Uttana Padasana / Naukasana

Uttana Padasana / Naukasana

Inhale and life head as well legs. Keep hands on the sides adjacent to thighs. Hold the pose for as long as possible.

NAUKASANA

Uttana Padasana / Naukasana (boat pose)

1. Lie in the base position, palms down. 
2. Keep the eyes open throughout. 
3. Breathe in deeply. Hold the breath and then raise the legs, arms, shoulders, head and trunk off the ground. The shoulders and feet should be no more than 15 cm off the floor. Balance the body on the buttocks and keep the spine straight. 
4. The arms should be held at the same level and in line with the toes. The hands should be open with the palms down. 
5. Look towards the toes. 
6. Remain in the final position and hold the breath. Count to 5 mentally (or for longer if possible). 
7. Breathe out and return to the supine position. Be careful not to injure the back of the head while returning to the floor. 
8. Relax the whole body. This is one round. 
Practise 3 to 5 rounds. Relax in shavasana after each round, gently pushing out the abdomen with inhalation to relax the stomach muscles. 

Note: While holding, maintain normal breathing.

Breathing: Inhale before raising the body. Retain the breath while raising, tensing and lowering the body. Exhale in the base position. 

Awareness:

On the breath, movement, mental counting and tensing of the body (especially the abdominal muscles) in the final position. 

Benefits: This asana stimulates the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, tones all the organs and removes lethargy. It is especially useful for eliminating nervous tension and bringing about deep relaxation. It may be performed before shavasana in order to attain a deeper state of relaxation. If practised upon waking it immediately restores freshness. 

Variation: Repeat the same process as above but clench the fists and tense the whole body as much as possible in the raised position.