Fabian working through his inch worm
How can you kick the pooch and bring on the power without feeling like you’re in an abdominal gulag? You already know how yoga de-stresses, revitalizes, and balances your body and mind, but bringing out your inner pretzel can also twist your core muscles into shape with outstanding results. Not to mention, bending like Gumby and Pokey is way more fun than a hundred crunches. Most importantly, for those of us sitting a bit more than we’d like, professionals agree, building core strength through yoga helps nurture posture and build a better back.
How does Yoga do a body good?
Yoga helps to enhance total body interconnectedness; plugging your core into your whole musculoskeletal system. It’s one thing to have rockin’ abs, but it’s a whole other bag of tricks to get that sleek, lean, and powerful core strength. The efficacy of yoga in this has even been embraced by the Mayo Clinic, which recommends several core exercises that are basic yoga poses.
Since the yogis of the eastern hemisphere view the abdominal area as the seat of great physical and energetic power, special attention is paid to your belly as the epicenter of each pose. That focus delves deeper than just the superficial abdominal muscles; after all, there is more to your core than a six pack. Poses such as Utpluthih (yup, that’s a word), Navasana, or just a simple plank help to make your core the envy of the gods!
If you’re feeling shy about being on a mat in front of a dozen or so strangers, awesome resources are to be found on the net. Kino MacGregor, for instance, breaks down core-centric practice in an easy to follow YouTube series (added bonus: it’s totally free). Her tutelage emphasizes the fitness aspects of yoga – and she is but one of literally thousands advertising their expertise to the viewing public. Unfortunately, finding qualified instruction is a bit hit and miss, so be sure to proceed with caution.
Bend your way to a stronger, healthier you, and above all, remember to yogify at your own pace. Pretty soon your killer core will have you sitting straighter and looking slender, without having to do a single crunch!
Workout of the Day
Three rounds for time of:
Deadlift x 15
Hang Power Clean x 12
Front Squat x 9
Jerk x 6
Use the same barbell for all movements. Recommended weights are 155/105 lbs.