In my experience so far, I have found that children tend to give up easily in this pose since it is highly engaging for your core. I suggest teaching the steps as 3 levels to give them the option of practicing in a way that feels good for their bodies. Step 1 = sit in the balancing position & keep your hands on the back of your legs. Step 2 = releasing your hands keeping your legs at 90 degrees. Step 3 = extending your legs straight up! Encourage them to try all the steps, but then give them the option of holding the posture in the step that is right for them! To keep them in the pose longer, try some of our other fun suggestions below.
- Row Boat: Instead of keeping your arms straight out in front of you, you can pretend to row your boat & even sing the classic song!
- Turn the boat: To steer your boat, reach your arms out to your sides into a T position (keeping your legs the same). Twist your left hand towards your right knee as your right arm reaches towards the back, this is turning right! Go ahead and do the opposite to turn left. Have someone be the boat captain and call out "Left, Center, Right" or do this as a breathing exercise inhaling to center, exhaling to twist.
- Might Morphin' Power Boat: To stay in this pose even longer, you can let your boat morph into a bunch of different shapes while continuing to balance on your bottom. Use your arms and legs creatively to come up with some interesting shapes, or maybe even some new poses. Turn this into a mirroring game by doing it with a partner! They have to copy your movements as if looking into a mirror. OR create a group game by allowing each person to have a turn leading the group in a morph.
- Strengthens the abdominals, hip flexors and spine.
- Stimulates the kidneys, thyroid and intestines.
- Relieves stress.
- Improves digestion.
- Helps build stamina.
Yoga is so much better together! Here are some ideas of how to incorporate boat pose into your partner and group work.
- Octopus: Try doing boat back to back with a partner! You can link arms for better balance, or simple wriggle your arms and legs freely like an octopus.
- Sail Boat: Sit facing your partner, knees bent feet flat on the floor as if preparing for boat. Turn your toes up to connect them together with your partner, then link hands (make sure you knees are on the inside of your arms). One foot at a time, slowly lift each sail up by pressing your feet into one another and straightening your legs.
- Cruise Ship: Start in the same position as sail boat, however this time when linking hands make sure that your knees are outside of your arms. Again, turn your toes up to connect them with your partner and one foot at a time slowly lift each leg up and out to the side. Continue pressing your feet into one another to keep your legs up off the floor.
- Battle Ship/Pirate Ship: Sit in a circle with your group, knees slightly bent feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the shoulders of the person to either side of you. All together, begin to lift your legs off the floor and straighten them out so that your feet meet in the middle. To challenge your group a little more, let go of your friend's shoulders and use your arms to row the ship!
Keep shining brightly, living boldly, and being your beautiful authentic self.