Many yoga classes will talk about engaging your core and strengthening your core. This is very important because your core is used in all aspects of your yoga practice, as well as through out your life. It is not about having a “six pack”, and it is not about doing a bunch of “crunches”. Having a strong core will benefit your yoga practice by being able to engage in poses in different ways, and even challenge yourself with different modifications of poses. Through out your life, a stronger core will help you in other aspects of physical fitness, and your overall health.
This video is short and sweet and is guided by the lovely Tara Stiles.
Article on more core information :
Core of Support
When your core is strong, you’ll feel easier in your poses and more capable in your life.
By Andrea Ferretti
This sequence by Harvey Deutch and Sarana Miller, a student of Ana Forrest, taps into your core, the literal and symbolic center of power. But this isn’t a “Get a six-pack in six weeks” deal. Instead of focusing on the rectus abdominus (the six-pack), you’ll work the deeper layers of the abdominal area, such as the transversus abdominus.
Switching from the six-pack to the deeper layers takes subtle awareness, so be patient even if you can’t access the muscles right away. (When all else fails, try laughing, says Miller, since you use the transversus to laugh or cough.)
It’s important to persevere, but don’t work to exhaustion or you’ll end up using your lower back and hip flexors. Plan on doing just a few repetitions each day, and your body will respond quickly. The result of all your hard work? A stronger core, more ease in your poses, and a more powerful you.
Before You Begin
Engaging Mula Bandha, or the perineum, contains your energy and strengthens the pelvic floor. Sitting in Virasana (Hero Pose), roll your sitting bones back and engage Ashvini Mudra (the anal sphincter muscles). Bring your pelvis back to neutral. Now try to feel the perineum, the area right in front of the anus. Engage Mula Bandha by lifting the perineum (the action is very similar to Kegels). Do 30 lifts 3 times, breathing naturally.
Finding Your TA: The transversus abdominus (TA) is the deepest of the four layers of abdominal muscles. It runs from your lower ribs to your pubis and acts like a girdle, wrapping around your body. Lie back with your feet on the floor. Place your first two fingers on your frontal hipbones and move them an inch toward your navel. Exhale and engage the TA by drawing your belly back toward the ground. Take 5 breaths, keeping it engaged.
Please click on the images below to see them in more detail
4. Dolphin Pose
Come onto your hands and knees. Place your elbows under your shoulders and press your palms together firmly. Come into Dolphin, feeling the abdominal area hollow out and the perineum lift. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
5. Dolphin Plank Pose
Walk your feet back until your body is parallel to the floor. Keep pressing your hands together and hug your inner legs toward the midline. Hold for at least 3 full breaths, using your TA for stability.
9. Adho Mukha Vrksasana preparation (Handstand preparation)
Stand in Tadasana with your back to a wall. Place your feet a few inches from the wall and hug a block between your thighs. To feel Mula Bandha, roll your pelvis forward and take your thighs back. Then draw your tailbone toward your heels and squeeze the block. Bring the lower ribs toward your spine as you reach your arms up, palms facing the ceiling. Come onto your tiptoes, using the wall for support.
10. Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand)
Now it’s time to put it all together-upside down. Place your hands a few inches from the wall. Come into Downward Dog. Inhale as you kick up. Use your core muscles to help you reach your heels higher up the wall. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths, then come into a forward bend.” – Yoga Journal