Imagine a yoga pose that can remove lethargy, stimulate the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, and tone all the organs. This same pose can be used to help reduce nervous tension. When practiced at the end of a session and before the final resting pose, Shavasana, it can facilitate a deeper state of release. It can also energize body and mind when done before getting out of bed in the morning.
As usual there are a few names for one yoga pose. This one is called Boat Pose, Stretch Pose, Navasana, Naukasana. We are often encouraged to close our eyes when practicing in order to turn the mind inward. In this pose however the eyes are kept open throughout.
Begin lying on your back palms down, feet together. Be aware of the body breathing itself and when the breath becomes steady, inhale slowly and deeply, hold the breath and then flatten the back of the waist into the ground. Flattening the lower back before lifting the body avoids compression in the lumbar vertebrae. We’ll get back to the breath later.
The second part of this neat yoga move is lifting the upper and then lower body off the floor no more than 6 inches (15 cm); in essence balancing on the buttocks. The arms are also lifted at the same level as the toes. Palms can be facing each other at the sides of the body, or over the thighs. Unless you need to place them under the buttocks to support the lower back. Let the heart lift the head. To keep the vertebrae in the neck safe bring the chin in towards the throat, not down or away from the throat. Your ears will move closer to your shoulders. Try lifting the chest and drawing your chin in as you sit to get a feel for the move. Leave a comfortable space in the throat. Finally lift both legs or one at a time.
As you balance on the buttocks, hold the breath counting mentally to 5, or longer if you can. If you like, tighten the whole body. You could include fists. Then exhale and return to the floor lowering your head carefully. Definitely you do not want a pounding head pain from crashing to the floor! Feel the whole body as you rest between repetitions. If the abdominal muscles are tense, extend them when you inhale. Then repeat the exercise 4 to 5 times.
If you are feeling tired, perhaps you can devote 1-3 minutes a day to this powerful pose and see whether it will remove lethargy.