What is it about our core? Why does so much of our ego reside in this area of the body?
There is a deep energy source which lies right around the navel. It begins with our invasion of our mother’s womb. We begin our intake of life sustaining nourishment from the umbilical cord, which then, becomes our own belly buttons. Once we begin to feed ourselves upon birth, we lose the immediate connection to this original source of vitality, but continue to feel the need to strengthen the naval center.
Yoga gives us the tools to trim the fat around our bellies and connect to our original source of energy. With just five simple poses, you will increase the strength you feel in your core.
The first pose is Utkatasana, translated to either Thunderbolt, Fierce Pose, or Chair Pose. This exercise is a heat inducing, strength building multi-tasker. Because the core includes all four sides of the body, this pose takes care of the front and back of the body. Bend at the ankles, knees, and hips as though you are about to sit down in a chair. From the pit of your belly, extend the torso upward, away from the pelvis. This extension of the spine strengthens both the rectus abdominus muscles, the transverse abdominus, and the erector spineal muscles which run along the spine.
The second pose is Ardha Chandrasana, or Half Moon Pose. In this variation you stand upright on both feet. Keep the legs and the feet together. Stretch the arms up over the head and interlace the fingers. Bend over to the right. Hold for 8 breaths and release. Now, bend sideways, over to the left. Come back to center and release your arms. Do this twice on each side. This strengthens the oblique abdominals; as well as, the intercostal muscles between the ribs.
The third pose is Navasana, or Little Boat Pose. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Hold onto the backs of the legs and lean backward until your elbows are straight. Keep your spine as straight as possible. Slowly, let go of your legs and lift your feet off the floor. Bring your shins and feet parallel to the floor. Begin to straighten the legs from here. Now, start to round the back and lower the torso and the legs toward the floor. Hold with your feet and torso a few inches off the floor. Stay here for 4-6 rounds of breath. Lift back up to your “V” shape with straight legs and back. Finally, bend your knees and come back to your original seated position with legs bent, feet on the floor. As you move into your “V” shape focus on the strength in and around your sacrum. As you move into your Boat Pose, focus on strength of your belly by drawing the navel in toward the spine and hollowing out your abdomen. This pose taps into the power and strength of all the abdominal musculature; as well as, the spinal muscles.
The fourth pose is Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose. Lie on your belly. Place your hands underneath your shoulders with your fingertips facing forward. Bring your legs and feet all the way together, as in your Half Moon Pose above. Hug your elbows toward your ribs. Try to become as thin as possible, making all of your limbs into a one bodied reptile, the snake. With the strength in and around your navel, lift your head and torso off the floor. Lift your hands an inch off the floor. Just like a cobra get long and slinky as you begin to open your chest and spread your “hood” which is the back of your skull. Notice and breathe into your inner core strength cultivating a sense of lightness and openness to the body.
The fifth, and final, pose is Spinal Twist. Lie on your back. Draw your right knee up to your chest. Stretch your left leg straight forward. Place your right foot on top of your outstretched left leg. Draw your right knee over to the left with your left hand. Open your right arm to the right. Wring out your gut. Come back to center after 8-10 rounds of breath. Repeat on the other side. Spinal twists are great for digestion and release tension on the diaphragm and belly organs.
With all of the increased strength of these poses, you also need to add suppleness and receptivity to the naval area.
With so much focus on having the perfect bikini body, or 6 pack abs, we need to find a way in our culture to balance and nourish our navel center: our core. When we get right down into our essence, where we were first fed in the womb, we unleash emotional baggage and possibly a bit of, if not, a lot of fear and anxiety.
Working with the five poses given here will increase your vitality and energy. Reconnect with the one true source of power which lies at the core of who you really are.
Designer: Yoga Weight Loss System.
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