The English translation of the Sanskrit word Nouka means Boat or the Yacht. While performing this posture, the body resembles the shape of a boat, and hence it is called Noukasana. This can be done in two different ways; in prone position and in the supine position. The difference between both the positions is that the prone position requires stretching of the abdominal muscles, while in the supine position the muscles of the abdomen are contracted.
- Lie on the stomach with face down, hands stretched in backward direction and placed close to the thighs.
- Stretch the arms forward, placing them on the floor with palms kept close together and the forehead to be placed on the floor.
- Lift the legs in the back-upward direction without bending the knees as much as possible and the neck and arms to be lifted in the front as much as possible without bending.
- Continue normal breathing and remain steady in the posture by exerting the body weight on the abdomen.
- Exhale, and release the position by first bringing the knees, and then the shoulders and chin on the ground.
- Bring the hands back to the original position. The legs can also be brought to the original position as in the prone position.
It could be difficult for beginners to remain in the Noukasana yoga posture for a few seconds initially and hence the time for remaining in this posture should be increased only gradually with regular practice.
As the muscles of the legs and hands are stretched through this asana, the capacity of the internal organs is increased. It also provides relief from problems related to digestive system and back pain.