Many people only ramp up their core exercises in preparation for revealing their abs on the beach. But according to yoga, the benefits of core workouts go a lot deeper than the appearance of a ripped torso.
WHY IS CORE STRENGTH SO IMPORTANT?
- A strong core will stabilize your whole body, improving your balance and developing proper posture. Some yogis look like they’re floating on air. This is core strength. They are moving with awareness and ease, which translates to more energy and a youthful vigour.
- Those daily tasks that involve twisting, reaching and bending all involve core strength. The stronger your core, the less effort you’ll need to put into these movements, and you will experience more energy in everyday life.
- Core strength also reduces your risk of back pain. Weak abs mean your back muscles have to work harder to support your spine, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting in a chair. Build your core and you reduce the pressure on the back muscles.
HOW DOES YOGA HELP CORE POWER?
- Yoga Postures (Asanas) – most postures aim to build a stable, coordinated centre of movement in the torso, rather than overbuilding one muscle group. A pose like the virbhadasana (warrior pose) engages several key muscles of the core, building a strong and stable centre.
- Yoga Stretches – basic stretches like the cat (getting down on all fours and stretching your back in and out) are great at building flexibility in the core. This will allow you to push yourself more during workouts and make injuries less likely.
- Breathing (pranayama) – Deep breathing can help access the full strength and flexibility of the core. ‘Breathing into your belly’ is a common practice in yoga classes. This is a great way to promote lung capacity, clear blockages and promote strength and flexibility in core muscles.
- Develops deep tissues - Yoga considers the core to be an emotional centre of our body. Negative associations with food and untoned abs can lead to eating disorders and stored stresses in the abdomen area. Developing an awareness of your core allows the deeper tissues to fully awaken and helps you make better body choices.
If you want to try out a local yoga class, buy a flexible gym pass today. There’s no commitment and you may just unleash your inner core power.