CORE STRENGTH - WHY ARE WE AFRAID OF THIS?
SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2008: So funny how most of us react when we hear or see the word "core" isn't it? Believe me until I understood the difference between ab strength and core work I had an automatic "oh no not that stuff" response. I even perfected the I have to take a drink of water, go to the bathroom routine in traditional fitness classes when it came up. To be honest ab crunches were never a favorite of mine and what kept me coming back to yoga especially in the first few years was the fact no traditional sit ups were performed. I have now befriended the traditional sit-up and although we are not best friends we are friendly enough. How did this dramatic turn around happen? Well two things: (1) I learned that ab and core were not the same and that ALL of yoga is core centric and (2) I bought Shiva Rea's Ab DVD which was fun and because of this the struggle melted away. So here below is the handout from the 6:15pm class this day. May you too educate yourself on the difference between core and abs and hopefully you too will find the playfulness even in ab stuff. Take the risk, find out! Peace, Silvia
Yoga for Core Strength
"Core strength" is an often-misused term. Core strength and abdominal strength are not the same. One could have very strong abdominals but have no sense of core or inner stability. If we think of abdominal strength and core energy as one, we risk missing the importance of a true center or core. Abdominal strength is useful and important but core strength signifies a healthy 3rd chakra and confidence in life decisions. A strong core is linked to healthy emotional and spiritual balance beyond just the physical.
The core, says senior Anusara teacher Desirée Rumbaugh, "is what supports us spiritually in our lives, and physically in our yoga practice. If our core is weak, the ups and downs of life are much harder to take. A strong core makes us more resilient."
Core Strengthening Poses:
· Pelvic Tilts: From Bridge Pose and Cat/Puppy
o How? Simply lengthen your tailbone to lift your sacrum off the ground while keeping your lower back connected to the earth. If you do this 5 to 20 times slowly with your breath—lift as you inhale, and lower as you exhale—you will feel the benefits of strengthening your lower belly, lengthening your spine, and learning to connect the front and back of your core.
· Gentle Backbends: Locust, Cobra, Bridge with block
· Warrior Poses: Low Lunge preparation with block, High Lunge, Warrior A, Warrior B
· Twists: Ardha Matsyendrasana, Side Angle Pose
· Stabilizers: Plank, Dolphin, Dolphin Plank, Down Dog
· 1 Leg Balance Poses: Crane, Warrior C, Eagle
"If we don't know how to get centered in our core, we're basically doormats for whoever's a stronger personality, we become susceptible to anyone who wants to push us off balance, whether it's a controlling mother or a boss that controls by fear." - Ana Forrest, founder Forrest Yoga