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Core Stability

June 20, 2011

This week in class we will be working on our core stability. Most yogis seem to look at the core as both a precise physical and an energetic space, a place to be worked with attention.

The core, says teacher Desirée Rumbaugh, “is what supports us spiritually in our lives, and physically in our yoga practice. If our core is weak, the ups and downs of life are much harder to take. A strong core makes us more resilient.”

If we’re weak in the core, our digestive fire is weak,” adds Ana Forrest, founder of the Forrest Yoga Institute in Santa Monica, California. This can cause constipation, which then brings on “chronic exhaustion, because we’re not absorbing nutrients,” and which pollutes the blood stream and can muddy the mind, leading to unclear thinking and gloomy moods. Core work, on the other hand, “quickens the blood and gets oxygen moving” throughout the body.

And, Forrest adds, core work connects students to their feelings. “Working with the core during the first 15 minutes of class turns on a student’s innate intelligence and gets them feeling more accurately,” she says. Such intelligence is essential both in class, as you decide how deeply to move into more challenging poses in ways that avoid injury, and when they step into the world. “If we don’t know how to get centered in our core, we’re basically doormats for whoever’s a stronger personality,” Forrest says. “We become susceptible to anyone who wants to push us off balance, whether it’s a controlling mother or a government that controls by fear.

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