Core strength is something that we can all use a little more of, and yoga is a great way to go about it. That’s because of all of the intricate and versatile movements yoga requires you to do, all with the balance and stability to do them. That goes for beginner yoga poses all the way through to the more demanding poses as well. It’s all perfect for building your core strength.
Core strength is about much more than just yoga, too, though. It’s always a great idea to develop your understanding of how important core strength really is, with or with yoga involved. It’s what’s responsible for just about every movement you ever do and impacts your balance, posture, strength, and even your risk of injury in simple everyday life. It really is that versatile, and it covered so much more than the typical abdominal muscles we tend to see.
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The Best Yoga Poses
So, the next step in using yoga to build your core strength, you need to know the best ways to do that. All yoga poses are great for it in some way or another, just like most exercises are. As with anything in life, however, some are better than others. To get the most out of your core strength from yoga, in particular, these are great places to start.
Happy Baby Pose
This one is a fairly easy pose, and the name will have you smiling as you’re doing it. While lying on your back, bring your knees up to your belly and grasp your feet with your hands. Let your knees open a bit wider, and push your feet up into your hands. This position works your spine, but it will help relax your entire body.
This exercise is perfect for helping you tone your belly, but it also works on the muscles of your legs. Just imagine that you are sitting down on an imaginary chair, and the instructions will come easily. It’s a perfect example of yoga for building core strength since it uses both the bottom and top of your body to create a harder sense of balance as you lean back.
Standing up, shift your feet around until you feel grounded. Then, exhale and bend your knees slowly, as if you were about to sit down. Try to bring your knees closer together. Bring your arms up, palms facing each other. Now is the perfect time to move a bit and bring awareness to your body – lengthen your back or shift your shoulders.
This yoga position is good for both your back and your abdominal muscles, making it a great core strength builder too, and it is easy to get the hang of. Start on your hands and knees. Keep your palms under your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Make sure you are comfortable, and don’t forget to keep your neck lengthened – don’t look up or down, just go for a neutral position.
On an exhale, roll your back upwards and turn your head to the floor, but not so much that your chin touches your chest. As you inhale, return to the initial position. On the next exhale, curve your spine and bring your eyes up ahead of you, then return to the initial position again. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
This is a slightly more difficult yoga pose, but it is perfect for strengthening your core. If you have any back pains, it might be a good idea to have something supporting you.
As you are sitting down on the floor, rest your hands a little behind your hips and lean back enough so you can lift your bent legs off the floor. Make sure to keep your back straight! If you can, straighten your legs; if not, keep them bent. Slowly stretch your arms in front of you, alongside your legs. However, if you find it too difficult, bring them a bit forward on the floor or hold the back of your thighs.
This might be the most difficult position on the list – it is definitely a challenge, but it is not impossible! If you suffer from wrist and shoulder injuries or if you are pregnant, you shouldn’t attempt this pose. It’s a great core strength-building yoga pose, but it has injury risks, too, if you’re careless.
Otherwise, the key is confidence! It begins with you standing and slowly shifting your feet apart until they are on each side of the mat. Next is the squat, but make sure to keep your thighs as wide apart as you can. As you move your upper body forward, place your elbows on the inside of your knees, and then lift your hands up. Lean forward and place your hands on the floor ahead of you instead of right beneath your shoulders.
After you have reached this position, lift your hips slightly, and make sure you’re comfortable. Then, slowly and carefully, lift one leg at a time off the floor. Keep your arms bent and your head looking forward, and keep this position for a few breaths.
To return, slowly place your feet back on the mat.
To avoid any injuries, make sure to use a yoga mat. That’s what they’re for. At the very least, place a few blankets in front of you. It is possible that you will get destabilised on your first few attempts. You can also make use of a few yoga blocks. And if you would like to practice with a yoga block underneath each foot, that is also a great option!
Yoga is all about improving your health all over your body and your mind. Don’t forget to stretch before any exercise that you do. Yoga is about becoming aware of your body and making sure you are tuned into your every movement. Go slowly, breathe correctly and carefully exit each position. If you suffer from any pain or injuries, you should take extra care. Don’t overwork your back or your neck muscles – skip the positions that you think would worsen your condition.
And there you have it – the perfect yoga exercises, ranging in difficulty, to work your core strength! If you’re ready to get really challenging, we have some hardcore moves for experienced yogis too!
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