It is the early part of the New Year, and many Yoga students may still ardently be in pursuit of losing the extra weight they have been carrying around for some time. Some students may even have begun a regular practice of Yoga in order to enhance and support their weight loss efforts. Many of the vigorously flowing forms of Yoga practices, such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga, help to dramatically increase strength by increasing muscle mass and in turn, boost one’s metabolism.
Teaching abdominal Yoga poses to your students will improve the core stabilization of the body, prevent back injuries and may even lead to six-pack abs! There are a number of Yoga asanas that specifically work the abdominal region of the body. One of the best Yoga abdominal poses to introduce to beginning and intermediate students is Navasana. Navasana is translated as Boat Pose because the body resembles a boat when it is in a “V” shape.
* Navasana or Boat Pose
Navasana is traditionally practiced towards the end of a Yoga session and prior to inversions and Final Relaxation Pose. To guide your students in the practice of Boat Pose, have them sit with their legs extended in front of them on their Yoga mats. With an inhale, instruct your students to lift their legs approximately two feet off the floor while they extend their arms at the level of their knees with their palms facing towards each other. This pose is optimally held for three to five complete breaths, and then released for a brief period of rest. In order to increase abdominal strength, invite your students to repeat the pose three to five times.
* Twisted Navasana
A nice variation of Navasana is Twisted Navasana. This pose builds abdominal strength while increasing flexibility through the legs, chest, shoulders, arms, and upper back. To come into Twisted Navasana, guide your students into Boat Pose, and then instruct them to clasp the outer part of their right foot with the left hand while extending the right hand to their side at chest level with the right palm facing towards the front of the studio. Invite them to hold Twisted Navasana for three to five complete breaths, then release the pose by moving through the traditional form of Navasana and repeat Twisted Navasana on the left hand side.
© Copyright 2013 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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