How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Burning Boat Exercise

The Burning Boat really works the muscles of your belly, like rowing without paddles. Because this yoga-with-weights exercise uses only your buttocks touching the ground, you make your muscles burn and you build endurance and stamina. In the yogic system, fire represents purification, change, and renewal. Be sure to use Ocean Breaths in this workout because they oxygenate the fire and really heat things up.

You need both hand weights and ankle weights for this exercise. When you’re ready, follow these steps.

  1. Sit on your buttocks with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, and hold the weights in your hands with your palms facing forward.

    Pull your belly in, and lift your spine.

  2. Lean back slightly, lift your feet from the floor, and tuck your knees into your chest.

    This is the starting position. Concentrate on finding a point of balance.

    If you have a lower back injury, lift one leg at a time rather than both legs. If you still feel uncomfortable, move on to the next exercise.

    If your abdominal muscles are strong enough, you can try doing this exercise with your legs straight, not bent.

  3. Exhaling to a count of four, lift the hand weights to perform a bicep curl.

    Keep your shoulders squared to place the work directly on your bicep muscles.

  4. Inhaling to a count of four, lower the hand weights to the starting position.

    Be careful not to drop the weights. Let the rhythm of your breathing guide your motion.

Don’t hold your breath during this exercise. Focus on your breathing, and try to relax (yeah, right!).

If doing this exercise with weights is too difficult at first, try it without the weights or with light weights until you become strong enough.

Repeat this exercise six to eight times, take a rest, and then do six to eight more repetitions.

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