Tree, Dancer, Boat and Crow. I wanted to do these so badly! Despite increasing strength and flexibility, balance was still an elusive feat. It was not until I attended yoga teacher training that I came to understand why my balance poses never quite panned out. The issue was two-fold. My gaze or drishti was not fixed (more on this another time) and my core was floppy like a frat boy's after a 10 day bender. "Draw your naval in toward your spine, lower your shoulders, tuck your tail bone toward your heels. Ahhhh balance.
But how to integrate this movement with my breath? You see, yoga is ALL about breathing. If you aren't breathing, you're just stretching...and probably ineffectively at that. It still amazes me how much the breath can carry you through a practice, even when it makes absolutely no logical sense. Typically in yoga, inhales happen as you stretch long and expand. Exhales enable us to contract or twist more deeply. It is on the exhale that we draw our belly button in toward the back body. The inhale helps us to stretch and lengthen the transverse and oblique abdominal muscles.
Breath and balance are key components of any yoga practice, both of which rely heavily on the integrity of spinal alignment and core strength! If you would like to try an asana which combines breath, balance and core try Navasana (boat). This pose is *STILL* a challenge for me! Modification option for Navasana to the right with knees bent.
Thanks so much for checking out Yoga Series for the Core. Come back and check out a new series every Tuesday. Drop me a line in the comment box--I'd love to hear how your core work is progressing. May your day be filled with love and light!