Yoga Abs

The concept of  yoga abs is pretty new to me.  When I first encountered yoga in 1970, no one was talking about yoga abs.   Back in the early days of yoga here in the United States, people were talking about yoga asanas (postures), meditation and breathing.  Yoga seemed focused on teaching people how to stretch, become limber and calm their minds.

But with the extreme popularity of the more vigorous Ashtanga style of yoga in the 80′s and 90′s, there has subsequently been more emphasis on athleticism in yoga.

If you are not familiar with Ashtanga Yoga, take a peek here:

OK, so do you see how the yoga practice can require super human strength?  Maybe that’s not for you — no worries.  There are still many reasons to strengthen your core.  Here are the benefits of cultivating core strength for the average person:

  • Prevents injury to the hips and back
  • Improves posture
  • Improves body mechanics so we move more efficiently
  • Strengthens abdominals, hip flexors, inner thighs, back and hips
  • Conserves energy expenditure
  • Improves endurance
  • Improves confidence
  • Encourages an optimistic outlook

And now I share with you part of my daily core strengthening routine.  This routine is both fun and energizing.   However if you lack a flexible spine or have a weak back or are prone to back injury,   you will want to start with something more gentle and fundamental.  I will be posting some basic core strengthening routines over the next few weeks.  So please stay tuned and please subscribe for blog updates.

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2 Responses to “Yoga Abs”

  1. Alexa says:

    Great information Dee! I am 33 years old and have been practicing Ashtanga yoga for 12 years. I love how it keeps me strong but more importantly focused and relaxed at the same time. I would caution anyone who is starting a rigorous practice such as Ashtanga to do so with a teacher who can teach proper alignment and in many cases allow a student to use props to avoid injury. Chataranga Dandasana can be very challenging to the wrists over time especially as women age and bone density breaks down. Great blog Dee! Thanks for the information.

  2. yogaboca says:

    Hi Alexa,
    I would never recommend Ashtanga to someone who is feeble or out of shape. There are much gentler practices for beginners. Regarding Chaturanga, I believe that when done correctly it actually strengthens the wrists. I am living proof of that. I’ve healed a debilitating wrist injury through yoga and did not avoid inversions and arm balances.

    As far as bone density in older women: Doctors are recommending weight bearing exercise to prevent osteoperosis. I’ve been teaching yoga for 9 years now and it’s amazing how many women have feeble, weak wrists. I believe it’s mainly due to lack of use. I see this in very young girls all the time.

    Also when people are overweight, this puts added strain on the wrists.

    I believe in use it or lose it. I took up handstands at the age of 50 and now 8 years later I am still working on it. Along with chaturanga and crane pose. I am still limited in certain postures due to the wrist injury but I feel that over time I may totally overcome it. I agree what you said about proper form. It is so important to have a teacher who will make corrections. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and for taking the time to comment!

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