Take a deep breath in, hold the breath inside and then raise the legs, arms, shoulders, head and trunk above from the ground. The shoulders and feet should not raise more than 15 cm above the ground. The arms should be held at the same level and in line with the toes. The hands should be open with the palms down. Balance the body on the buttocks and keep the spine straight. Look towards the toes. Keep shoulders, neck and face relaxed. Remain in the final position for a comfortable period with holding the breath. While exhaling slowly bring down your legs and hands and lie on the ground as in the first position. To increase core strength, release very slowly from the pose and take 10 to 15 seconds time in bringing the legs and torso down towards the floor.
This can be an advanced pose for beginners. If holding yourself 15 cm above the ground is intense, you can lower your legs and upper body until you feel more comfortable. In time you will gain strength and form a perfect boat with your body. Person suffering from diseases like high blood pressure, hip joint disorders, neck injury, arthritis, hernia & ulcers should avoid practicing Naukasana.