Yoga has plenty of physical and mental healing properties. It’s easy to focus on the physical benefits yoga can offer, but it’s important to remember that its original intention is for your mental and spiritual wellbeing. The physical benefits are a HUGE plus though. Yoga helps your build up strength without getting bulky. It also improves your flexibility. You can do specific poses to help certain parts of the body, and one area I’d love to be focusing on right now is my core. I just had a baby recently, and my stomach has gone down but is no longer quite as strong as it used to be, so I’d love to improve that. Here are some poses that I plan on trying as soon as I get the all clear from my doctor!
Boat pose: Boat pose is performed by sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Place your hands by your hips with your fingertips towards your feet. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight. Bend your knees and then gently lift your feet off the ground at about a 45-degree angle using your core to balance. Once you’re ready, lift your arms to shoulder level. To take this pose to the next level, you can straighten your knees and lift your legs so your feet are a little above your eyeline. I love this pose because it really strengthens your abs, thighs, and works your arms a little bit!
Plank pose: Planks are a common core building exercise for all types of work outs. In yoga, its performed generally by starting in downward facing dog pose. From downward facing dog, move your torso forward so your shoulders are over your wrists. Press your arms inward and press your heels back like you are pushing them against the wall. Keep your back straight and make sure your tailbone doesn’t lift into the air. Focus your eyes on the floor. I love this pose as well because it focuses on so many areas of the body.
Chair pose: Chair pose really works your thighs and your abs if done properly. To perform Chair pose, start in mountain pose. Bend your knees and lift your arms either over your head with palms facing or at heart center. You want your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible and your torso will angle forward over the thighs almost at a right angle. Make sure your knees are over the feet. This pose can becomes more challenging the longer you hold it so start holding for 30 seconds and gradually start holding it for longer.
Any of these poses are great for building up your core! While trying them, remember to also focus on the spiritual and mental benefits. These poses are all challenging so focusing on your breathing and learning to push through some slight discomfort will build up your mental strength. Yoga is not designed to be painful though so listen to your body and adjust your positioning as needed. I hope these poses are helpful for you! What are some of your favorite core strength poses?