Boat pose definitely takes time to polish up. I know that I could say that about every posture but this one is quite difficult for people, which I attribute to so many folks in general just having a weak core (an often neglected area if the body) to start. But don't worry, we're going to get you stronger!
Some key points = 1. Keep your butt on the floor! See that you don't roll onto your sacrum or lower back. 2. Bend the knees to start. In the beginning the feet might only be an inch off the floor. 3. Keep the back from lowering or rounding while lifting the chest up, drawing the shoulders back and the lower abdomen in.
With proper guidance, patience, persistence, consistent practice and hard work the legs will straighten to about a 45 degree angle from the floor without letting the back round or collapse toward. The aforementioned are the key ingredients to building a posture or a practice. It takes time, but not too much! Watch you don't fall into the trap of being so patient that a decade goes by. If after 12 or 18 months your Navasana / Boat Pose isn't looking much like the one pictured above then one or more of these key ingredients is most likely missing.
This brings us to another aspect of practice which is self-study (Svadhyaya) or evaluation. If we truly want to know if we are working well on achieving something with patience, persistence, consistency and zeal, then look at the results. How much closer are you to the aim than you were 6 or 12 months ago? The proof is in the results. There is no hiding it.
Boat, like many of the postures that I put in my classes, is not complicated. It is simple, but not easy. Any body can achieve it with consistent, deliberate practice. And it is in the process of getting there, not so much the achievement of boat that we receive the most benefit. Yes, having a strong core is necessary to get you through life, but much more than that is the ability to face and overcome uncomfortable and difficult challenges that confront us all of the time. Wether they are in our Yoga practice or daily life.
To watch a video demonstration of Boat Pose click here.
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Jason D Schramm