In case you’ve been practicing boat pose and were like, “Damn, I like feeling like I just set my abs, hip flexors, and quads on fire. If only there were more ways to do it!” Or, perhaps a bit more practically, “This boat thing looks interesting, but that first version just isn’t doing it for me.” So, happy fun variations for a variety of needs. (Bonus points for anyone who can guess how late at night I’m writing this.)
First, some floor variations that might be appropriate for people who were having some trouble, either physical or mental, with the sort of “classic” version of the pose:
[Video from ExpertVillage via YouTube.]
Also, boat pose works in chairs:
[This video also from ExpertVillage via YouTube.]
For folks who want to practice straightening the legs but need additional support, it is possible to use the arms:
[Video by and featuring WheelzOfFortune. Uploaded via YouTube.]
Or a strap:
[Video by and featuring Jennifer Coan. Uploaded via YouTube.]
For people looking to add some flow, one can slide boat into a vinyasa:
[Esther Ekhart instructing via Yoga with Ekhart and YouTube.]
I am particularly fond of this one because it combines some psoas strengthening (boat) with some psoas lengthening (table). Plus, it’s a nice shoulder opener, and my shoulders always need opening.
Another option is to take boat on a diagonal:
[Video from YogaTuneUp via YouTube.]
Abdominally, this incorporates the obliques. In terms of hip flexors, I find that it’s a good way to isolate the work done by each side. This can be good for me when I’m having hip issues and either can’t work one side as much — or, conversely, when I’d like to work one side more.
Finally, if you’re like, “Boat pose is just not fun without some upper body work too,” you can stick your boat up in the air.
[Video by Jennifer Coan via YouTube.]