9 Yoga Poses for Your Core

9 Yoga Poses for Your Core

Yoga is an extremely effective way to strengthen and tone your core. A strong core is essential for maintaining proper posture and moving safely throughout your day. The following nine yoga poses to target your core and help build strength. Be sure to use modifications if you need them and adjust the time in each posture to meet your current fitness and flexibility levels. As always with yoga, take deep, full breaths while in the poses. Let your breath guide you.

To make this practice even more enjoyable, involve your pet!

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#1 – Downward-facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana) With Crunches

Downward-facing dog activates the entire body. Adding in the crunching movement allows you to target your core. Begin in a table position on all fours and spread your fingers wide with your index fingers pointing forward. Ground down through the base of your index finger and thumb. Press through your palms and lift your hips. Keep your knees bent to start and, once you have found length through the spine, begin to lower your heels to the ground.

On an inhale, lift your right leg upward, moving into the three-legged dog position。 On an exhale, draw your right knee toward your chest。 Inhale and extend your right leg back behind you。 Exhale and bring your right knee to your right elbow。 Inhale and extend your right leg back。 Exhale and bring your right knee toward your left elbow。 Inhale and extend your right leg back。 Exhale and bring your right knee to your chest。 Inhale and extend your right leg back。 Exhale and move back into downward-facing dog。 This sequence of movements is considered one repetition。 Repeat this sequence with your left leg。

Downward Facing Dog with CrunchesDownward Facing Dog with Crunches

 

 

 

Downward-facing Dog With Crunches

申博体育Start with one repetition on each side, working your way up to three repetitions.

Modifications: If this exercise is too difficult, do the crunches from a tabletop position on all fours instead of from a downward-facing dog position.


#2 – Plank (Phalakasana)

Plank pose is an amazing way to strengthen your core without doing crunches. From a tabletop position, plant your palms as you did for the downward-facing dog position. Tuck your toes and move into a high plank position, stacking your ankles over your toes and your shoulders over your wrists. Maintain proper alignment with your knees, hips, shoulders and head. Imagine pulling your belly button toward your spine, and make sure not to round or arch your spine. The goal is to keep your spine in a neutral position. Keep your shoulders drawn away from your ears and hold this position.

Plank

Plank

Hold this position for three deep breaths, working your way up to 10 breaths.

Modifications: If this position hurts your wrists, try moving your wrists slightly in front of your shoulders. If you still experience discomfort, do the plank from your forearms instead, stacking your shoulders over your elbows.


#3 – Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

申博体育Lie on one side with your forearm on the mat, stacking your shoulder over your elbow. Lift your hips upward, maintaining alignment from your head to your feet. Stack your feet and hold this position.

Side Plank

Side Plank

Hold this position for three deep breaths on each side, working your way up to 10 breaths per side.

Modifications申博体育: To make this exercise easier, move down onto your knees or stagger your feet, planting the foot of your top leg on the ground in front of you.


#4 – Boat (Navasana)

Start by sitting on your mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your feet and straighten your legs. To make the exercise easier, keep your knees bent. Keep your spine elongated and your chest open. Lift your arms in front of you and hold this position.

Boat

Boat

Hold this position for three deep breaths, working your way up to 10 breaths.

Modifications: To make this exercise easier, hold onto the backs of your thighs with your hands. Alternatively, you can keep your toes on the ground.


#5 – Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) to Peaceful Warrior (Shanti Virabhadrasana)

Start your progression into the warrior II position by widening your stance and pointing your right foot forward while keeping your left foot parallel with the short edge of your mat. Bend through your right knee and shift your hips forward until your knee is stacked on top of your ankle. Raise your arms to shoulder-height and inhale deeply. Exhale as you lift your right arm upward and lower your left arm down your left leg or behind your back, moving into the peaceful warrior position. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement. This sequence of movements is considered one repetition.

Warrior II to Peaceful WarriorWarrior II to Peaceful Warrior

 

 

 

Warrior II to Peaceful Warrior

Flow through three repetitions (10 breaths) on each side, working up to 10 repetitions (30 breaths).

Modifications: If flowing between the two postures is too difficult, stay in the warrior II position.


#6 – Dead Bugs 

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your knees above your hips, keeping your hips, knees and ankles at 90-degree angles. Lift your arms straight above your shoulders and inhale deeply. Exhale as you lower your right arm down above your head and extend your left leg down. Inhale as you bring your arm and leg back to the center position. Repeat the movement, using your opposite leg and arm. Keep the natural curve in your low back without arching your back too high off the floor.

Dead BugsDead Bugs

 

 

 

Dead Bugs

Flow-through five repetitions on each side (10 breaths)。

Modifications: To make this exercise easier, only lower one arm or one leg at one time.


#7 – Bird Dogs (Dandayamana Bharmanasana)

Start in a tabletop position with a neutral spine。 Lift your right arm to be in line with your shoulder as you extend your left leg behind your body。 Keep your hips and shoulders parallel with the floor。 Engage your core and hold this position。

Bird DogsBird Dogs

 

 

 

Bird Dogs

Hold this position for three deep breaths on each side, working your way up to 10 breaths.

Modifications: To make this exercise easier, only raise one arm or one leg at one time.


#8 – Standing Backbend (Anuvittasana) with a Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Begin by standing in an upright position. Inhale as you raise your arms above your head and move into a slight backbend. Ensure there is no pain or compression in your low back. Exhale and hinge forward through your hips, lowering your upper body down into a forward fold with a slight bend in the knees. This sequence of movements is considered one repetition.

Standing Backbend with a Forward FoldStanding Backbend with a Forward Fold

 

 

 

Standing Backbend with a Forward Fold

Flow through three repetitions, working up to 10 repetitions.

Modifications: If this flow is too difficult, simply inhale as you raise your arms overhead and exhale as you lower your arms back down to your sides.


#9 – Front Body Opener

Start by sitting on your mat with your legs extended in front of your body. Place your right hand on the floor behind you for support. Bend your right knee and position the sole of your foot toward your left inner thigh. Inhale and press through the sole of your left foot to lift your hips as you lift your left arm above you. Open up through your entire body. Exhale as you lower your body back down. This sequence of movements considered one repetition.

Front Body Opener

Front Body Opener

Flow through three repetitions on each side, working up to 10 repetitions.

Modifications: If this exercise is too difficult, try a bridge pose instead. Lie on your back with your knees bent and both feet flat on the floor. Push through your heels to lift your hips and hold this position for several breaths.

I hope you find these yoga poses helpful for strengthening your core. If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact our support team at [email protected]

Namaste!

Kiah

For your morning yoga routine, make sure to check out 12 Yoga Poses to Wake Up Energized and Start Your Day Off Feeling Fresh!

12 Yoga Poses to Wake Up Energized and Start Your Day Off Feeling Fresh