Core strength in your yoga practice

A strong and stable core makes a big difference in your life and in your yoga practice.

yoga core

General things like walking or sitting down and specific activities like sports or practising yoga, become easier, safer and more fun with a strong core.

Outer body versus inner strength

Many of us tend to use our outer body (limbs & superficial muscles) to move, especially when we are asked to move in a specific way like in yoga. It is important and can be very helpful to learn how to break the habit of moving only from the outer body. When we move only from the outer body we load unnecessary layers of tension onto ourselves.

Real power comes from activating the deep frontal line (also known as deep core line) of our body, especially when we manage to keep the outer body soft and flexible. Power in yoga poses for example, comes when we put effort in grounding down through our foundation while drawing the core in and up. This would be the same in every sport situation. But also for example during standing or sitting so we don’t collapse in our back.

Through relaxing the outer body, you access inner strength. When you are only strong in the outer body, but weak in the core, you might develop back problems and all sorts of other injuries.

What is the deep frontal line?

The deep frontal line is a continuous, whole connected facial unit along the skeleton. It begins in the toes, moves through the inner arch, inside the shin, through the back and sides of the knees, through the inner thighs, psoas, quadratus lumborum, inside the ribcage, through the heart and lungs, and the tongue. The deep core line plays a major role in the body’s stability and buoyancy. When we press the foundation down and pull the core in and up in whatever we do, we activate the deep core line and work from inner strength rather then from outer strength. Our outer body can stay soft and we create greater core strength and a healthy core generated alignment in our yoga poses.

What is the foundation?

The foundation is what touches the floor. When standing, it would be the feet. In push-ups, your feet and hands are the foundation. See if you can feel the difference in Plank pose, between just having the hands and feet on the floor, while hanging in the joints. Or when you actually push the foundation actively down while at the same time drawing your core in and up. You might feel a press and rebound effect, making you feel lighter.

Try it in class

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Esther EkhartEsther Ekhart, face and founder of EkhartYoga, brings years of personal yoga and meditation practice, therapy training and study of yoga philosophy into her teaching.