INVITATION TO HARDCORE YOGIS…
According to this definition of ‘hardcore’ from urbandictionary.com, I am a hardcore yogi. As a longtime student of Hatha yoga, my current interest/obsession in studious endeavors is deepening understanding, sustaining awareness, and strengthening connection to my core.
The core is not just abdominal muscles. I think of the core like the core of an apple- it runs plumb through the whole of the fruit. The core that supports the human body is not just muscle. The core is muscles, bones, energy flows, and most of all awareness. Awareness too is like a muscle, it needs training for sustaining.
‘Tis the season to jump on the ‘core strengthening’ bandwagon!
Everybody’s doing it! Maybe this is because it’s the (dare I say dreaded?) bathing suit season. Or maybe it’s because fitness enthusiasts and yogis are experiencing that a stronger center and sustained core awareness in exercise and asana practice is helping ward off aggravation in injurious prone joints and lower backs. Perhaps the entire Lower Alabama community simply read the article in May’s issue of Yoga Journal, ‘Beneath The Surface’ by Doug Keller. It’s a brilliant piece on exploring and connecting with the psoas — that mysterious, deep, huge muscle that connects legs to torso and majorly affects the quality of posture– which essentially is easeful, upright, and open-hearted.
The way we carry ourselves reflects the internal. Ultimately and optimally we live from an open heart.
This past week in my regular classes and in teacher training at Yoga Birds we have been exploring and working intensely in the core of the pelvis (a.k.a root lock, a.k.a. mula bandha). Thorough and repetitive action and awareness of this pelvic core focal point is the base of support for constant freedom, lightness, and brightness in the whole central channel of the body- all the way up through the crown of the head.
Using the brilliant and accessible Anusara Yoga method we are creating new insights and neuro pathways in our own mind/body connections by learning alignment techniques to access this ultimate core connection. We are using tools and props like the 3 Minute Egg to train the awareness and actions of the pelvic structures (femur bones/hip sockets/tail bone) to sustain the alignment, integration, and core connection during poses and vinyasa flow transitions.
I have not heard such gut grunting sound effects (which lead to seriously awesome belly laughter) in my classes ever. This is deep, challenging, utterly gratifying work. Folks who have been coming 1x a week are now coming 2x a week. They are experiencing tangible transformation which translates into freedom from physical pain, light, easeful, strong, upright posture, empowerment AND peace. More please!!!
My teaching week is done, and I don’t want to end my core awareness theme. There’s too much more fun to be had here. Everybody is loving the work.
So…..All Summer long, in my Anusara-Inspired Yoga classes at Yoga Birds we, with INTENSE ENTHUSIASM are practicing : breathing, standing, hip opening, back bending, forward folding, balancing, inverting, and vinyasa flowing, with a steadfast, unwavering core connection focus.
Commit to consistent practice this Summer. This is not a challenge. It’s an invitation to reclaim your essential natural physical architecture, free yourself from pain, and achieve optimal, stellar fitness without the sacrifices of straining and battering your body. It’s an opportunity for the transformation of a lifetime.
If you want it, you simply have to be hardcore about it.
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