There is a buzz word in the exercise world going strong: Core strength. Rumor has it if you can build up your core strength than you will have the means to accomplish any other fitness task and live healthier. There are different ways to achieve this strength building and through yoga teacher training we learn that building our core strength helps to bring balance and strength to our bodies. Our core is considered to be our physical center and is linked to the spiritual and emotional elements of our lives.
Yoga teachers look at the core as an exact physical center but also a space that contains your energy and should be focused on and worked with asanas and specific attention. Through yoga teaching a good teacher can incorporate strong attention on the core and can help your students avoid future injuries so that they can focus on creating intelligence and strength instead. A strong core allows us to move through the good and bad times of life much easier because it makes us more resilient.
Core Strength connects to Good Health
Yoga teacher training will guide you in building your core strength through asana practice. Having a strong core will improve every pose you practice which will provide you with a sense of balance and ease in the pose. By creating a strong and healthy core you are also benefitting your body in ways off the yoga mat such as helping bring support to your lower back. A strong core gives your spine an added support and will help keep you from health problems such as degenerative disk disease or arthritis.
A healthy core can also help your digestive track. A strong core can prevent having constipation which helps our bodies because we rid ourselves of the waste and allow the nutrients to be absorbed in our bodies. By releasing the waste we avoid polluting our bodies and blood stream which can cause exhaustion and mood swings. With a strong core our blood moves and gets oxygen to move through our body.
How to Build our Core Strength
We are always looking for ways to get in shape the quickest easiest way but we really need to take the time and think about the healthiest ways to get there to avoid injury. Yoga certification will take you through which poses seem to address the core muscles and build on them. The Bridge Pose is a good pose to start with because it releases your belly and teaching the muscles to be flexible and respond to other stimuli. The Upward Abdominal Lock, Abdominal Churning, and Cleansing through Fire poses are also good ways to help develop strong core strength in a safe manner.
Yoga teacher training will explain that really any asana could potentially be a core strengthening practice because through your poses you should be building from the center foundation of your body and moving your energy through your core and back out to the rest of your body. This is keeping your core hard at work and strong no matter which pose you are concentrating on. Even during meditation and quieter poses you can still be moving energy through the core to build up it.
Through your yoga teaching you can slow the class down during Sun Salutations and have them focus on feeling the core activity. You will be able to recognize if your students are slowing down enough to feel the core energy and movement when you stop hearing the thud noises that they would be making shifting their movements in the sequence. While practicing other poses such as the Warrior poses you can ask your student to expand their core area while they focus on their breathing so that they can make more space for the joints and organs.
While working on building your core strength you may also bring up some food related issues. When your focus turns to building core strength you begin to feel the changes in your abdominal muscles and sometimes this can make people feel out of balance. Make sure that you apply what was taught in yoga teacher training and identify any concerns and work through them. Begin with teaching your students how to feel and how to breathe and move while processing those feelings. Teach them how to accept and dismiss those negative feelings.
Teach by Example
Before you begin to bring attention to core building to your students start with your own practice and notice the changes and how it affects you. While encouraging your students to focus on their breathing and belly through practice join them. Use your breathing to move your energy and strength through your core building the strength as you go. Yoga teacher training will provide any answers to questions you may have on the best poses and practice for core strengthening.