The Benefits of a Strong Core – On and Off the Mat

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This is a guest post from Angela Regnier, to invite you to our January 23 workshop!

I often hear moans and groans in my Forrest-Inspired yoga classes when we are about to start the core sequences, but students regularly admit to me how beneficial and effective they really find them!

Here are a few reasons why core strength is so important:

  • Improve balance and stability –

By strengthening muscles in your lower back, hips, and abdomen, you will make every day activities and sports easier to enjoy. The transverse abdominis is an important and large muscle that yogis need to access. It is the deepest of all abdominal muscles that plays a huge role in supporting your posture – especially your pelvis and low back. Virtually every yoga asana (posture) and every movement you make in a day will improve with a stronger core.

  • Build digestive fire –

Some traditional yogic breathing exercises, such as kapalabhati and nauli, do much to activate abdominal muscles and stimulate the intestines and promote movement and circulation in your digestive system. This is why they are considered cleansing techniques – aiding in purification, detoxification and elimination. Core strengthening contributes to both massaging and protecting the internal organs.

  • Eliminate back pain –

Back pain is often caused by postural alignment problems. Strengthening the muscles that support your hips and spine can prevent the need for back surgery or pain medication. Be cautious, however, if you have back injury, some methods of core strengthening (such as crunches) can aggravate back pain and further weaken lumbar muscles. Forrest Yoga core sequences are uniquely designed to protect the low back by isolating the transverse abdominis and preventing undue strain in the low back. By pressing the top rim of your sacrum into the mat you are engaging the transverse abdominis and training your mind to connect with this power centre throughout the rest of your practice, even your day.

  • Connect body and brain-

More scientific research is coming out about the positive connection between body strength and brain health. Not only will you improve your memory and concentration through strengthening exercises, but enhance your mind-body awareness keeping you oriented and present with your surroundings.

  • Feel great!

Tapping into your core strength can help connect you to your inner strength – fostering confidence, perseverance and focus in your life – all of these

On January 23rd, join me for a workshop to Revitalize your Core – from head to toe! Individuals of all genders,  body types and ages welcome! Intensive core strengthening is not recommended for pregnant women, but can be highly beneficial as part of a post-natal exercise plan.

Remember: yoga is a process and a path towards health and well-being, not a quick fix. On January 23, bring your sense of humour and get ready for a satisfying and fun-loving practice!

 

Angela Regnier

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