“. . . according to the Yoga Sutra (3.1), the term [Bandha] refers to the ‘binding’ of consciousness to a particular object or locus (desha), which is the very essence of concentration.”
Georg Feuerstein



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Around Your Core in 4 Minutes

Figure 1: The "Around Your Core" sequence.
Hello Friends,

I want to share one of my favorite core workouts. I use this at the end of practice to integrate the shoulders, core and lower extremities. Let’s get right into it…

1) Start with forearm plank. Tighten your glutes and abs as you attempt to drag your forearms towards your feet. This is an isometric contraction of the core muscles shown below. At the same time, co-activate the muscles of your rotator cuff by attempting to “windshield wiper” your forearms in while resisting this action in the opposite direction (Figure 2). Hold for 10-30 seconds the come down and rest for 10 seconds. Click here to learn the key cues to activate your pose as well as the muscle subsystems it amplifies…

Figure 2: Forearm plank. Attempt to drag your forearms towards your feet.

2) Now go to plank pose on your right side. Press the edge of your right foot into the mat and lift your pelvis. Attempt to drag your forearm towards your foot. Co-activate the rotator cuff by attempting to “windshield wiper” your forearm in internal rotation while resisting with external rotation (Figure 3). Hold for 10-30 seconds the come down and rest for 10 seconds. Click here to learn the key cues to activate your pose as well as the muscle subsystems it amplifies…

Figure 3: Side plank. Attempt to drag your forearm toward your foot and your foot toward your forearm.

3) Next, go to Bridge Pose (Setu bandha Sarvangasana). Engage the muscles that surround your pelvis (including the glute max and internal rotators) and connect them to your back muscles. Hold for 10-30 seconds the come down and rest for 10 seconds. Click here to learn the key cues to activate your pose as well as the progression for contracting the correct individual muscles—this is key!

Figure 4: Bridge pose. Engage your glutes.


Added Bonus: engage the muscles on the sides of your lower legs to lift your feet arches. Click here to learn more about this important cue.

Figure 5: Engage the muscles on the sides of the lower leg to lift your arch.


4) Next roll over to left side forearm plank. Hold for 10-30 seconds then come down and rest for 10 seconds.

5) Return to forearm plank and repeat the sequence, this time starting with left side plank pose.




Keep your breathing smooth throughout this sequence. Be sure to check out the details in the links above. Start with 10-30 seconds in each pose and build to 1-2 minutes. The adjustments in the links are the keys to integrating the extremities and core. For more cues to help you get the most from your practice, page through the Yoga Mat Companion Series and the Key Muscles and Poses of Yoga.


All the Best,

Ray Long, MD