Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is Boat Pose, or Navasana.
- Sit on the mat, stretching the legs straight out in front of you.
- Engage uddiyanabandha, bringing the belly button in and up towards the spine. This is not an instruction to hold the breath. Continue to breathe fully.
- Raise the legs, bringing your body into a “V” shape. If this is too intense on your back, generously bend your knees. If this is still too intense, you can gently rest your feet on the floor, keeping your knees bent.
- Toes are spread wide and feet are flexed.
- Arms are stretched out in front, palms face up.
- Spin is straight, shoulders roll back and down the spin, should blades come together at the midline. The heart shines towards the ceiling.
- Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face.
- This pose is a great for abdominal toning, and also helps improve back strength.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.