Welcome to the yoga tutorial that will strengthen your core, create power in your asana practice, and resilience for both the body and mind.
If you’ve been practicing yoga for more than six months, you’re well aware of the necessary core requirements to move in a safe and effective manner. And if you’re new to the practice, welcome to the yoga community & welcome to an incredibly important lesson about yoga asana.
The lesson being….. all movement originates from the core of our being.
The core being the entire circumference of belly to back, the side body and from the lower to upper portions of our stomach and backside body. Imagine your core as a corset that’s spanning from below the lower ribs to above the pubic bone. It’s the entire area, not just the six pack abs we see on the front of magazine covers.
And because the core is such an integral part of our bodies and our movement patterns, it’s imperative we strengthen it to support a powerful, safe and enjoyable yoga practice.
You following me?
Okay, let’s get straight into it yogis. Grab your core yoga game face, unroll your mat, and get ready to feel the yummy burn!
1. Eagle Crunches
- Take either a full bind or half bind with both arms and legs, choose what works best for you.
- On an exhale breath – hug knees and elbows towards one another.
- On an inhale breath – stretch the body long, but hover both feet and arms off the ground.
- Focus on keeping the low back connected to the ground throughout & keep belly hugging back to spine.
2. Boat Pose
- Do the pose with either straight legs or bent knees, but always keep length in the backside body. If you lose the length, bend the knees and bring hands behind the thighs.
- Regardless of what your legs are doing, fire up the inner thighs and hug them together, like really tight.
- To create more heat – extend fingertips forward as you lift through the chest, simultaneously gliding shoulder blades down and onto the back.
3. Sunbird Pose
- Start in a tabletop position, making sure the body is stacked – hips over knees & shoulders over wrist.
- Extend opposite arm and leg. Focus on creating length, extension and sending the breath from heel to crown of head.
- With the planted hand, push into the ground to lift up out of your shoulder.
4. Locust Prep
- Cross your ankles and interlace the hands to create a fist package.
- Inhale to lift up and hug the body into itself and exhale to soften into the posture.
- Focus on creating length & space in the body versus height with the shape.
5. Knee to Elbow
- Start in downward facing dog & inhale one leg back and high – coming into 3 legged downward facing dog.
- Exhale to hug the lifted knee into the tricep/elbow area.
- As you exhale and connect the knee, deeply hug your belly to spine and round the back, like really round it.
- For extra points – hug the knee to opposite elbow and feel your side body/obliques fire up.
6. Legs Up Crunches
- Extend the legs straight up, stacking ankles over hips. and energizing through the toes.
- Once hands are interlaced, keep elbows incredibly wide throughout the movement.
- On an exhale breath – lift your chin towards the sky (keep elbows wide).
- On an inhale breath – return back to a neutral position – shoulders hovering and elbows still wide.
7. Kundalini Squat
- Hug knee behind knee and the lifted heel towards the booty.
- Keep hands at heart center to fire up the core & strengthen your balance.
- Bring fingertips to the ground if too intense.
8. Side Plank Variation
- Start in side plank pose.
- Extend the bottom leg & lifted arm horizontally out to the side – really energize here, hug muscle to bone, and continue breathing.
9. Bicycle Crunches
- When moving from side to side, focus on keeping both shoulders lifted – it’s mega intense!
- On an exhale breath – hug opposite elbow and knee towards one another.
- On an inhale breath – smoothly transition to the other side.
- Focus on keeping the low back connected to the ground throughout & keeping belly hugging back to spine.
10. Plank Pose
- Stack and align your body here to make this pose stronger (and easier)!
- Imagine your making space from shoulder to shoulder and from crown of head to toes.
- Melt your tailbone towards the heels, encouraging the stomach hugging up and into the mid-line.
If you just did all of the above, your tummy is on fire (wishing I could belt that out like the Alicia Keys song, too bad words can’t talk)!
Hey! I’m Allie.
I’m a self-growth student, freedom-seeker, yoga teacher and the founder of a tight-knit online yoga community: the Body Mind Soul Studio. I’m here to teach you how to transform your life on-and-off-the-mat with a holistic yoga practice.
I wanna learn it all!
The Yoga Reset Guide is my FREE 7-step journey to deepen your practice and recenter your body, mind and soul. Self-paced, no equipment necessary, perfect for beginners AND veteran yogis.