Coming into the centre of all things. Yoga is a great practice for moving your body.

Shifting your energy and releasing parts of the body that have become stiff and tight. Energy work around the centre of the body is a great place to create a feeling of strength and stability whilst at the same time remaining calm. Last month we touched on a little focus around the centre. The core is what supports us, and it’s connected to our vital life force.

Getting the most out of your yoga practice you can investigate what your body and mind are doing and thinking. Once we are in a pose we notice and feel any physical and emotional sensations that arise. In certain poses we can notice the engagement in the muscles and harness in our focus to be present. Our practice deepens when we can find a mixture of balance, strength, stability, and flexibility that allows us to be engaged but also relaxed in each posture we come to.

As we mentioned last month the core is much more than strong abdominals. On a basic level the core is the container of your torso – abdominals, spinal muscles, pelvic floor and the diaphragm. To truly have a strong core is not just about strength but also about stability and mobility. As well as a strong core we also want a mobile, stable and a flexible core. A strong core brings a benefit to our yoga poses and the whole practice of yoga becomes more effortless and aligned.

Over the next two months we will with find a connection to our core centre and use different poses and movements that relate to our centre.

Connection To Our Core

Week 1 - Finding Your Centre - Mentally connecting to your core centre shifts our focus from the external world to our inner landscape. Just by focusing on how we can draw in and engage our muscles you can feel your attention shifting from the outside to your inside. As our focus and concentration deepens through practice we connect with our centre which is the centre of our being.

Week 2 - Engaging from the Feet Up - Our muscular energy allows us to draw the muscles into the midline and lifting and rooting down through both our hands and our feet. Our placement of our feet play an important part in creating a good posture and drawing in towards our core centre.

Week 3 - Adductors - They attach the thighbone to the pelvis. These muscles draw the legs in towards each other (the mid-line). Adduction happens when we move the thigh toward or beyond the midline of the body. It’s what you might refer to as “squeezing the inner thighs. Poses such as eagle pose legs is a great pose to work with.

Week 4 - The Rectus Abdominis - This is the outermost layer of the abdominals and the muscles that can create the six-pack look. These muscles are long and flat, and extend the length of the abdomen. When contracted, these muscles flex the trunk forward by pulling the ribs and pelvis in and curving the back. The rectus abdominus is also used to stabilize and sometimes lift the pelvis. Sometimes if our If our rectus abdominus is tight, we will feel limitations in our backbends.This muscle activates when you do leg lifts, or poses such as Boat pose.

Week 5 - The Internal and External Oblique Abdominis muscles - These are more commonly known as the side muscles. They run at a diagonal along the flank of the body, attaching to the midline beneath the Rectus Abdominis. They keep the torso stable in poses like Triangle Pose and Side Angle Pose.

Be firm but calm. Move from your ‘core’. Breathe from your ‘core’. Open your ‘heart’ from your ‘core’.

Simon Borg-Olivier

This Months Music

Here's the usual selection of music that Vicky has been listening to this month.

Shaman’s DreamWarming the Soul
Sacred EarthGrounded
Ben LeinbachKhumjung
Dean Evenson & Li XiangtingHealing Breeze
Into The BlissTemple Of Time
Bliss LooperNourished
Between The Dots & MuniesaTwo Lucky Cents