Half Boat Pose - Ardha Navasana

Half Boat Pose - Ardha Navasana - YanvaYoga


Half Boat Pose or Ardha Navasana (ard-ha NAH-VAH-sah-nah) is a wonderful pose for curing many health problems. In this pose, the body attains the shape of a boat and the balance of the body is put on the hips.
Half Boat Pose targets the abs, glutes, hip flexors, and spine. It also involves the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles. Half Boat stimulates digestive organs, and kidneys; strengthens the core, spine, and hip flexors, and also relieves stress and lethargy.
‘Ardha’ in the Sanskrit language means ‘half’ and ‘Nava’ means a ‘boat, ship or vessel’. This asana resembles the shape of a boat hence this name.
It has been observed that old people during sitting down, getting up, or walking support their backs with their hands. They do it consciously or unconsciously is another matter, but it shows that their back is weak and cannot withstand the strain.
As long as the back is strong and a person needs no support, they will feel young though advanced in age. Ardha Navasana brings life and vigor to the back muscles and enables people to gracefully and comfortably grow old.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Lie on your back, and extend both legs up toward the ceiling.
Step 2
Point your feet, and flex your toes back toward you. Keep the inner edges of your big toes together, heels slightly separated.
Step 3
Hug your legs together, and lower them down to about 30 degrees from the floor (or as low as you can without arching your lower back and jutting your low ribs forward).
Step 4
Extend your arms forward. Curl your head and shoulder blades off of the floor and gaze toward your low belly.
Step 5
Draw your belly in, and round your back. Narrow your two front hip points toward each other to engage your deepest abdominal muscle (transversus abdominis).
Step 6
Press your thigh into your hand and your hand into your thigh for stability to engage the more superficial abdominals.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens your abs, back, and thighs

Improves core balance and posture your

Helps to boost your focus and concentration

Improves digestion

Tones your whole body


Pregnancy or menstruation



Low blood pressure

Heart problems

Low back injury

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

  • For a less challenging variation, bend one knee in toward you, and hold on to the back of your thigh with that same-side hand.
  • Focus on keeping the back straight rather than lifting the feet off the floor. As a beginner, one can perform it by keeping the feet and hands on the floor to add balance to the pose while keeping the back straight.
  • Keep the abdomen firm but do not let the belly get puffed or thick.
  • Perform Ardha Navasana sitting on a chair. This helps the spine to get support from the chair’s back, the hands can grab the seat’s edge, and the chest opens well. The chair makes the pose a lot easier by providing extra height, back support, and handgrip.


Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.