Health & Beauty | 24 June 20163 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Core Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Strengthen your core this summer with these 3 yoga poses from Essential Yoga! Boat Pose | paripurna navasana Boat Pose is a great way to connect with the core of your body. it strengthens your abdominals, hip flexors, spine, and thighs while also giving your hamstrings a great stretch. 1. Sit upright, with your legs extended in front of you. 2. Rock your body weight onto your sit bones. At the same time, bend your knees and lift them upward. Point your feet so that only your toes are touching the mat as you tip very slightly backward. 3. Take a moment to find your balance. Slowly and with control, extend your arms so thtat they are parallel to the floor. Keep your arms active and energized all the way through to your fingertips. If desired, hold here for a breath or two. 4. Begin to straighten your legs so that they form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Keep your chin level and your gaze forward as you hold, aiming for five breaths. Spend 2 minutes exploring this pose. Keep your belly pulled in throughout. While holding, take full, deep breaths. return to step 3 and hold in preparation for Boats in Action. Extra Credit As you hold Boat Pose, your sense of stability should come from the powerhouse muscles of your core. Keep your core strongly engaged by breathing into your stomach. Yoga Bicycles Yoga Bicyles look at lot like the bicycle crunches you may remember from gym class. the difference here is the use of conscious breath: move and breathe with awareness, so you are not simply whipping through the exercise. Because this core exercise allows the back to rest on the floor, it is a very safe exercise even for yogis with sensitive backs. remember, every time you do core work you are contributing to the overall health of your back, your spine, and the integrity of all your yoga poses across the board. 1. Lie on your back. Bring your hands behind your head, with elbows pointing out, as if you’re about to do a sit-up. Bend your legs so that they form 90-degree angles, stacking knees on top of hips. Make a conscious choice to either flex or point through the feet during this exercise. 2. Inhale and draw your shoulders and upper chest up toward the knees. Use your hands only to lightly support and guide the movement, which should originate in the core. 3. Exhale, drawing your left elbow toward your left knee. Extend your left leg straight. Try not to crunch your neck. 4. On the inhale, come back to center so that your legs form 90-degree angles again. 5. Moving with your breath, inhale, then exhale, bringing the right elbow to the left knee. Continue switching sides, with one movement per breath. Spend 2 minutes getting familiar with every step of Yoga Bicycles. Linger in Step 2 for at least two full breaths. Press your lower body into the mat to prepare. Launch into action: Perform ten repetitions, alternating legs. come back to center, rest for a breath or two if desired, and then repeat. continue for a full 6 minutes as your obliques get strengthened and sculpted. Tip Toe Cat In yoga practice (as in life), making the smallest of adjustments can sometimes lead to profound differences. this is the case with cat Pose. here we will practice tip toe cat by curling the toes under in traditional cat Pose, lifting the knees just an inch or so off the mat, and using breath to activate the core. this cat will strengthen your core from the inside out. 1. Kneel on all fours, stacking your wrists directly above your shoulders, and your knees directly over your hips. Your back and neck should be neutral, your gaze downward. Engage your abdominal muscles. Inhale to prepare. 2. Exhale and curl your tailbone under as you arch your back, pulling your navel in and up toward your spine. Allow your head to drop. This is Cat Pose. 3. Tuck your toes under and lightly lift your knees off the mat. Strongly engage your core to maintain a lift in your cat shape. Even if your knees are lifted just 1 to 3 inches off the mat, your core will have to work harder. 4. Breathe into the heat in the center of your body for three to five breaths, challenging yourself to stay perfectly still. Devote 2 minutes to finding your core bandhas in both the preparatory position and the arched position. Breathe deeply into your belly. Spend 3 minutes repeating this pose, holding for three to five breaths each time. Keep your core strongly engaged as your deep abdominal muscles grow stronger and more stable with ever breath. Extra Credit: Without your knees on the mat, your core has to work harder to maintain the pose. Lifting your knees just 1 to 3 inches will make this a highly effective abdominal strengthener. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Essential Yoga is perfect for the beginning student who wants to begin practicing yoga—and getting the benefits—immediately. Covering all of the essential skills, poses, and postures, this essential guide breaks down the practice into 24 one-hour lessons that readers can take at their own pace whether they want to do several lessons in a row or one lesson per day, week, or month. Step-by-step photos, captioning, timing instructions, and tip/caution sidebars take the guesswork out of learning and get readers up to speed in no time. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.