Core strength is the strength of your core muscles (muscles around your stomach/abdomen area). If you have a weak core, you would not be able to do the daily activities with ease. Practicing/doing certain Yoga Poses can strengthen your core.
Yoga poses are also called yoga asanas in yogic terms. These asanas provide you with multiple benefits other than just strengthening your core. You may have confusion about whether to do yoga poses or normal core exercises like ab crunches or leg raises etc. But, yoga poses can do a lot better in the long run.
This article focuses mainly on the types of yoga poses one must be doing to keep the core strong and the right way to do it. Doing exercises in a way that doesn’t hurt anywhere can be accepted to some extent, but yoga poses must be done in the right way.
Yoga Poses to Strengthen your Core
Kumbhakasana - Plank Pose
Plank is a basic pose that strengthens almost all the muscles for doing other complex yoga poses. The plank strengthens mainly the abdomen area, that is the core muscles. You may even shake if you are a beginner.
It also strengthens the arms, if you practice both the variations (straight arm pushup position and elbow on the ground). It strengthens the wrist which is the most important joint in our body. It is beneficial in improving mental health, metabolism, balance and coordination, and a healthy posture.
1) Start by doing the Downward facing dog pose. Bring your torso forward until the arms are perpendicular to the floor and the shoulders directly over the wrists, keep the torso parallel to the floor.
2) Place your palms firmly on the yoga mat, and activate the muscles of the arms for stability.
3) Straighten the legs so that the thigh muscles are activated, but keep the body in a straight line.
4) Stay there for 30 secs to a minute or more if you can.
Vasisthasana - Side Plank Pose
The side plank pose teaches your muscle to balance the body on one arm. This yoga pose strengthens the muscles of the arms and obliques. It helps to shape your core and strengthen it. It also strengthens the wrist, shoulders, and legs. The side plank pose is also referred to as the sage pose.
1) Start with a downward-facing dog pose and come to a plank pose.
2) Come on to the outer edge of the right foot, and keep the left foot on the right foot.
3) Keep the left hand on the left hip, turning your torso to the left simultaneously. Balance the weight of the body on the right foot and the right hand.
4) Keep the body in a straight line from head to toe, stretch the left arm towards the ceiling keeping it in line with your shoulders. Keep your head neutral or you can look at the left hand.
5) Be in this pose for a few secs, and then do it on the other side.
Ardha Chandrasana - Half Moon Pose
The half-moon pose is a standing pose that strengthens the legs, buttocks, and hips. It also strengthens the spine, ankles, and knees. The core muscles on the side (obliques) get strong by doing this pose. It opens the chest and shoulders. The half-moon pose also improves digestion, reduces anxiety, and improves balance and coordination.
1) Begin by standing straight on the yoga mat, bending towards the right side touching the right-hand fingers to the mat.
2) Stretch the left hand pointing towards the sky.
3) Lift your left leg up till it’s parallel to the floor.
4)Look straight or up. be in this pose for a few secs and do it on the other side.
Ardha Dhanurasana - Half Bow Pose
Bow pose is one of the classical yoga poses. The half bow pose is also one of the back stretching poses in yoga. This pose is called the bow pose because the body looks like a bow while doing this pose. The half bow pose stimulates the kidneys, adrenals, and reproductive system.
1) Lie on your belly, with the legs together or a few inches apart from each other. Bring the chin to the floor and slide the right arm over your head with the palm facing down.
2) Bend the right knee, and reach the left hand back to hold on to the right heel.
3) Try to stretch the right foot into the arm to lift the right leg, head, and chest off the floor. Keep the neck in line with the spine and lookup
4) Press the right arm onto the floor for support, or lift the right arm keeping it parallel to the floor. Do it for a few seconds and switch to the other side.
Ardha Pincha Mayurasana - Dolphin Pose
The dolphin pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and arches, and opens the shoulders, chest, and armpits. It strengthens the arms and legs and tones the core muscles. It is beneficial in regulating digestion, menopause, asthma, high blood pressure, flat feet, and sciatica.
1) Start by getting on the downward dog pose.
2) Bring the elbows to the floor, and forearms parallel to each other.
3) Keep the legs and back straight.
4) The gap between the feet and the elbows will vary according to your flexibility. Be in this pose for a few secs or minutes.
Virabhadrasana III - Warrior 3 Pose
The warrior 3 pose strengthens the shoulders, back, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, and legs. This yoga pose also improves balance and coordination as it strengthens and tones the core muscles. It also helps in sciatica.
1) Begin in a lunge with the back leg straight and heel lifted. The hips and chest should be squared to the front of the mat.
2) Raise your hands above your head.
3) Bring the hands to your heart in the prayer position.
4) Lean forward, lift the back leg and extend it back parallel to the floor.
5) Keep your standing leg straight, do not bend the knee. Reach your arms forward so that your body forms a “T” shape.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
The boat pose is one of the classic yoga poses for building core strength. It strengthens the abdominal muscles and the hip flexors. This yoga pose also improves the posture, people working in front of the computer must do this pose as it counteracts the effects of sitting for so long.
1) Sit with your knees bent with feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your knees and lift your chest.
2) Lift the feet off the floor, straighten the legs, and engage the abs.
3) Balance the body on the tailbone and the hip bones. Be in this pose for the next few seconds.