Some Aussies think that Yoga is nothing more than postural exercises for individuals who do not like cardio and resistance training.
On the contrary, yoga can be a wonderful addition to a strength training programme or whenever there is a need to strengthen certain muscles of the body. The beauty of yoga is that it trains targeted muscles by making them work harder for more sustained periods of time.
And since one of the most critical muscle groups of the body is the core, yoga can help, too. If you’re having doubts about this, we encourage you to try these 3 yoga moves to strengthen your core muscles.
1. The Cosmic Egg Pose
It may have a funny name, but the Cosmic Egg Pose is perfect for strengthening the core muscles. This may look very easy since you will be in a sitting position, cradling your legs close to your body. The Cosmic Egg Pose is a great warm-up pose for other core strengthening yoga exercises.
Performing the Cosmic Egg Pose is as easy as sitting on the floor with your knees drawn close together and toward your chest. Hug them as if you’re hugging your Teddy Bear.
Slowly lift your feet off the floor so that your weight will be on your tailbone. You may want to lean back a little to find the right balance. As you hit the sweet spot, engage the muscles of the lower abdomen.
Make sure your shoulders are not in a slouching position while keeping your head and gaze straight ahead. Hold the Cosmic Egg Pose for about 10 breaths. You can also lengthen the time needed for the pose until it is almost impossible to sustain the correct form.
2. The Plank Pose
Almost everyone is already familiar with the Plank. This is a pose that many individuals in the fitness circuit adhere to when it comes to strengthening their core muscles.
And you would be correct to assume that it can be a great core strengthening yoga move, too. The best part about this pose is that it not only strengthens the core muscles. When done in the proper manner, the Plank Pose can tone and strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, back, and lower extremities.
Assuming the Plank Pose is similar to performing push-ups. The only difference, of course, is that you will not progress into the “dipping” position. Instead, you will have to maintain the starting position of the push-up exercise.
There are a few key elements to perfecting the plank. One of these is the alignment of your body. Under no circumstances should you allow any part of the body to move out of its perfect alignment.
Take on a push-up position and spread your fingers to cover as much surface of the floor as possible. Plant your toes on the yoga mat and tuck in your abdominals. What you want is a straight and powerful line all the way from the shoulders right down to the heels. Hold this position for at least 10 full breaths. If you can push yourself longer without losing your form, then do it.
3. The Boat Pose
If you’re familiar with doing crunches to strengthen your core, then the Boat Pose is not that different. Of course, the idea here is to form your body into a clock such that upper body will point in the 10 o’clock position and the feet pointing the 2 o’clock position.
The pose will target not only the abdominal muscles, but also the hip flexors. This will help stabilise the back while contributing to a stronger core.
To perform the Boat Pose, sit by drawing your knees to the chest. Contract your abdomen so that your belly button will somehow “move” towards your spine. This activates the core muscles.
While balancing yourself on your tailbone, slowly lift your feet from the floor. Stretch your legs and straighten them, including the toes. Keep your arms straight, maintaining a parallel posture with the floor. Hold this pose for about 10 breaths or until such time that you cannot maintain the correct pose anymore.
If you are looking to strengthen your core, you’re better off with these 3 simple yoga moves. They are easy to perform, but the benefits can be very profound.