This week’s “Pose of the Week” is one of my favorites: Navasana or Boat Pose. This is actually one of the few poses that you can find in both Yoga and Pilates; although with some variations. Typically in Yoga you would not hold the toes or ankles, and the knees are together. In Pilates this pose is mostly known as Open Leg Balance/Rocker, and the legs are slightly apart, and you can roll back to the tips of the shoulders blades and back up to balance on the sitting bones. In both styles you are sitting up on the sit bones, back flat, legs lengthened out, and core engaged; your body forming a V shape. The main benefit of this pose is of course engaging and strengthening the core.
Come to a sitting position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Grab behind the backs of the knees and roll back until you are between a straight arm and a bent arm. Lift the legs up so that shins are parallel to the mat/floor. Keep the chest lifted and back flat. Engage the core, and release the hold on the knees, straightening arms out. This would be Half Boat Pose, with bent knees. To advance the post, extend and lengthen the legs out as shown above. You can grab the toes, or ankles and hold the pose for 5 breaths.
Release feet to floor, with bent knees, and fold over knees, letting back roll out. Take 5 breaths here.