Top 9 Yoga Poses for Core Strength

Yoga is an excellent way to strengthen your core strength and muscles which are essential for maintaining good posture and balance. In this article, we will discuss the Top 9 Yoga Poses for Core Strength which can be incorporated into your practice.

Top 9 Yoga Poses for Core Strength:

Top 9 Yoga Poses for Core Strength
Top 9 Yoga Poses for Core Strength

1_Side Plank Pose:

Side Plank Pose also known as the Vasisthasana is an arm balance and a full-body strengthener in yoga. It targets the arms, wrists and core strength and muscles by making it a challenging yet beneficial pose for practitioners. 

How to Practice Side Plank Pose:
  •  Begin in Plank Pose with your wrists slightly in front of your shoulders.
  • Shift your weight onto one hand and the outer edge of your foot by stacking your feet on top of each other.
  • Keep your core engaged lift your hips and extend your free arm toward the sky by reaching through your fingertips.
  • Stay in the pose for several breaths by focusing on maintaining stability and engaging your core muscles.
  • To come out of the pose lower your hand and pivot your feet back to the Plank position.
Benefits of Side Plank Pose:
  • This pose works your core strength and muscles by including your obliques to a significant extent by helping to improve balance and stability.
  •  Side Plank strengthens and tones the abdominals, glutes and lower back muscles by improving muscle strength, endurance and stability.
  •  Practicing Side Plank Pose helps improve your balance and stability which can be beneficial for daily activities and other physical practices.
  • This pose can help improve forward-tilted shoulder posture and create a strong midline in the body.
  • Side Plank Pose is an excellent core strengthening exercise that targets the arms, core and legs as well as the obliques.
  • Side Plank Pose strengthens the muscles in your shoulders, hips and sides of your core which helps protect your spine and maintain proper alignment.

2_Boat Pose:

Boat Pose also known as the Paripurna Navasana is also a yoga posture that offers a range of physical and mental benefits. 

How to Practice Boat Pose:
  • Sit seated with your legs extended out in front of you.
  • Sit up tall to lengthen your spine and then slowly lean back while bending your knees.
  • Lift your feet off the floor and flex your feet to keep your legs activated.
  • Hold the posture while taking deep breaths by engaging your abdominal muscles with each exhale.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 20 breaths.
Benefits of Boat Pose:
  • Boat Pose primarily targets the core muscles by including the abdomen, pelvis and lower back, which are essential for stability and balance.
  •  This pose also engages the arms and legs by specifically the upper arms (biceps and triceps) and hamstrings gradually toning these muscle groups over time.
  •  Practicing Boat Pose fosters a heightened awareness of the entire body by promoting mindfulness and body-mind connection.
  • Engaging the abdomen and improving air circulation through the diaphragm can activate the muscles around the abs and pelvis by potentially improving digestive health.
  •  Boat Pose helps strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles while also decreasing the workload of the lumbar spine and allowing for a wider range of motion.
  •  Boat Pose can improve balance, posture and body alignment by making it beneficial for activities like running or rock climbing.
  •  Practicing Boat Pose can boost energy levels, fight fatigue and enhance mental focus by contributing to a sense of empowerment and confidence.

3_Wheel Pose:

Wheel Pose also known as the Chakrasana or Urdhva Dhanurasana is an intermediate-to-advanced back-bending posture in yoga that engages the entire body. 

How to Practice Wheel Pose:
  • Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees.
  • Reach your arms overhead and bend your elbows by placing your palms flat on the floor next to your ears with your fingers pointing forward.
  • On an inhale lift your hips.
  • To come down tuck your chin slightly and bend your elbows and return to the crown of your head. Lower all the way down onto the back of your head and lower your arms by your sides
Benefits of Wheel Pose:
  •  Wheel Pose stimulates the breath, opens the chest and shoulders and improves spinal flexibility which can lead to improved core strength and potentially better blood glucose levels.
  •  This pose strengthens and lengthens the vertebrae by increasing elasticity and flexibility of the spine, which is beneficial for maintaining a healthy and youthful spine.
  • Wheel Pose strengthens the arms, wrists, abdomen, legs, shoulders and chest  leading to toned muscles and improved overall body strength.
  •  It stretches the chest and lungs by allowing increased amounts of oxygen into the rib cage which can aid in respiration and potentially offer therapeutic effects for individuals with asthma.
  • Practicing Wheel Pose can energize you physically and mentally by helping to counteract stress and anxiety and making you feel more alive and strong.
  • Wheel Pose is a heart-opening backbend that can help heal emotional wounds and allow for vulnerability and new opportunities for love.
  • It loosens tight hips leading to increased hip flexibility which is beneficial for overall mobility and comfort.

4_Dolphin Pose:

A  plank posture that builds core strength by combining elements of Plank Pose and Dolphin Pose.

How to Practice Dolphin Pose:
  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Slowly lower both elbows one at a time to the floor by keeping your arms parallel with one another.
  • Inhale to create more length in your spine and exhale to engage your core muscles.
  • Hold the pose for 10 to 20 breaths.
Benefits of Dolphin Pose:
  •  It strengthens the shoulders, arms and upper body by making it a great alternative to Downward Dog pose for those with sensitive wrists.
  • The pose activates the arches of the feet and strengthens the legs.
  •  Dolphin Pose provides the strength and actions needed for headstand and forearm balance by making it a valuable preparatory pose for inversions.
  •  It engages the core strength and muscles, contributing to overall core strength and stability.
  •  Dolphin Pose can help calm the brain and relieve stress and mild depression by making it a beneficial posture for mental well-being.

5_Upward Plank Pose:

Upward Plank Pose also known as the Purvottanasana is an intermediate back-bending yoga pose that offers a range of benefits including strength and flexibility.

How to Practice Upward Plank Pose:
  • Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you in Dandasana.
  • Place your hands a little behind your hips with the fingers pointing towards your toes and point your toes.
  •  Roll your inner thighs in draw your belly in and up and as you inhale lift your hips up as high as you can by keeping your chin to your chest.
  •  Firm your shoulder blades on your back to help lift your chest up.
  •  When your chest is lifted you may choose to bring your head back. Keep your chin tucked when you bring your head back to the point where you can’t keep it tucked anymore. Then gently release your head.
  • Stay in the pose for about 5 breaths and then as you exhale lower your hips back down into Dandasana.
Benefits of Upward Plank Pose:
  • Stretches the front of the shoulders, the chest and the front of the ankles.
  • Strengthens the arms, core, legs and back.
  • Excellent counter pose for Chaturanga Dandasana.

6_Chair Pose:

Chair Pose also known as the Utkatasana is a standing yoga posture that tones the entire body by particularly the thighs.

How to Practice Chair Pose:
  •  Begin in Mountain Pose with your feet together or hip-distance apart for beginners.
  •  Inhale and raise your arms above your head perpendicular to the floor with your palms facing each other.
  •  Exhale as you bend your knees by bringing your thighs as parallel to the floor as they can get.
  • Your knees will project out slightly over your feet and your torso will form approximately a right angle over your thighs.
  •  Draw your shoulder blades down your back and engage your core muscles to support your lower back.
  •  Keep your breath smooth, even and deep. If your breath becomes shallow or strained back off a bit in the pose until breathing becomes easier.
  •  Spin your pinky fingers toward each other so your palms face each other by rotating your arms outward through your thumbs.
  •  Gaze directly forward or tilt your head slightly and gaze at a point between your hands.
  •  Hold the pose for several breaths and then inhale as you straighten your legs and come back to Mountain Pose.
Benefits of Chair Pose:
  • Strengthens the thighs and ankles, while toning the shoulders, butt, hips and back.
  • Stretches the Achilles tendons and shins, and is known to be therapeutic for flat feet.
  • Tones your digestive organs and heart.
  • Increases the heart rate, promoting cardiovascular health.
  • Improves posture and balance.

7_Easy Twist:

Easy Pose with Twist is a basic seated yoga posture that provides a greater stretch to the body by relieving tension and helping to prepare the practitioner for other activities.

How to Practice Easy Twist:
  • Sit cross-legged on the floor with your spine straight and your hands resting on your knees.
  • Place your right hand on the floor behind you and fingers pointing away from your body.
  • Inhale and lift your left arm up and exhale and twist to the right by bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee.
  • Press your right hand into the floor to help you twist deeper and use your left hand to gently pull your right knee towards your left shoulder.
  • Keep your breath smooth, even and deep. If your breath becomes shallow or strained back off a bit in the pose until breathing becomes easier.
  • Gaze over your right shoulder.
  • Hold the pose for several breaths then inhale as you release the twist and come back to center.
  • Repeat the twist on the opposite side by placing your left hand on the floor behind you and bringing your right elbow to the outside of your left knee.
Benefits of Easy Twist:
  • Stretches the hips, knees and ankles.
  • Increases flexibility throughout the spine, shoulders and chest.
  • Helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Stimulates and tones your abdominal muscles.
  • Improves digestion and elimination.
  • Can be therapeutic for conditions such as sciatica and menstrual discomfort.

8_Single Leg Downward Dog:

Single Leg Downward Dog also known as the Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana.

How to Practice Single Leg Downward Dog:
  • Start in Downward Facing Dog pose with your hands and feet pressed firmly against the mat and your hips up and back.
  • Inhale as you lift one leg up by keeping it straight and in line with your spine.
  • Stay in Single Leg Downward Dog pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat with the opposite leg.
Benefits of Single Downward Dog:
  • This pose provides a deep stretch to the hips and hamstrings, promoting flexibility and mobility.
  • It engages and strengthens the arms particularly the supporting arm by contributing to upper body strength.
  • Practicing Single-Leg Downward Dog Pose helps improve balance and stability by enhancing overall body awareness and coordinate.

9_Scorpian Handstand:

The Scorpion Handstand also known as the Vrschikasana is an advanced yoga pose that combines a handstand with a backbend.

How to Practice Scorpion Handstand:
  • Start in a handstand position either against a wall or in the middle of the room with your legs together.
  • Begin to bend one knee and charge the straight leg overhead by aiming to bring your feet towards your head.
  • Engage your core strength and back muscles to lift your chest and arch your back by creating the scorpion-tail shape with your legs.
  • Hold the pose for a few breaths and then slowly lower your legs back down to come out of the pose.
Benefits of Scorpion Handstand:
  •  Practicing this pose can help gain focus and awareness by bringing mental and emotional clarity and calmness.
  • Balancing the body in advanced backbends and inversions can motivate and strongly affect physical, mental and emotional energy and core strength by leading to positive transformation and relaxation of the mind.
  • Scorpion Pose helps improve body and mind coordination by making it a valuable pose for enhancing overall coordination and balance

 

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