Do you want to BE Strong or do you want to LOOK Strong?
Not a day goes by when somebody doesn’t ask me, “Mandy, can we focus on CORE muscles today during yoga?” and often I have to refrain from rolling my eyes and letting out a huge sigh. Instead, I smile and say, “Sure.” What most of you do not realize is that every yoga class IS a core-focused class. In order to properly balance in your poses, your core muscles must be engaged and involved. In order to bend forward, backward and twist, your core is also engaged. Maybe the better question then, is, HOW do you want to work your core muscles today and WHAT level of intensity are you going for? Even better, ask your self the question, “What do I mean when I say I want to work my core?” For most women, that translates to a flat and lean stomach and for most men, that means 6-pack Abs.
Do you want to BE strong, or do your want to LOOK strong? Ask yourself “What do I really want to achieve?”
I want to give you 10 poses that you can do all together for one short core-focused yoga, or pick a few to integrate into your practice.
But first, lets take a quick look at the “Core.” Most people say the word “core” and immediately picture the abdominal muscles they see flexed when they perform a sit up or crunch. However, the CORE actually refers to much more than that. You have your abdominal group: Transverse Abdominis, Rectus Abdominis, Internal Oblique and External Oblique. Did you know that some of your back muscles are also a part of this group: Erector Spinae and Multifidi. There is also a support group of muscles, these you may be more familiar with: Your Lats, Glutes and Traps. Crunches and Sit Ups only work a portion of our Core. The following poses will help you engage and exercise all your core muscles.
Bridge: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Boat pose w/modifications: Paripurna Navasana
Modified Cat/Cow: Marjaryasana/ Bitilasana
Plank pose (2 forms):
Side Planks: Vasisthasana
Crow pose: Bakasana
Warrior lunge twist: Virabhadrasana 1
Warrior III: Virabhadrasana 3
Twisted Chair: Utkatasana
Tree pose: Vrksasana
Child’s Pose: Balasana
For further instruction, I offer both semi-private and private yoga classes throughout the week. Visit my website to learn more! Now, get out there and stabilize that core! Your very foundation depends on it!