6 Poses to Strengthen and Tone Your Core Quickly

I know that each and every one of you reading this are busy and beautiful people. You want to keep your core tight, but you find yourself constantly strapped for time and skipping days.   To that problem, I bring you this solution - 6 quick and easy yoga poses to tone your tummy in just 10 minutes.

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I know that each and every one of you reading this are busy and beautiful people. You want to keep your core tight, but you find yourself constantly strapped for time and skipping days.

To that problem, I bring you this solution - 6 quick and easy yoga poses to tone your tummy in just 10 minutes.

Without wasting any more of your precious time, roll out your mat and grab one block if you have one (or a couch cushion will do in a pinch).

1. Yoga Bicycles - Lay down all the way on your back. Widen your feet and let your knees fall together. Rest your hands on your low belly, and find a neutral spine. Send your breath down beneath your hands, feeling your belly rise with each inhale and lower with your exhale. Walk your feet back to hip width. Push your lower back down in to the mat, then lift your feet and stack your knees over your hips. Bring your shins parallel to the floor. Notice if your low back lifts from the mat as you stack your knees. Push it back down, checking your knees also stay stacked. Interlace your fingers and bring them back behind your head. As you inhale, curl your head and shoulders off of the mat. Think about lifting up towards the ceiling rather than towards your thighs. As you exhale, twist towards the right (keeping both shoulders lifted), while simultaneously extending the left leg straight to hover. Inhale your way back to center, squeezing and curling your tailbone up.  Exhale, twisting this time to the left and extending the right leg. Keep your feet flexed. Try and take these motions slowly and mindfully rather than rushing through them. Move through three rounds nice and slow.

2. Bridge - Lower your feet to the ground, keeping your knees bent. Grab your block (or cushion) and place it in between the upper thighs. Keep your feet hip width. Pushing in to your feet, lift your hips, low and mid back from the floor. Squeeze in to the prop to keep your knees from opening out to the sides and activate your adductors. Push and drag your heels into the mat, as if you are trying to draw them towards your shoulders. Lift the pelvis a little bit higher, hold for a few breaths and then slowly release back down in reverse, inch by inch.

3. Tailbone Curls - Keeping your block exactly where it is, extend your legs up straight to the sky. Point your feet, but curl your toes back and spread them wide. Interlace your fingers, doing so in the opposite way than is natural, and bring your hands behind your head. As you inhale, lift your head and shoulders from the floor. As you exhale, squeeze in to the block and curl your tailbone up. On your inhale, let your hips drop down, as you exhale lower your head and shoulders back down. It's a very subtle movement, stay focused on these minor motions. Repeat through 4 times, then lower your feet and remove the block.

4. Reclined Eagle - Lift your legs up, bending your knees. Next, wrap your right thigh over the left, binding either once or twice for Eagle legs. Lift your arms and bend elbows in front of you. Wrap your right arm underneath your left, and bind either once or twice for your Eagle arms. Take a big breath here in a reclined Eagle pose. As you exhale, curl your head and shoulders up, bringing your elbows and knees together. As you inhale, open the knees and elbows away from one another. Not letting your head touch down though. Repeat this motion 4 more times. Release and unwind. Move into a bridge pose, before switching your Eagle (left thigh over right, left arm under right). Repeat this contracting and expanding for 5 cycles on this side.

5. Downward Dog Planks - Sit up and move your way in to a downward dog. Creating some space here, by pedaling out the feet or reaching your chest towards the thighs. Extend your right leg up to the sky, keeping it straight and square. As you exhale, shift forward in to a plank, drawing the knee towards the nose. Check that your shoulders are over the wrists. As you inhale, shift back and up in to three-legged dog. Do 3 rounds. Holding the last shift forward for a count of 5. Step your foot back into downward dog. Then lift the left leg and repeat through on this other side.


6. Forearm Plank - Shift forward and lower down on to your forearms. Interlace your fingers together if you want. Or lower your knees down if that feels better. Reach your crown forward, keeping a nice long and neutral spine. Drag your shoulder blades down your back. Reach back through your heels, squeezing the legs in to the midline. Hold here for a few breaths. Lower your hips down to the mat, bring palms flat to the floor if they aren't already, untuck the toes, and lift the chest up in Sphinx pose.

Finish your short but strong practice in a comfortable seated pose. Closing the eyes and feeling in to the fire you created.

Prefer to press play and listen while you work for this 10 minute practice? Find the video below.



Namaste,
Kassandra

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