Yes, Core Yoga or any core-centred practice will help you strengthen your abdominal muscles, but a core-focussed practice is about far more than a 6-pack.

Functionally, your core encompasses more than the muscles you can see (or not see!) on your abdomen. Your core includes your back, pelvis, shoulders – in fact one could argue that your whole body is your core. However, from a technical perspective, to have a strong, stable, activated core you need to balance the muscles around the spine – this means the muscles on the front of your abdominals, the sides of your waist, and your back. Practice strengthening techniques that work in all three planes of movement (forward and back-bending, side-bending, rotation) to develop a great core. In your next practice, play with techniques like Boat Pose, Side Plank, and Locust Pose.

Energetically, your core relates to digestion; digestion of food and digestion of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. As well, your core relates to your personal power; moving from your place of power, and moving into your place of power is fundamental to a strong core. Consider when doing any movement (or taking on any challenges in life) that your movement starts from the power of your core strength, and directs energy into your core to better digest your life experiences, and build your centre of personal power.

Spiritually, your core relates to your core beliefs and values. Yoga practice and/or fitness activities are not a time to forgo your ethics in order to ‘feel the burn’ or get to the requisite number of repetitions. Practicing non-violence, truthfulness, and contentment make your practice far more beneficial than any physical movement could be. Work with where you are at today, listen to your body and breath, and consider each movement an expression of your deepest held beliefs.
In your Core Yoga practice, you have an opportunity to not just exercise and build stronger abs, but you have an opportunity to practice the way you want to live, and in that practice you will build the core and the life that is most true to your highest aims.

Try a quick Core practice at the Yogiheather free podcast site – instructions to download to your MP3 are included in the free streaming class.

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