5 Yoga asanas for a strong core and amazing abs
Did you know there is yoga for a strong core? Having a strong core is not just a matter of aesthetics and wanting to look good. But let’s start from the beginning, although yoga is not a workout to get that six-pack, it’s totally fine to want to improve the way you look. Yoga is also about feeling good with yourself, and caring about the way you look can be a part of it.
It’s still vital to understand that yoga poses have most of all health goals, both physical and psychological. The physical intentions are related to strength and flexibility but go beyond that. Asanas also take care of our skin, internal organs, promote better breathing, among others.
Starting to feel confused? If so, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll summarize the information related to the core. First, we are going to explain the benefits of having a strong core, followed with a set of five suggested asanas to work on your core.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga for a Strong Core
There are many benefits of having a strong core, we choose the three most important for yoga practice and daily life. Find out why you need to focus on building strength on your core.
It Protects your back
Abs play such an important role in protecting your back, and this reason only could be enough! Back pain is common almost to everyone, sooner or later in life, and it’s exponentiated by our current lifestyle.
Having strong abs and strong back muscles will make it easier to hold your spine on a proper position all day long, and to do any kind of movements in the proper way, which works like a mechanism of protection.
It Protects your vital organs and helps to keep a good posture
Yoga poses give a lot of attention to our vital organs and one of the reasons is that a strong core improves the good functioning of these organs.
Whether walking and trying to keep tall and straight, or sitting an entire day in front of a desk trying to keep your back aligned, having a strong core is essential. But also to perform yoga poses, and why?
Yoga poses imply a strong knowledge of our own body and how to use it. The strongest your muscles are, the better you’ll be your alignment on the poses. Let’s find an example to clarify. In twists, it must be the strength of your core that promotes the twist and not your hands; also to make a good Sirsasana, you need to have a strong core in order to keep both the lower and upper body aligned and connected, and so on.
Last, you need a strong core in order to have a correct posture when meditating, otherwise, pain on your back will distract you from focusing.
5 Asanas for a strong core
The core is the linking zone of our body, connecting the lower and upper body. Most people have imbalances having one of these regions stronger than the other, and many others by not having strong abs and, for that, not being able to have a strong link.
Being the core that connecting point, it is, in fact, present in almost every yoga pose. As soon as you sit to start a practice, to keep your back straight and your chest opened, you’re working your core.
One of the easiest ones to spot, because it’s impossible to do Navasana, or the boat pose, without feeling your core. Navasana engages the deep muscles of the abdomen and will help you with improving stability.
How to do Navasana?
- Sit on the floor with your legs bent and still your feet touching the floor.
- Place your hands behind your knees and open your chest;
- Engage your core and lift your feet to the high of your knees;
- Engage your core one more time and focus on opening your chest before releasing your hands and stretching your arms forward;
- If you feel you start losing the action on your back and abdomen hold your tights again.
- If you feel really comfortable, try extending your legs.
Phalakasana, or the plank pose, is another great and really strong pose to work your abs.
How to do Phalakasana?
- Place your hand underneath your shoulders and your feet apart;
- Keep your knees on the floor if necessary, if you, lift them and engage your abs;
- Keep your body in a line, don’t let your hips fall down or it can hurt your lower back;
- Remember that you can also make the variation with your forearms on the floor.
Bakasana not only strengthens the abdominal area, but it also tones it. It is a challenging pose that requires good control of the abs, so you can also take it slowly and build it with time.
How to do Bakasana?
- Squat down with your feet apart keeping your wheels on the floor or using a blanket to support it;
- Place your hands on the floor, shoulder’s distance apart, and bend your elbows;
- Come up onto the balls of your feet and open your knees so that they line up with your upper arms;
- Place your knees on the backs of your upper arms;
- Engage your core and being to lean forward bringing your weight into your hands while you keep your head lifting;
- Come on your tiptoes and try to lift one foot off the floor, and then the other;
- Hug your feet towards your but.
In our opinion, Vasisthasana should be present many times in yoga practices, since it works your abs, but also improves your stability, and is a great mental challenge.
How to do Vasisthasana?
- Start from the plank and make sure your wrists are aligned with your shoulders;
- Keep your core muscles and legs engaged and roll both your heels to the right;
- Stack your left foot on top of the right and Draw your legs together;
- Press down through the right hand and raise your left hand;
- It’s really important to keep our hips high in order to fully benefit from the pose;
- Look up to your hand, or ahead of you;
- To come out, exhale as you lower your left hand and go back to plank position;
- Repeat on the other side.
Also known as the chair pose, Utkatasana works your full body and is extremely healthy. Like any other yoga pose, it can always be adapted to your body and conditions.
How to do Utkatasana?
- Start on Tadasana and as you inhale bend your knees and move your hips back as if you were sitting on a chair;
- Keep a natural curve on your back, but don’t point your tailbone backward, and engage your core to protect your lower back;
- If possible, lift your arms up and look up;
- To fully benefit from the pose, hold it on for a while before you come back to Tadasana;
Whatever are the reasons for you to work on your abs, remember that they are a great health ally and that yoga is one of the healthiest ways to work on your abs; Go for it and feel stronger and good about yourself.
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