Strengthening your core could help to relieve back pain and improve your posture (nothing makes your belly look tummy other than slouching). You don’t need to just go to the gym in order to strengthen your core muscles. Yoga is an extremely good tool to access for improving the strength in your abs and back. You might think of yoga classes as slow and meditative or involving fluid movements from asana to asana. But there are individual yoga postures you can practise to stimulate the energy, growth, and strength in your core.
- Begin by coming onto all fours with your knees being underneath your hips and your wrists being underneath your shoulders.
- Do a few Cat-Cow stretches in order to warm up, curving your back on your inhalations and rounding your spine on your exhalations. Make sure that you keep your belly hugging in throughout both motions.
This is a fantastic way in order to warm up your abdomen as it targets the rectus abdominis as well as external obliques. Consciously think about pulling in your abdomen as you breathe in and then relaxing it on the exhale.
- Sit on the ground on a mat. Ensure that your legs are straight out in front of you. Make sure that you press your hands on the floor a little bit behind your hips, with your fingers pointing toward the feet, and strengthen your arms.
- Lift through the top of your sternum and lean back slightly. As you do this ensure your back doesn’t round. Continue with lengthening the front of your torso between your pubis as well as top sternum. Sit down on the “tripod” of your two sitting bones as well as your tailbone.
- Breathe out and bend your knees. Lift your feet off the mat so that your thighs are angled approximately 45 – 50 degrees relative to the floor.
- Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and then lift your pubis toward your navel. If at all possible, gradually straighten your knees so raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If this isn’t possible stay with your knees bent, perhaps lifting your shins parallel to the floor.
- Stretch your arms beside your legs, parallel to each other and the floor.
- Spread your shoulder blades across your back and then reach strongly out through your fingers. If this isn’t possible, keep your hands on the floor beside your hips or hold on to the backs of the thighs.
- While your lower belly should be firm, it shouldn’t become hard and thick. Attempt to keep your lower belly relatively flat. Press your heads of the thigh bones towards the floor in order to help anchor the pose and lift the top sternum. Breathe easily and then tip your chin slightly towards your sternum so the base of your skull lifts somewhat away from the back of the neck.
- At first stay in the pose for between 10 and 20 seconds. Slowly increase the time of your stay to one minute. Release the legs with an exhalation and sit upright on an inhalation.
If you are wanting to become a yoga instructor then you need to do our Yoga Instructor Course. Follow this link to find out more.