Sit on the ground as shown in the posture. Keep your eyes closed. Spread you legs forward and place you right foot on your left thigh and you left foot on you right thigh. Let your left hand rest on you left knee and you right hand on you right knee. Let the tips of you thumbs touch the tips of you index fingers. This is called the Gyana Mudra. Keep you head and spinal column erect.
Ardha means half and Nava means boat or ship or vessel. This posture gives the body the shape of a boat and therefore the name.
- This Asana has no real cultural value, but it has been praised in Yogic literature for its high spiritual value. It is a meditative pose.
- In this pose the advantage is restricted only to the lower extremities. In producing a foot-lock to resemble the petals of a lotus, one has to arrange the feet in a particular way and in doing so the flexors of the lower extremities are greatly contracted and pressed.
- This interferes with the arterial circulation in them and consequently a larger supply of blood is directed to the organs in the pelvic region, thus toning them up and absorbing the internal secretions of the gonads (sexual glands).
- It is said that the absorption of the genital secretions controls the emotions and maintains the physical balance.
Except for the neck, the spine must be kept erect. When practiced without Bandhas, this Asana may be done for any length of time, provided one can sit in it without any sense of discomfort. People who are not used to sitting on the floor could find a little difficulty in the beginning. They may experience pain in the knees. But with continued practice one can overcome this discomfort and maintain the pose for a longer period.