7 Yoga Poses for Building Core Strength
A strong core is the base of everything in a human body. Its power is directly proportional to the potential of the rest of the body organs that lie within it. It is the source of immense strength, vitality, tautness, and overall health. People adopt the science of Yoga for several reasons. Sometimes, to become more agile and flexible, sometimes just to feel peace and contentment, while sometimes they take up the practice of Yoga for complete well being on each level whether mental, physical, and spiritual. The thousands of years old science rewards various fruits to its practitioners in different forms that can only be cherished for a lifetime.
Let us discuss some of the most virile yoga asanas that you can try at home for a strong core.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
How to Perform: This one is a slightly challenging pose as it requires the use of middle and lower abdomen. Lie flat on your back with hands resting beside the body. Keep the palms upside down. Now gently lift the legs upwards while exhaling until they are at sixty-degree angle from the ground. Hold the legs while lifting the upper torso towards the legs as high as it permits. Breathe in and out gently while holding the body in this position for 20-30 seconds. Gently release the position by coming back smoothly to the ground.
Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)
How to Perform: The pose is an extended version of Downward Facing Dog pose. Reach on your hands and knees with your wrists placed directly under the shoulders. Now, gently bend your elbows so that the forearms can rest flat on each side of the head. Maintain an elbow wide gap between both hands. Tighten your grip on the mat and gently start to lift the hips up above the ground until a triangular shape is formed. Remain in this posture for 10-20 seconds.
How to Perform: Stand on the ground. Lift the left leg to wrap it over the right leg such that the ankle is locked around the calf of the right leg. Bring the right arm in front of the chest bent at the elbow and interlock the left arm around it. Place your gaze straight and find your balance. Now, gently lower your hips until the shin is parallel to the ground. If you are unable to lower the hips this far then find your comfort level and bend accordingly. Maintain the natural posture of the spine while performing this pose. Also, keep the gaze fixed. Remain in the posture for 30 – 60 seconds breathing at the core. You may gradually extend it up to 2 minutes.
Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
How to Perform: This is a great pose for firing up the core and the entire upper body. Lie flat on your stomach on the mat. Let the arms rest beside the body. Rest your forehead on the mat. Now, bring your wrists under the shoulders by folding your arms at the elbows. Gently lift the upper body by seeking the support of the hands. Make sure the body weight lies in at the core instead of the arms.
Lift the torso upwards at the core until the lower abdomen. Drop the head backward and look at the sky. Remain in the pose for 30-60 seconds before coming back to the initial position.
Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
How to Perform: Stand straight on the mat. Spread the legs wide apart. Rotate the left foot outwards and the right foot inwards. Now lift both the arms parallel to the floor. Gaze towards the left and gently bend at the waist towards the left leg until the tip of the left hand touches the ground. You may use a block for support if you find it difficult to reach the ground. Keep the right arm pointed towards the sky. Remain in this position for 20-60 seconds while maintaining balance. Gently lift the body back up and bring both the hands in resting position.
Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
How to Perform: This is the most powerful core-strengthening asana. Lie flat on the stomach. Plant the toes of each foot firmly on the ground while keeping a foot-distance gap in between. Place the hands on each side of the chest. Fold them at the wrists and the elbows. Find your balance in the hands and toes while gently lifting the torso upwards until the upper body is parallel to the ground.
Maintain the natural curve of the spine. Remain in this posture for 30-60 seconds before coming back to the initial position. You may gradually increase the holding time as the core strengthens.
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
How to Perform: This one requires patience, balance, and stability. Stand straight on the mat with feet aligned. Now gently lift the left leg backward while bending the upper body forward until the upper body and the left leg are parallel to the floor. Give yourself time to seek balance and stability on the right leg. Now gently bring both the arms forward while gazing straight ahead. Remain in the position for 20-40 seconds before reaching back to the initial position. Repeat the same with the other leg.
Work with 15-20 repetitions of each asana described in the series above on a regular basis. Enhance its benefits by following a Dosha-specific Yogic Diet Plan as recommended by an expert only.