If you are working on strengthening your core, you need to not just think about the abdominals – but also the obliques, hip flexors and muscles along the spine.
These 7 poses, stretches, and exercises will give you a well rounded yoga sequence to support the full core.
1. Spine Warm Up – Come to table top, but on the forearms (so elbows under shoulders and palms flat). Inhale to drop the belly and lift the gaze, exhale to round and contract. Doing this on the forearms will unlock more of the mid and upper back. Drop to the belly, legs extended back. Roll the shoulders down and squeeze shoulder blades back. Pushing feet into the floor to lift and pull the heart forward.
2. Table Top Hover Flow – Coming back to table top, walk hands a bit ahead of the shoulders. Tuck the toes and lift the knees to hover. Flatten the back. Exhale to straighten the legs to plank. Inhale back to hover. Exhale back to downward dog. Repeat x 5.
3. Modified Side Plank – From downward dog, kick the right leg up. Exhale to squeeze the knee to nose. Do it 5 times. On the last one, drop the right knee and shin to the mat. With the right palm on the mat, roll to the inner edge of the left foot. Reach the left hand up. Bring the hand behind the head. Float left foot up. Inhale to find length, exhale to crunch elbow to knee. Repeat x 5.
Repeat on other side.
4. Triangle – From downward dog, step right foot between the hands. Spin the left foot parallel to the shorter edge of the mat. Straighten the left leg, shifting hips back. Slide the right hand down the leg. Bring the left arm parallel, bicep along the ear. Big stretch through the right side of the waist.
Repeat on other side.
5. Tree Side Plank – Come to plank. Roll to the outer edge of the right foot. If you can, find a tree pose by sliding the left foot to the inner right thigh. Reach the left arm up and over. Lift the hips as high as you can.
6. Side Plank Crunch – Keep the tree pose legs as you bring the left hand down to the mat. Now drop the left knee to the mat (still in a tree shape). Roll to inner edge of the right foot. Bring the right hand behind the head. See if you can pick up the left knee and crunch it to the elbow. Holding for 5 count.
Repeat 5 and 6 through on other side.
7. Bananasana – Come to sit. Slowly lower down onto the back, engaging the core. Move the hips to the right. Bring the chest and shoulders to the left. Walk the feet to the left. Push right hip down. Reach arms overhead. Maybe crossing the right ankle over the left. Also option to clasp opposite elbows or wrists overhead. Hold for about 10 breaths before switching sides.
These 7 poses come from an updated take on my spicy core class. It’s a 30 minute practice, you can follow along with below.