What is the core and why is it important?

You have most likely heard yoga instructors say "engage the core" or "activate the core" in their classes. But what exactly is the core and why is it fundamental for practicing yoga asanas (poses)?

The core is a complex series of muscles that includes much more than your abs.

Think of the core as all the muscles protecting your spine - from the outer sides to the deepest muscles attached to the spine. These muscles act to stabilize your spine and transfer energy from the lower body to the upper body and vice versa.

Building strength in the core will not only help you hold your poses longer and stronger, but also lower the risk of back pain, improve your balance, achieve proper posture and most importantly make your daily life easier!

Tips for proper alignment and engagement of the core:

  • Lengthen your spine and extend the crown of your head towards the sky

  • Engage the core muscles by drawing the navel in towards your spine

  • Draw your belly in and up and lengthen your tailbone down

  • Lengthen through the sides of the body

  • Knit your bottom ribs to the top of your pelvis (draw them together)

  • Use the front, back, and side of the body for support and strength in most postures

You are using your core muscles all the time! When you reach to put something on a shelf, bend over to tie your shoes, carry your baby niece, and when your turn to look behind you.

Great core poses include:

  • Boat

  • Upward Dog

  • Upward Salute Side Bend

  • Side Plank

  • Plank / Forearm Plank

  • Bridge / Wheel

  • Chair

  • Crow

  • Warrior (I-III)

  • Half Moon

  • Revolved Triangle

Try out the poses above, using our pro tips, to help strengthen and stretch

your core and mid-body.

You can also learn more about how to build up your core and body by signing up for our Strength & Sculpt Online Yoga Program - coming soon!

View our other Online Yoga Programs here.

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