Thursday, June 14, 2007

Abdominal - Core

As I easily reached my legs out long and straight while coming into headstand (sirsasana), I was amazed at how stable and strong my core felt.

Where the heck did that come from? Could it be that dark chocolate really does improve inner strength? Or was it something else? As much as I wanted to believe it was the modest indulgences of nightly dark chocolate pieces (a gift for mother's day), I knew I had to look elsewhere.

For the past 4 years, I'd been coming into headstand with knees bent. The idea of lifting straight legs seemed like an impossibility, and I was just thrilled to be able to focus enough to get upside down anyway!

So, what suddenly changed?

What I found was not situps, boat pose (navasana), or any of the Yoga poses (asanas) directly related to the core. It was my pranayama practice.

Yep, some simple breathing did it. A couple of weeks ago I began including Bellows Breathing (Bhastrika) more frequently in my practice--about 3 times a week. Click here to check out a video on it how to do this practice. The technical quality is not the best, but you can still get the important and useful info.
In my experience, if I include this breathing technique, not only do I end up with a clearer mind, but also a stronger core. With that said, don't overdue such a powerful pranayama! 3 rounds per day is plenty. For beginners, make the rounds very short (10-15 seconds). If you feel light headed, nervous, anxious, or have trouble sleeping. Stop the practice. After a couple of weeks, you can return but very slowly. As always, I'm not an MD and don't know your personal case, but for many this is a great practice.

Love Much,


Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

No comments: