This yoga sequence has been design to strengthen the core, which is great for our posture and can also help you in tricky balances in yoga. Throughout this yoga for core flow we create some heat and fire in your belly, and then stretch out the abs in a passive backbend.
1 / LOW BOAT
From lying down, use and exhale to lift the head, shoulders and legs off the mat. Be sure to keep the lower back on the mat, by pulling the belly button back towards the spine. Hold for 5 rounds of breath.
2 / RECLINED CROW POSE
This one is a great way to practise using the muscles needed for the crow pose arm balance. Curl the spine and pull the elbows and knees towards each other. Hold for 5 rounds of breath or 5 repetitions from lying down.
3 / TABLE TOP KNEE LIFT
Start in a table top position, with the hands underneath the shoulders and knees stacked underneath the hips. Ground down through the knuckles and fingertips to protect the wrists, press the floor away and lift the knees 1 inch off the mat. Keep the breath flowing the hold for 5 rounds of breath.
4 / KNEE TAPS
From your table top with knees lifted position, tap the knees to each elbow. Do this as slowly and with as much control as possible. Repeat 3 times on each side.
5 / SIDE STRETCH FLOW
Come into a side plank with the bottom knee on the mat for support. Reach the top hand over head to stretch through the waist. Then using the oblique’s, bring the top hand to touch the calf of the back leg. Use an inhale to come up and an exhale to slowly, float down. Repeat 3 times on each side.
6 / SIDE PLANK
Make sure the wrist is underneath the shoulder and firm up the legs. Have the feet on top of each other, but if you need more support stagger the feet. This can also be done on the forearm, if it causes too much tension on the wrist joint. Hold for 5 rounds of breath on each side.
7 / DOWNWARD DOG KNEE TAPS
From downward dog, float one leg up behind you, take a big breath in to prepare and on the exhale bring the knee to the elbow, inhale the leg back up and draw the knee in towards the nose, do the same again but take it to the opposite elbow. Round the upper back and pull the belly button in. Repeat with the other knee.
8 / SEATED LIFT
Using some blocks (or books) push the hands down to lift the seat up. See how long you can hold it for and eventually work towards doing the same move but without the blocks.
9 / BOAT POSE
Find your balance on both sit bones and keep the spine straight. Visualise holding a pencil in between the shoulder blades and this will keep the chest lifted. You can grab the back on the thighs or allow the hands to float out to the sides. Bring the toes to at least eye level and hold for a round of 5 breaths.
10 / STRETCH OUT
Using a block, a book or some pillows, support the lower back and passively stretch out the front side of the body.
Relax the abdominals and allow the chest to open.
I hope you found this little sequence helpful and if you put together in your own flow it can be a great 10 minute core strengthener. Let me know how you got on and if you found any of the movements surprisingly hard… or easy! Enjoy!