Yoga Conditioning - The Core by Emily Light

The word “core” gets tossed around a lot in yoga, but, in most cases, it’s used relatively

ambiguously. Do you know what the intrinsic core muscles of the body are? These are the

muscles that come on board when we lose our balance. The ability to return to a place of

stability is important, not only on your mat, but it’s essential in every movement. For a moment

in time, with each step we take, we’re balancing on one leg. This requires that we engage these

deep core muscles. When we’ve learned to optimally tone the muscles of the pelvic floor,

respiratory diaphragm, the transverse abdominis and the multifidi, we can move with more

ease and grace.

Wait, the diaphragm is a core muscle!? Yep. That’s a large part of why we can find ourselves

holding our breath when we’re in Warrior 3 or Half Moon Pose. When I see a room full of

students with that bug-eyed, clearly-not-breathing look, I like to remind them that, while this is

a valiant attempt at recruiting a core muscle, there is another way. We can learn to breathe

deeply and balance. It’s a matter of training the diaphragm to move properly and in tandem

with the transverse abdominis, and, posture matters!

What about the pelvic floor? Is that group of muscles on your radar when you think of core

strength? Isn’t it all about doing a zillion kegels a day? Nope. In fact, sometimes that can be

counter-productive, and especially when we’re not doing them properly. If a muscle isn’t able

to fully lengthen, and we keep shortening/contracting it, what we end up with is a weak and

tight muscle. We don’t want tight muscles … we want toned muscles. Toned muscles are able to

move within their full range of motion. I’ve worked with hundreds of people in the realm of

pelvic floor health, and, at best, only a handful of them were taught to properly engage their

pelvic floor. Here’s a teaser: optimal respiration is the key!

Join me on Saturday, January 12 th to learn more! I’ll bring all my latest yoga therapy tricks and

techniques to help YOU tap into the power of your core. I’ll demystify these often under-

appreciated muscles, and we’ll hit the more well-known ones as well. We’re not able to go into

all of this in a regular drop-in yoga class setting, but we’ll dive deep here. Get ready to nerd out

and have fun!