Little is said about strengthening so-called yoga. centre, i.e. the area responsible for the strength and stability of the whole body. The centre of the body does not boil down to a selected muscle, but rather to a group of muscles that work together to provide support to the spine and pelvis, and also help generate strength to move the body as a coherent and inseparable whole.
The centre of our body is the area between the lower part of the chest and the pelvic floor. The muscles located in this area determine the stability of the torso. These include abdominal muscles (superficial and deep), straight and oblique, paravertebral muscles, pelvic muscles, gluteus muscles, back muscles.
The strong centre of the body allows for more efficient movement of the limbs while protecting the spine. When the body centre is strong, the balance improves, and this greatly affects the rest of the body. What happens in our centre will affect the functioning of the lower limbs and the torso.
In yoga, it is very important to observe the connections of the pelvis with other parts of the body, especially the feet, spine and abdominal muscles. The careful practice is the key to seeking stability in asanas. Below are some asanas that help strengthen the centre of the body and which should absolutely not be avoided during yoga practice.
1.KUMBHAKASANA (BOARD POSITION)
This is a great position for those who have not yet mastered the position of the stick (Chaturanga Dandasana). It is used, among others, for more demanding asanas, although practiced separately, it excellently prepares and strengthens the muscles of the arms, and also activates the muscles of the abdomen and thighs.
To do this, follow these guidelines:
- kneel on the floor with your hands shoulder-width apart, push your hands firmly to the floor, face towards the floor, pull your stomach muscles, lift your toes and lift your knees up
- set the body so that it is in one line
- control that your hips do not collapse or rise above the entire body line
- tense your stomach muscles but relax your buttocks
- shoulders should be just above the wrists
- hold in this position for about 30 seconds, and then go to the dog with his head down
2. CHATURANGA DANDASANA (STICK POSITION)
- lie on the floor on your stomach. Bend your elbows, place your hands under your shoulders, your wrists should be in line with the lower ribs. Your fingers should be pointing forward. Fold your toes, set your feet to the width of your hips press your hands firmly to the floor.
- Straighten your knees, lift your thighs as high as possible and turn them inward. Take care of the position of the pelvis: the tailbone is directed inside the body, buttocks are shifted towards the heels.
- By rolling the pelvis and flexing the abdominal muscles, exhale the whole body above the floor. Bodyweight rests on four points: on the hands and toes. The body does not hang on hands – it is strong and straight. Pull the stomach in, do not lift the buttocks too high, the body should be in line.
- Try to raise the shoulders so high that the arms are parallel to the ground. Face the floor and extend the back of the neck. Elbows are close to the torso.
- Exit from the position on the exhale, lay the body on the ground and relax. Repeat the position several times.
3. VASISTHASANA (WISE POSITION)
This position develops a sense of balance, and also stretches and strengthens the wrists, arms, shoulders, stomach. For beginners, it is recommended to do it without lifting the leg perpendicular to the ground.
- Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dog with head down)
- Transfer body weight to the right hand and the outer edge of the right foot.
- Put your left foot on the right.
- Keep your left hand on your hip, balancing on your right hand and foot. If you are a beginner, stop at this stage.
- If you have already mastered Vasisthasane for this stage, go to the next tips.
- With your exhale, grasp the big toe of your left leg with your left hand.
- Straighten your leg upwards, pulling it towards the head.
- Limbs strongly straightened, upper leg perpendicular to the floor, body in one plane
- Stay in the position for 15-30 seconds. Then return to the dog’s position with your head down, rest for a while and then follow the position to the other side.
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