Today we're pleased to present two different accessible versions of Boat Pose (Navasana) that we learned from yoga teacher Karen Barker. In the first variation, which is the easier of the two, Karen is seated on a chair with her knees bent, feet lifted up off the floor a few inches, and her arms extended forward. Although she is leaning back slightly, she is not touching the back of the chair, but it's there if anyone needs the support.
The second variation of Chair Boat Pose is a bit more challenging. Keeping the same general position as the first version, Karen now straightens both legs almost fully, while still keeping her feet just a few inches above the floor.
Karen suggests that before moving into these poses, you imagine wrapping the muscles of your torso towards the midline in the front and back of your body (but not so tight you can't breathe!) to create a suit of support for your spine.
Karen Barker believes that yoga is for everybody and every body. She found yoga during a stressful time in her life, after having thought for years that she couldn't practice yoga because her body was not a "yoga body." She is a Yoga and Body Image Coalition Partner, Accessible Yoga Ambassador, and Yoga Service Council Member. Some of the additional certifications she has received include Yoga for All, Curvy Yoga, Accessible Yoga, and Body Positive Yoga. Karen is passionate about making yoga accessible and available to all who wish to practice it. She is the owner of Sunbeams Yoga in Ruckersville, Virginia, where she leads adaptive yoga classes, including pay-what-you-can classes.
This post was edited by Nina Zolotow, co-editor of the Accessible Yoga blog and Editor in Chief of Yoga for Healthy Aging.
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