Yoga on the move: the strength from the core

Core-strengthening is an important aspect of every woman’s life, irrespective of her age and fitness level. Working on core strength ensures that women retain good posture and muscle strength, reaping the health benefits that come with this focused activity. The core of your body, like the name suggests, means the centre or the foundation of your entire body and hence, your existence. The core houses your vital organs of digestion, excretion and reproduction. The muscles that support the core circle the torso and pelvis, encapsulating the region and keeping it snug and tight. Sagging core strength causes incontinence, potential prolapse of the uterus, lower back pain and saggy abdominal muscles.

From the yogic point of view, the region around the ‘naabi’ or the navel is the storehouse of vital energy called ‘prana’. Yoga postures, breathing and cleansing exercises are centred around the core to encourage the flow of prana through the body. The better the flow, the more vital you will feel. Core-strengthening need not necessarily be strenuous involving gyms, yoga mats and exercise balls. Practices like kapalbathi (rapid exhalation) and sun salutations work the core, helping you both lose weight and strengthen the body from the inside out.

Incorporate the following posture into your daily exercise routine or simply do it anytime during the day (except after a meal) to remind your core muscles that they are in charge and to engage them correctly in conjunction with your breath. The posture also gently releases pressure between your vertebrae, giving them temporary relief from bearing weight.

Vayu Nishkarnasana (Wind Relief Posture)

Caution: Pregnant women, those suffering from slipped discs and knee pain should avoid this posture.

Sit on a low stool or squat with your feet about two feet apart.

Grab hold of the insteps of your feet by placing your fingers under the soles and the thumbs above.

The upper arms should be pressed against the inside of your knees with your elbows slightly bent.

Keep your chin level. This is the starting position.

Now exhale, straighten your knees, raise your hips up towards the sky and move your head towards the knees.

Draw your belly inward, hold your breath out for 5 seconds and return to the starting position.

Repeat five to eight times.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 3:02:21 AM |

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