Boat Pose is not an easy pose to learn. It is an excellent core strengthener. The use of props to modify it are helpful for low back pain. If you are not used to doing this pose or if you frown upon it in Yoga class, take heed, help is here to achieve this pose.
Set up for the pose with a rectangular bolster, 2 blocks and a back support such as a sit-up and stretch pad. Go to https://www.yogadirect.com and search Sit-up and Stretch Pad to learn more about this prop.
Lay down on your back with the torso on the Sit-up and Stretch Pad. Place the head on a block or a blanket roll. The knees are bent with the feet on the bolster. Extend the arms at the sides with the palms facing the torso.
Gently tilt the pelvic girdle and press the small of the back into the mat. The press is felt on the lower end of the prop. Inhale and lift the arms, torso and head together. Lead with the heart toward the knees, gaze to the knees. Ground yourself with the feet on the bolster. Do not lift the legs. Hold this pose for 3 to 5 breaths when first learning this pose. The goal is to get to 10 breaths. Slowly bring down the head, torso and arms together while tilting the pelvic girdle to support the lower back. Once the torso is back down extend the arms out at shoulder level, extend the legs straight out on the bolster and relax.
Some modifications suggest using the arms to support the back of the legs to lift them. This is too stressful for neck, shoulder and/or arm issues within the 50 and older population. Additionally, the bolster anchors the pose to target the core while protecting the lower back.
Sign up for classes at https://beaulieuyoga.com/classes to experience using props for a safe and enjoyable Yoga practice.