This week we will be focusing on core strength in class. I would like to think beyond the appearance of your abs and more about functionality. Recent studies confirm that six-pack abs do not necessarily equal a strong core. The core has many layers and functions, including helping us to be emotionally stable. Additionally, it supports your back, helps you balance, helps you move your body, and perform yoga asanas with more awareness and safety.
Read more on the the subject below from Yoga Journal.com
By Rachel Brahinsky
The core, says senior Anusara teacher Desirée Rumbaugh, “is what supports us spiritually in our lives, and physically in our yoga practice. If our core is weak, the ups and downs of life are much harder to take. A strong core makes us more resilient.”
The Core of Health
In terms of asana practice, core abdominal strength improves nearly every pose, offering a sense of balance and ease. When you step off of the mat, there are lots of other good reasons to be strong in the core, perhaps most obviously to support the lower back. Weakness in the core can result in “overrotations in the vertebrae of the lower back, which leads to degenerative disk disease and arthritis,” according to physical therapist Harvey Deutch.
Limp abs often contribute to trouble in the sacroiliac joint, Deutch adds, explaining that the joint—where the sacrum meets the illium, the large pelvic bone—can be subject to strain when the core isn’t sufficiently toned. And, says Deutch, if you begin overstressing one joint, you may start to misuse another, causing further injury.
“If we’re weak in the core, our digestive fire is weak,” adds Ana Forrest, founder of the Forrest Yoga Institute in Santa Monica, California. This can cause constipation, which then brings on “chronic exhaustion, because we’re not absorbing nutrients,” and which pollutes the blood stream and can muddy the mind, leading to unclear thinking and gloomy moods. Core work, on the other hand, “quickens the blood and gets oxygen moving” throughout the body.