February 14, 2015

Yoga for Core Strength. {Video}


I never truly understood the importance of core strength until I started renovating my house, and I had to lift heavy furniture, tear up carpet, dispose of said carpet and help put together a pretty wooden floor.

On the mat, when I would work on my handstands, I always thought my arms were too weak, and while that is a contributing factor, the most important part of any practice, in my opinion, is a solid foundation: our center.

Plank Pose: Press the head forward and the heels back, creating a line with the body. Engage the core, but stay easy and gentle. It is nice to sometimes sway side to side to keep the shoulders and neck from getting too tense.

Yogi Push Ups: From plank pose, lower all the way down so we’re lying on our bellies. Then, pressing into our palms, lift back up to plank. Do this three times.

Crazy Yogi Elbow Taps: From Down Dog, lift the right leg into Down Dog Split. Then, sweep the right knee forward to tap the right elbow. Swing the knee under the body until it taps the left elbow. Then, sweep the leg all the way back to Down Dog Split. Do this at least three times on each side. Keep the hips lifted to encourage the core and keep the fingers spread wide for support.

Warrior 3: Create a nice line with the body. For an extra challenge, inhale up to stand and bring the knee into the chest without dropping the foot down. Give the knee a hug and then extend back out to Warrior 3. Do this three times on each side, staying balanced and keeping the core nice and tight for stability.

Squat Twists: A great release on the back and tummy!

Boat Pose and Boat Lower-Lifts: In boat pose, with a straight spine and lifted legs, lower halfway down to the floor while extending the toes forward. On the inhale, lift everything back up to boat. Exhale and lower back down. Do this ten times.

Plow Pose: Lying on the back, roll the back and let the legs extend over the head. The toes can touch down to the floor behind our heads, but they don’t have to. This is a great release for the lower back. If we hold our toes above the floor, it is a nice workout for the core.

Supported Shoulder Stand: From Plow Pose, bring the hands to the small of the back and lift the legs straight up into a shoulder stand. This is a great inversion as well as a great core workout!

The core is our center and therefore the foundation of our balance and strength. Strengthen the core and we strengthen the practice.



Author: Stacy Porter

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Author’s Own 

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