Not only does core work strengthen our backs, tone our stomachs, and massage our organs, it helps us become more in line with our true nature, and enables us to confidently move towards our truth and call forth our divinity.
These practices and habits strengthen our core, inside and out, and let us unfold into our true knowing and brilliance.
1. Twisting asanas
Doing twisting poses helps to wring out toxins that contribute to physical discomforts and emotional stress. They are also particularly uncomfortable, which provides us with the opportunity to breathe through the challenge while remaining calm and peaceful. Try twisting crescent, twisting chair, and twisting half moon. Lead with your heart, and remember to breath slowly and deeply into your stomach during these poses.
2. Leg lift crunches
Slow, deliberate movements create a strong awareness of our core. These crunches let us draw energy from fingertips to toes, to activate and strengthen the core.
Lie on your back, arms by your sides. Life your right leg and reach forward with your fingertips, then reach your arms overheard, shoulder blades off the ground, activating your core as your hover your leg two inches above the mat. Reach forward and alternate between lifting legs, taking a moment with your arms overhead and legs straight out in between sides. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed, do this slowly and with mindfulness of your core, remaining aware of your naval to spine connection.
3. Fibrous foods
Because our stomachs are basically a second brain containing a number of hormones that regulate our emotions, mental health, hunger and more, it’s important that we allow our bodies the space and energy for effective maintenance. Fibrous foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are best for this as they bind to toxins and escort them out of our bodies. Digestion is highly energy intensive, so fiber makes it more efficient and energizes our system. When our stomach health is properly supported with the right food, our bodies and minds are much more grounded.
There is a delicate yet powerful balance of microflora in our intestines, with about an area the size of a football field worth of bacteria. The standard American diet, lifestyle, and practice of taking antibiotics for every ailment, disrupts this critical balance that effects every area of our health. When we have discord here, it affects our immune systems, our ability to effectively absorb nutrients from our food, and contributes to emotional issues like anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Probiotics restore the intestinal balance and promote growth of healthy and nourishing bacteria, contributing to a harmonious inner environment that supports a calm and stable equilibrium.
5. Breath of fire
This cleansing and energizing breath connects you to your core and charges the nervous system, powered by abdominal contractions. This creates and builds a cosmic charge that brightens the body and clears the mind, creating radiance and light throughout your entire system. It helps us release the need to control and enables us to surrender to the higher power of the cosmos that is always working to support and enhance our lives.
To do: Sit relaxed, eyes closed and focused on the point in between the eyebrows. Your breath will move in and out through the nose, with the mouth closed. The time is equal on the inhale and the exhale, with no pause in between. Breathe rapidly in through your nostrils, starting out for 1-3 minutes. It may make you light headed at first, so be aware of how you feel. As time goes on, you can do it for longer. It will pump fresh air deep into your lungs and stomach, and will give your body a great aliveness and connection with the divine.
Having a fortified core through these practices enables us to live through our hearts and in our own strength. It empowers our intuition, and gives us the courage we need to pursue our goals, our true love, and to feel truly alive and vibrant. Choose one or two of the things above to begin to cultivate a strong core, and feel the power and high vibrations move into every area of your life.