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Your Inner Agni

May 28 2018
May 28 2018

Yoga for Core Strength

Agni is the Sanskrit word for “fire”. And it is within you.

When you tap into your core strength, be it in yoga or in other areas of your life, you stoke this inner fire and find your power center. By connecting to this power, you not only mindfully activate muscles that help you to be physically stronger, you also foster a connection to your energetic core – the essence of YOU. When you feel strong and powerful at your physical center you also feel focused and in touch with your convictions, confidence, and truth.

yogapose cartoon Think of how strong you feel while holding a plank pose. Your abdominal muscles are engaged, your spine is long and strong, your arm muscles are fired up to keep your shoulders high - all this work is making you physically stronger. Now imagine how in tune with the physical body and breath your mind is while holding that same plank. It takes a lot of effort to hold that pose and with this effort comes focus. For the thirty seconds, one minute, maybe even five minutes that you hold that plank, you are laser focused and tapped into the prana (energy) in your body. This is what separates Yoga for Core Strength classes from doing crunches or using an ab machine at the gym. This isn’t just a workout for your abs, this is mindful core work that creates real, functional strength while also keeping the mind/body/breath connection that is at the heart of a yoga asana practice.

yoga for core strength The benefits of a core strength class are many. Regarding your asana practice: having a strong core will help you balance, keep your back safe in back bends, aid in inversions and arm balances, and allow you to breathe more fully. Nearly every asana you can imagine can benefit from a strong core. But of course, we are not always on our mats practicing. Perhaps more important are the benefits of a strong core in our day to day lives. For example, balance isn’t just something we utilize in tree pose. When we walk, run, reach for something, carry a heavy item, lift weights at the gym, etc. we need balance. Strong stabilizing muscles in our core are there to (quite literally) have our backs and keep us balanced. In the same vein, strong abdominal and back muscles allow us to stand tall and proud and to have good posture as we move through our daily activities. Any movement that you do regularly, be it yoga, sports, dancing, swimming, running, or toting around a toddler will be greatly served by a strong core and the resulting improved balance and posture.

I teach weekly Yoga for Core Strength classes at Yoga Yoga Westgate and am offering a workshop on Sunday June 3rd. This workshop will be an expanded version of my weekly class offerings. We will begin with a discussion on the anatomy of our core and how certain poses utilize and increase our core strength. A physical practice will follow. I teach core strength in a way that, while mindful and focused, is challenging and vigorous. Expect to work and sweat! (Note: This will be a strong physical practice, but I will offer a variety of modifications to make everything that we do accessible to all levels of student.) After firing up our core and finding our agni, we will stretch, restore, and rest. I hope that you will join us for this workshop! I promise you will leave feeling STRONG and AMAZING.


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