Navasana’s often introduced as a core strengthening pose. The muscles in the area activate to stabilise the sit-bones, with the legs & arms afloat, keeping the body balanced.
Indeed the core is involved in this asana, though the muscle group that’s being worked the hardest are the hip flexors! Observe the upper thigh area & see how much the muscles are working to keep the legs in mid-air?
Try extending the knees & notice what happens - to keep the legs up, the body naturally tries to displace their weight to the lower back; to counter this, refrain from leaning back & engage the muscles in the quadriceps & lower core. You’d find how challenging it becomes to straighten the knees & keep them up this way.
*note: hands can also stay on the ground if you need the extra help in maintaining balance
Hongyi the yogi
Full-time yoga teacher & trainee yoga therapist in London. Eager to share, eager to learn!