Now that the summer has come to an end don’t forget to continuously practice your core muscles. Strong abdominal muscles help maintain a strong back and support your posture.

In this post I’d like to share five poses that will help you get a strong and stable core. Building abdominal muscles will also help you when you are looking to work on inversion poses.

When I first started practicing yoga I thought of plank (kumbhakana) as one of the most challenging poses.  Kumbhakasna is beneficial to many parts of your body. It strengths your arms, upper chest and it helps tone your abdominal muscles. Hold the pose for ten breath cycles.

The half-boat pose (Ardha Navasana) works your core as well as your hamstrings and your back. Sit up with your back straight and your calfs parallel to the ground. On your next inhale slowly drop your legs and your torso to the ground, your feet and your shoulders should not touch the floor. On your exhale lift up to your sitting position. Make sure that your movements follow the entire exhale and inhale. Repeat this over ten full breath cycles.

The bridge pose (Setu Bandha) is usually a wonderful back bending pose. I like to incorporating this pose in my core practice by lifting one of the legs, flexing my toes towards the shines drawing little circles with the leg. I usually feel this in my leg and the lower stomach. Make 20 circles in one direction, then switch to the other. Repeat on the other side.

Full boat pose (Paripurna Navasana) has some great benefits to your core. In this pose you are balancing on your butt. Don’t collapse your torso or crush your stomach. Lift your chest away and don’t bring the legs too close to your chest. Hold this pose, but don’t hold your breath, make sure to take long inhale and exhale. Hold for 10 breath cycles.

The last pose is probably one of my favorite core poses, you can feel it working as soon as you get into it. You start with the half boat pose. Calves are parallel to the ground, hands in front of your heart center. On exhale you are twisting to the right side, on inhale move your torso back to the neutral position. On your next exhale twist to the opposite site. Repeat 10 times for each side. As you are twisting to the right, try to reach the top of your right thigh with your left elbow, do the opposite on the other side.

Yoga is a practice, don’t expect to perfect any of these poses right away. Safety first, if you feel uncomfortable in any of these take adjustments, reduce the number of rotations or cycles you take. For beginners, I’d suggest starting with a third or half number of repetitions. If you have any medical conditions, consult your physician before the start of your practice.

 

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