April 01, 2020 at 01:15AM
A strong core is literally at the center of both inner and outer strength. Nearly every movement pattern in your body requires a strong and stable core. And not only that but in many yogic traditions, confidence aligns with the solar plexus chakra, located just above the abdomen.
Confidence is, without a doubt, a trait that must be developed internally through self-love and respect. However, building a strong physical body can also help you feel powerful and confident. When we strengthen our bodies, aside from toning our form, we also overcome mental challenges and accomplish goals for ourselves.
Try this core-focused yoga flow to help build strength and confidence from the inside out!
1. Boat Pose with Block A & B
Performing boat pose with a block will bring your focus in from your external environment to the center of your physical power—your core.
How to: Begin on your bottom with knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Inhale, take a block in your left hand as you extend your arms overhead and lower into low boat pose. Engage your core and bring your body into a V-shape, high boat pose, and sweep both arms toward your legs passing the block under your knees to your right hand. With an exhale, grab the block with your left hand and start to lower your upper body and lower body with control, until your upper back and feet are hovering just a few inches above the ground. Inhale and raise your body back to the starting position, passing the block from arm to arm each time you come into your V-shape.
Repeat 10 times or more.
2. Leg Raises with Block A & B
This exercise is a serious core strengthener, and adding a block brings the movement deeper into the abdominals.
How to: Lie on your back with your legs straight to the ceiling. Place a block between your inner thighs. Squeeze the block, keeping your legs straight, and lower your legs down slowly on an exhale, until they are hovering about an inch above the floor. Inhale and raise them back to the top. When you reach the top, lift your hips straight to the sky to activate more of your core.
Repeat 10 times.
3. Yogi Bicycle
Performing this exercise slowly and with care will help you strengthen every corner of your core!
How to: Start by lying on your back. On an exhale, lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Slowly twist your body to touch your elbow to your opposite knee. Extend the other leg 45 degrees in the air. Come back to your starting position and switch sides.
Repeat 10 times on each side.
4. Plank Pose
If I were to recommend doing just one core- (and mind-) strengthening pose every day, plank pose would be it! This pose leaves you feeling powerful and charged up in under a minute flat.
How to: Begin in a pushup position on your hands and toes. Lengthen your body, feeling as though your spine is extending from the crown of your head through your heels. Keep your core pulled into your spine. Breathe and hold this pose for 60 seconds.
5. Knee to Nose
This pose will amplify the core strengthening power of plank pose.
How to: Start in downward-facing dog. Lift one leg high to the sky. Next, shift your shoulders over your wrists and draw your knee into your nose, doming your upper back and squeezing your core tight. Try to kiss your knee as you activate your core. Extend the leg back up to the sky before you place it back down, then switch sides. For an extra challenge, rather than immediately switching sides, do a few reps of knee to nose on one leg before coming back to downward dog.
6. Side Plank
This pose will strengthen the sidewalls of your core unit, your obliques, creating a strong foundation for all your movement and self-expression.
How to: Start in plank pose. Turn your body to one side, stacking your shoulders over one wrist. Flex your feet and place the top heel on top of the other foot. Focus on keeping your hips raised and your whole side body in line. For a challenge, try lifting your top leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
7. High Boat
Boat pose is a great posture to do for an instant pick-me-up! It will help you feel strong and grounded almost immediately.
How to: Begin seated with your feet and hands on the floor. Inhale. On the exhale, activate your core and lift your legs up into a 45-degree angle. Extend your arms straight out in front of you. Balance on your sitz bones and keep your spine straight and your chest lifted. Hold for 10 breaths and release.
Practice this flow two or three times a week to strengthen your body—and your confidence