Well helloooo, March! It seems you're holding on strong to winter, which I don't particularly appreciate, but that's okay because Spring will be here soon enough.
Though it doesn't feel like it, spring really is just around the corner (woohoo!). And that means that summer (aka swimsuit season) is right behind it (could be another "woohoo" or an "ah crap", depending on how you're looking at it). As such, I think it's a perfect time to give a little extra attention to our core. This is one area I always get requests for in class, and I simply LOVE it.
The core muscles include all of the muscles in your trunk and pelvis, with the majority of them being in the belly, mid- and lower-back, and hip areas. Yep, that's right...your core consists of more than just your abs! For all you anatomy buffs out there, here is a great blog post by a pilates instructor on the core muscles.
These ever-so-popular core muscles are most widely known for holding in/protecting your internal organs and stabilizing most actions of the body. A stronger core means a more stable body all around which is why it's so important to strengthen these muscles! It's also absolutely essential for your core to be strong in order to take on more advanced yoga poses (asanas) like handstands and arm balances. So while 6-pack abs do tend to look nice, I think it's equally impressive to be able to stand on your hands, do crazy arm balances, or even just walk in a straight line without falling over. Don't you think?
That is why March will be devoted to the core. I'll breakdown my most favorite poses and exercises to strengthen this area at the beginner, intermediate and advanced practitioner levels.
To start, let's discuss Plank Pose. Seemingly simple, but I bet that anyone who's had to hold plank for 30 seconds or more will tell you it's anything but.
How to Get There
The Belly Sag: If you hear a teacher tell you to lift your thighs or kneecaps up to the ceiling, you may be doing this:
The Humpback Whale: And if you a teacher tells you to lower your hips or walk your feet back so your heels are over your toes, you may be doing this:
Hope you have fun warming up your core! You'll need the prep work - there's much more to come!
I’m Anahita Reilly, a Type-A, native Northern Virginian, happiness lover. This blog evolved out of my longstanding desire to share this beautiful thing called yoga with others. Click here to read more...