Runners need strong abs to protect their lower backs from injury, so Boat is essential.
- Begin sitting on your mat. Lift your knees up to your chest and balance on your sit bones (the bottom of your pelvis). Keep your spine as long and straight as possible.
- Slowly straighten the legs up. If your back starts to hunch, keep your knees bent. The action of keeping your spine long and drawing your belly in is what works your abs here, so don't worry if your legs aren't straight.
- Hold for five complete breaths.
- Now you're ready to take the lift. Cross your legs just below your knees, point through your toes, and pull them in as close to your body as possible, without letting them touch the ground. Plant your palms firmly beside your hips, spreading your fingers wide. On an inhale, hold yourself together like a little ball, press your palms into the ground, engage your core, and try to lift your body off the ground. If that's too difficult, touch your toes to the mat and just lift your hips off the ground. Exhale and slowly release your body back to the ground.
- Come back into Boat for five more breaths, then take the lift again. Do this three more times for a total of five reps of this pose.