- Exercise & Fitness
Yoga Core Strength Exercises
- Yoga For Dragon Riders
Looking for an exceptional book on yoga? Build strength and cultivate wisdom with this deep dive into the playful and profound practice of yoga. Yoga for Dragon Riders encourages you to bring more magic to life and live your truth fully!
Finding Core Strength and Balance in Your Life With Yoga
Can yoga connect you with your core strength physically as well as mentally and emotionally? Absolutely! And I’ll give you some great ways to connect to your core here.
Having a strong body is essential to finding total harmony in all aspects of your life. Yet discovering your optimal state means taking a look at your tendencies.
Do you tend to do more strengthening than stretching in your physical activities? Yoga can help you do both at the same time. If you’re more physically focused you might also consider supplementing your daily routine with meditative practices which have been shown in numerous studies to improve overall performance as well as helping you find peace of mind.
Do you tend to have a more gentle practice when it comes to being active? Liven up your body and find more energy by adding core strengthening exercises at least 3 times a week.
Personally, I consider a well rounded ongoing practice one that has lots of variety and covers all the bases. Every week I make sure I give myself the following:
Yoga practices with different focuses such as:
- Hip openers
- Back bends
- Core strengthening
- Arm balances and standing balances
- Forward bends and twists
- Restorative if my body needs rest and recuperation
Daily exercise of varied intensity like:
- Going to the gym and using an Elliptical machine or similar
Daily meditation: *This is key for keeping myself and others around me happy!*
Yoga Core Strength Exercises
Alright, here we go.
The following video includes a short but effective sequence that will work your entire body with a focus on the core stabilizing muscles of your torso and spine. Yes, this includes your abs and back muscles, but it goes further than that by using alignment and variety to engage the stabilizers in your shoulders, hips, legs and arms.
When you watch the video, take note of the alignment used in each pose as it is key to keeping the body safe and getting the most out of each exercise. The alignment instructions are informed by the Universal Principles of Alignment™ of Anusara® yoga, which is a highly respected system for optimal circulation and overall health.
Core Strength Exercises Video
Here’s a re-cap of the sequence with a few tips:
- Downward Dog
- Plank (like the top of a push-up)
- Downward Dog
- Plank to Chaturunga to Plank (a slow push-up, with a hold half-way - do multiple reps)
- Downward Dog, one leg up for a hip/thigh stretch
- Cobra (an invigorating backbend *DO NOT FORCE* but use your breath to find your optimal back bend in each practice)
- Downward Dog
- Plank with one foot lifted (feel the core stabilizing muscles doing their thing)
- Downward Dog
- Warrior II and Reverse Warrior (longer holds will increase the challenge and strengthening effects)
- Cobra variation - hands clasped
- Flying yogi - arms, chest, and legs off the floor (longer holds will increase the challenge and strengthening effects)
- Downward Dog to Forward Bend
- Twisting abdominal exercises (This also strengthens the shoulder rotator muscles as the shoulders press into the ground. To increase difficulty, straighten your legs. *DO NOT LET SHOULDERS LIFT* and PLEASE keep a natural curve in your neck and back)
- Leg lowering abdominal exercises (Use different angles to work different areas in the abs. Again, keep a natural curve to the spine and neck.)
Multiple reps of each exercise will help you get the most out of them. Suggested reps are included in the video, but use your own judgment.
**At no point should you be in acute pain. If it hurts, stop and check your alignment. Forcing or straining increases risk of injury. You are responsible for your own safety.**
Yes, it should be a challenge, but if something hurts it’s indicating a misalignment. Listen to your body, it is a very wise being and will tell you if you need to change something.
Consulting with an experienced yoga teacher is the best way to learn this alignment so you truly know how to get the most out of your practice in the safest way.
A Friendly Guide to Yoga's Wisdom
Connecting to Your Core with Meditation
If you have never tried or considered meditation, just think about this for a minute: Some of the most successful and respected people in the world meditate every day and attribute a great deal of their success to this practice.
Meditation is one of the most effective and rewarding ways to strengthen your true core; the essence of who you are. It keeps you sane in a world that can be more than a little crazy.
I have a free yoga meditation service on my website that helps you integrate meditation easily and realistically into your busy life. I would love to see you there!
Great Yoga and Fitness Resources
- Why You Need to Stretch After Working Out
If you're dedicated to your health and fitness but aren't stretching after your workout you're cheating yourself. Learn why, and get some stretching ideas from the videos.
- Online Yoga and Inspiration Emails
These emails bring you mini-meditations and yoga practices that fit perfectly into a busy day. An excellent way to learn more yoga without it taking a lot of time.
- Free Yoga and Meditation Service
Inspiring yoga and meditation services bringing clarity and calm to even the busiest day. Easy, immediate practices.
The Importance of Variety
The body is an amazingly complex organism, capable of more than we can imagine. Due to its ingenious design, your body really wants you to use it in many different ways so it stays healthy and continues to evolve.
Think of it this way, if you ate the same thing every day you’d get bored and your nutritional intake would suffer. If you do the same type of workout all the time, you’re missing out – not just on the fun and stimulation, but on the physical and other benefits of different activities and practices.
Now, there is something to be said about having a routine that you know and one that works for you, just don’t get stuck in it and forget to try new things.
Every day in my yoga practice I add different poses. I have some postures I do every time, but there are others I rotate in which strengthen and stretch my muscles differently. Having this variety also engages my focus and develops my ability to stay present.
Adding variety in every aspect of your life expands your capacity as a human being in so many ways. Give it a try:
- Take a new route next time you run, walk, or bike, or try a new activity altogether
- Experiment with different foods, books, music, or movies
- Meet someone new and see where the conversation takes you
By willfully engaging in the vast spectrum of life, your core grows stronger and your comfort zone gets ever wider. Remember to have fun!
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