Want to make your Yoga practice a safer and more balanced physical practice? Add Core Fusion, a safe core strengthening and flexibility program. Over the 30 years of teaching this technique, I have seen many students with back issues find healing from these core bracing exercises, improve their yoga practice, and of course develop awesome abs! Core Fusion blends Pilates, Lotte Berk Method, core conditioning, yoga, and advanced physical therapy. In Core Fusion, you find your core through bracing and stabilizing the abdominals using supported ballet bar or the floor. Instead of using momentum like a crunch or sit up (where the core muscles release/contract), in Core Fusion you hold the working strengthening phase of the abdominal wall and work the legs and arms around the braced core. There is also an emphasis on a balanced strengthening and stretching both the front abdominal core and back/spinal core muscles.
All physical movement comes from a strong central core. Your anatomical core is the area around your middle torso where the muscles that support the spine are located including the shoulder girdle and pelvis. The core muscles also include the abdominal wall muscles and the erector spinae muscles of the back. In yoga, the core is where you find the bandhas. Bandhas are “locks” to help direct and regulate prana or energetic flow. Of the three bandhas the only two that are a part of the core are uddiyana and mula bandha. When you have awareness of these bandhas in conjunction with your core muscles, you will be able to find physical and subtle inner energies that enable you to develop your yoga practice to a safe mind and body experience.
A strong and flexible core will benefit your practice, health, and prevent injuries. If a muscle group is tight, it can hinder movement or cause injury. If a muscle group is weak, the joints, ligaments, and tendons will take the strain of movement. The ideal muscular development is long and lean, not bulky. When the abdominals are strong and balanced they give you support for standing and balancing postures plus give you added support for the bandhas needed for a “jump through” and inversions. When you have a strong and flexible core, it enhances your alignment and posture. When your body is in the correct alignment, it uses energy more efficiently, removes stress off the spine and other muscle groups and helps you stay relaxed so you can more out of your yoga practice.
AUTHOR: Elisabeth Halfpapp