Monday, November 26, 2012

Posture Of The Week - BOAT Pose

By Sue Heron – Training Co-ordinator Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist

In Tatty Bumpkin classes, the posture for this week is BOAT pose, in the sessions your child will go on an adventure with Tatty Bumpkin and dog, over the sea, to the island of statues. 

What BOAT Pose Looks Like

How To Do It (What to tell your child) 

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front.With a friend or grown-up, hold each other’s wrists, and put your legs inside and under your partner’s legs. Rock gently backwards then forwards. You might feel a tightness at the back of your legs as you stretch your hamstring muscles.

Want to Make it Harder? 

With a friend or partner, rock further forwards and backwards and side to side. Be careful that you both rock in time to each other and definitely do not pull too hard! Talk about different boat shapes or the creatures you might see in the waves.



To canoe on your own. Sit with your legs stretched out in front. Reach forward a grasp one of your feet with both hands. Wrap one hand round the top of your foot and the other round your heel so the sole of your foot faces inwards. In line with your stretched out leg, gently bring your foot towards your body, then move it away from your body, in a rowing action. Be careful not to take your foot across your outstretched leg as this can cause an unwanted strain.

Why it is ‘Good For Me’

Boat pose encourages your child’s social and communication skills, whilst they are moving and playing with their friends or you!

The rocking action promotes your child’s sitting balance and provides them with a gentle hamstring stretch. In addition your child’s core muscles, their abdominal, spinal and shoulder muscles, will be activated. All these effects will assist your child’s sitting posture. 

When your child rocks forwards and backwards in boat pose they stimulate their movement senses, especially their vestibular sense as they move their head to and fro. Stimulation of the vestibular sense can directly affect ‘levels of alertness’ i.e. slow, rocking actions can be soothing and quietening in contrast to more vigorous head movements which can be intensely alerting. There is some evidence to suggest that rocking head movements (forwards and backwards) are organising in nature whilst spinning head movements can be quite disorganising for the brain, as in a fairground ride. Boat pose if done rhythmically, at a moderate speed, and not for too long, can gradually raise your child’s ‘levels of alertness’, in an organising way. This makes boat pose an excellent activity for your child to do in a ‘movement break’ if they need to increase their levels of concentration for a difficult, abstract task i.e. writing or maths. But remember not for too long, 1 minute is probably enough!


Make it Multi-Sensory, Educational & Fun

Through the magic of a Tatty Bumpkin class, Boat pose can become both a multi-sensory and an educational activity. In Tatty Bumpkin classes we always try to stimulate a variety of senses, to add to the fun, give choice, & to support the learning process.

All our classes are linked to the new 2012 EYFS framework meaning that your child will have the opportunity to progress in all areas of their development, giving them a truly holistic experience. 

Tatty Bumpkin will be doing BOAT pose as part of her adventure to the island of statues; to reach the island she will have to search the shore for wood, build her boat and then sail across the sea meeting her Octopus friends on the way!

Do Tatty Bumpkin Octopus Pose with your friends!

Wrapping the pose inside a story, means your child will get involved in the story and find the exercises more meaningful and hence more fun to do. Find your local Tatty Bumpkin class at

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