Yoga is all about your core and flexibility, but mostly your core. Did we mention that it’s good for core? Because that’s exactly what it’s good for. Gyms are closed in most states, due to the pandemic, and exercising at home is more popular than ever. Since yoga is so easy to do in any location, you don’t have an excuse to avoid it!
People work from seated positions throughout the day, and back and neck pain has increased across the country as a result. When you strengthen your core with yoga, you can help relieve back and neck pain, and improve your posture. When you regularly engage in the following yoga poses, you’ll find that you correct your posture more often. Work that core with the seven yoga poses in this article!
This is the go-to core-strengthening pose that never fails. It is more common in fitness programs, but it still belongs in many yoga sequences. To begin, get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Make sure that your hands are directly beneath your shoulders. Step your feet back into the plank position, engage your core and glutes, and remain in a straight line. Don’t round your back or shrug your shoulders. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds.
This pose demands more core engagement than the previous plank pose. Chaturanga takes it up a notch by building strength in the forearms, triceps, and wrists. From the plank pose, lower your body down until you are only a couple inches off the floor. Keep your elbows close to your sides and focus on tightening your abs and glutes. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then rest.
Unlike the previous two poses, this side plank works your obliques, but you also engage your shoulders, abs, and glutes. When you’re in this pose, the most important thing to remember is to lift your body up towards the ceiling to remain in a straight line and avoid sagging to the floor. From a plank position, shift your weight onto your right hand and roll onto the outside your right foot. Stack your left leg on top of your right leg. You can also stagger one foot behind the other if that is more comfortable. Extend your left arm upwards and turn your gaze to look up at the ceiling. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then repeat on the left side.
Bird Dog Pose
Continue to strengthen your obliques while working your glutes, hamstrings, and shoulder muscles in this pose. Bird Dog pose is all about stability, so make sure to engage your core to avoid leaning side to side. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Make sure hands are beneath your shoulders and your knees are beneath your hips. Lift your right leg back and keep it straight and parallel to the floor. Extend your left arm out and keep it parallel to the floor. Hold this pose for five deep breaths and return to the tabletop position. Repeat on the other side.
Train your core and practice stability in this high lunge pose. You may even find that you receive a beautiful stretch in your hip flexor. Start in a plank position. Bring your right foot to the inside of your right hand. Slowly but surely, engage your core and rise up, reaching your arms toward the ceiling. Make sure that your knee does not go over your toes; in fact, it should be directly above your toes. Stay here for five deep breaths and then repeat on the other leg.
Three-Legged Downward Dog
For this pose, you need to focus on tightening your abs, glutes and hamstrings. To get into downward dog, begin in a plank position. Stick your butt towards the ceiling and widen your shoulder blades. If you can straighten your legs then that is great, but your back needs to be flat. If you can’t straighten your legs, bend your knees slightly to allow for a flat back. Once you are here, extend your right leg up and back to be in line with your back and arms. Push your palms into the ground, engage your core, and keep your hamstring and gluteus muscle tight to hold that right leg up. Stay here for five breaths and then repeat on the left side.
This balancing pose will force you to strengthen your core. While it can be difficult to balance on your butt at first, we have faith that you’ll get the hang of it and be holding this pose for days in no time. Start by sitting up straight with your legs extended out in front. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are on the mat. As you lean back slowly, extend your feet up so that your body is in a “V” shape. Keep your back straight and reach your arms a little past your thighs. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position.