The Best 6 Pose Yoga Flow for a Stronger Core

September 25, 2018

The Best 6 Pose Yoga Flow for a Stronger Core

When we think of the core, the adored six-pack is what often comes to mind, but having a strong core goes far beyond that layer of visible abdominal muscles.

Functional core strength helps us with almost everything we do, prevents us from getting hurt, and keeps our bodies functioning optimally! But, if you are anything like us, going to the gym and throwing down 100 crunches may not exactly be your idea of a good time.

Luckily for us yoga lovers, there are many strengthening poses we can incorporate into our yoga practice to bring more stability to our bodies.

What really is “the core”?

Did you know that your core is more than just your belly?

What we refer to as “the core” is actually many muscles deep within the trunk that support our hips, torso, and shoulders. These muscles weave through the abdomen, lower back, sides, and hips to keep us balanced and stable.

This portion of our body, which supports our spine, connects our upper body to our legs and has a significant impact on both our muscles and bones.  

Let’s talk more about why you want to strengthen your core.

  • Less back pain.One of the most prominent body complaints is that of back pain. Since most commonly back pain is a result of inadequate spinal function and support, a stronger core, along with chiropractic care, will greatly help to alleviate this pain since these muscles wrap the spine and help to stabilize it.
  • Practical Movement.As we get older, our muscles weaken if we don’t actively strengthen them. This weakening of our muscles results in higher possibilities for injury doing simple tasks like maneuvering kids or lifting heavy groceries. A stronger core also means that you are exerting less energy to do simple tasks which leaves you with more power to do what you love!
  • Support your yoga practice. If you want to be able to take your yoga practice to new places, strengthening your core will help take you there. A strong core plays a significant role in helping you to hold postures for longer, get into inversions, balance, and practice without injury.

Yoga For A Strong Core

The following poses can be done together as a sequence, or you can incorporate the postures into your regular yoga practice.

If you are doing just this sequence, it may be beneficial to warm your body with a few sun salutations before beginning.

1. Cat/Cow (warming up the body)

Come into a tabletop position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips over your knees.

Moving with your inhale, drop your belly towards the ground as your heart and tailbone lift towards the sky.

When your exhale comes, begin to reverse by rounding your spine towards the sky and tucking your chin.

Flow through these movements for 5-10 breaths.

2. Table With Lifted Knees (core strengthening)

Come into a tabletop position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips over your knees.

To engage your core, pull your navel into your spine.

Reach your crown of your head forward and extend through your spine.

Lift your knees to a hover.

Stay here for 5-10 breaths.

Lower and repeat 3 times.


3. Forearm Plank to Dolphin (core strengthening)

Come to your belly.

Bring your forearms parallel to the inside of the mat with your elbows stacked under your shoulders.

Interlace your fingers making a fist.

Tuck your toes with your feet hip distance apart.

To engage the core, pull your navel into your spine.

Press into your forearms to lift your chest, belly, and legs off the ground.

Stay in this forearm plank for 5-10 breaths.


Transition from forearm plank to dolphin:

Walk your feet towards your arms as you lift your hips up.

Only walk your feet as far in as you can while still keeping your torso long.

As you press your forearms down, draw your shoulders down your back and press your hips higher.

Stay in dolphin for 5-10 breaths.

Transition back and forth until you have held each posture 3 times.


4. Boat (core strengthening)

Come to seated with your legs extended in front of you.

Bring your hands or fingers to the ground behind your sit bones.

Lift your heart up and pull your navel into your spine.

Lean back slightly keeping the lift through your heart and spine.

Bend your knees and let your feet lift off the ground.

Bring your shins parallel to the ground if possible.

Your hands can stay where they are, or your arms can reach forward with your palms facing each other.

Stay here for 5-10 breaths.

Lower and repeat 3 times.


5. Bridge (counter stretch)

Come onto your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground.

Bring your arms alongside you with your palms facing down.

Press into your feet and arms to lift your hips up until your thighs are parallel with the ground.

Stay here for 5-10 breaths.


6. Happy Baby (counter stretch)

Lie on your back with your knees hugging into your chest.

Reach in between your knees and grab the outside of your feet.

Open your knees a bit wider than your torso and pull your knees towards your armpits.

Stack your ankles over your knees with the soles of your feet facing the sky.

Stay here for 5-10 breaths.


Do it for you!

We know it can be easy to get caught up in the pressure to look a certain way, but we believe in moving our bodies to strengthen both our outsides and our insides.

Instead of thinking of these core strengthening moves as an obligation we have to do, we hope you join us in taking care of our bodies because we love ourselves and want to be the best that we can be.

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