Holidays have you in a tizzy and need to center?
Looking for a way to build core strength and feel powerful?
Did you know you can balance your whole body with just one pose (and its fun variations)?
Balance in boat!
Boat pose strengthens the abs, hip flexors and muscles of the spine increasing core support and promoting great posture. It also aids digestion which is great for holiday celebrations.
Boat also relieves stress and creates focus and balance. Here are lots of variations, so start with the basics and then find your favorite!
Boat can be a pretty intense work-out. Turn it into fun by singing a song and you may be surprised by how long you can stay in the pose and how much easier it feels.
Row row row your boat gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream
***Option to paddle, sail, speed (motor sound instead of words). Make up any boat you want!
Tips for Mastering Boat Pose:
- Keep spine long and chest open and lifted
- Keep feet on the ground at first, then lift shins and feet parallel to the floor
- Extend the legs only if you can without rounding your back (this is super advanced so don't worry if you are not there yet)
- Reach your arms forward or row them at your sides as you sing
Fun Variations of Boat Pose:
- Clasp your hands together and row to each side of your body to work your obliques (side abs)
- Paddle boat - Lean back onto your elbows. Extend one leg forward and hover it off the floor while you draw the other leg toward your chest. Then switch as you sing!
- Belly boat (or pirate ship) - Lie on your belly. Bend your knees and reach back to grab your feet with your hands from the outside. Press your shins back to lift your chest up. Rock forward and back as you sing.
- Partner boats (see some examples in the pictures below)
Work together to make partner boats!
Create opportunities for SEL (Social Emotional Learning) while teaming up on these partner boat variations! Children can work in pairs or in small groups to make larger ships. Take turns being the boat, sail, captain, waves, wind and anything else they imagine.
There are so many ways to make boats together. Write or share a picture of your favorite boat pose in the comments below. Bon voyage everyone!