Build your boat – Navasana to Paschimottanasana variation.
Let’s build a boat* that suits you in your own home.
1- Begin sitting on the floor (or the stairs). Bend your knees towards the chest and hug your legs. Drop your forehead against your knees. Pay attention to the feelings arising right away while you soften your face and deepen your breathing.
Make sure you have at least one wall or stable surface in front of you and that you are wearing comfy clothes, PJ’s are ok too 😉 Place a block, pillow or bolster under your bottom to make the sitting position more comfortable to you, especially if you have tight hip muscles.
2- Use the wall (or the stair rail) to place the ball of your foot and reach your toes – or grab your shins. Relax the neck continue taking deep breaths through the nose as long as you want.
3- Bring your torso back against the wall, extend one leg, keep bending the other. Abdomen in. Take a deep breath and feel your quat activating and ground your sitting bones through the floor. Hold for about 5 deep breaths. Once you finish, change legs and hold for 5 more deep breaths. Pay attention to the spaces between each inhalation and exhalation.
4- Extend both legs fully in front of you, activate the quads, navel in. Lift your arms above head for about 5 to 10 deep breaths. Soften your face.
5- Reach your knees and fold forward. Place your hands on your toes if you can keep a straight back at the same time. This is a variation of seated forward fold*. Otherwise, stay with your arms overhead and back against the physical or imaginary wall. Hold here once more inhaling and exhaling through the nose for about 10 breaths. Use the exhalation to release tension, and the inhalation to recharge your body.
6- Add a twist! Bend one leg and extend the other. Twist towards the extended leg and grab one foot (or knee) and reach the other arm up.
(Optional twist to the opposite side)
7- Bend your knees towards the chest and come back to the initial position. Scan your body. Notice the sensations arising and the soothing sound of your own breath. Relax the jaw, soften the eyeballs.
*Boat Pose: Navasana in Sanskrit. **Seated forward fold: Paschimottanasana in Sanskrit. Benefits: Build strength in your core. Stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles. Activate quads and hip muscles. Develop body awareness and inner peace.