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5 Boat Pose Variations To Wake Up Your Core

Teaching Yoga | Yoga

Many consider boat pose to be the gateway core yoga pose. Its ability to ground yet fire up the midline is one of the reasons why yogis love to incorporate this pose into their repertoire.

Work on the foundations with the step-by-step tutorial and when you are ready to flirt with variations move on to the five listed below. The number of breaths is optional, but cracking a smile is mandatory!

Boat Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start in a seated position. Rock back so you are on the tripod of your two sit bones and your tail bone.
  2. Tap your toes to the floor and grasp behind your quads. Lift your chest and lean back slightly. Stay here and work your core or slowly begin to lift your toes up off the floor.
  3. Deepen the posture by bringing your shins to parallel with your mat or begin to lengthen the legs to create a V shape.
  4. Find an appropriate hand placement, either on your hamstrings, at your heart, or out extending towards the feet.

Variations Galore!

1. Twisting boat

From boat pose bring your hands to your heart. On your inhale, begin twisting from your lower back over towards the left. As you exhale, take the twist over towards the right. Use your breath and pass through 5-10 passes on each side.

2. Block + roll

Grab a block {foam or cork} and place it the skinniest way between in your thighs. Press your inner legs together and then lift up into boat pose. As you recruit your lower body, keep your breath steady, and your low abdomen engaged.

3. Low, low, low your boat

Take a few breaths in traditional bridge and when you are ready, use your exhale to lower a millimeter. Pause, stay there on the inhale, and then exhale to lower a millimeter lower. Continue this progression until you lower all the way down or inhale to come back to boat and do it again!

4. Prop-er boat

Come into prep for boat {steps 1 + 2}. Bring your hands behind your back, fingertips facing inward, and lift your chest a bit more. Take boat pose here by propping yourself up a bit with your upper body. If you’d like to fire up this variation a bit, inhale to pull the knees in as close to the chest as you can, exhale bring them back to neutral.

5. Boat stands

Come into boat pose. On your inhale, widen through your knees, reach your arms forward, and press to standing. Still a work in progress? Try + try again!

Core strength is essential for a balanced yoga practice and the health of your back. Boat can be a challenging but oh, so rewarding yoga posture. You know, the kind where you know you worked hard the day before because you can feel it?

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