Later in this section (and in Asana Category: Core Strengthening), we feature detailed information on stabilization, the transversus abdominis, contracting the pelvic floor and multiple exercises focused on core strengthening. Here are a few introductory resources:
- Yoga Core Muscle Animation 3-min Video– Clear, in-depth information on engaging the muscles
- Student Exercise from Judith Lasater – The following exercise was shared by Judith Lasater in Yoga Abs. It’s specifically designed to give students the experience of feeling the abdominal muscles in their role as stabilizers.
- Lie on back, legs together, knees facing up.
- Lift one leg off floor, noticing contraction of abdominals. This is an example of the abdominals stabilizing the trunk.
- Now place thumbs on lower ribs and middle fingers on iliac crests (hip bones).
- Lift leg about 5 inches off the floor and then outward about 10 inches.
- If abdominals are stabilizing, there will be no lifting of opposite-side pelvis; the greater the movement experienced, the less stabilization the abs are providing.
Not only is this exercise a good way to become aware of your habit of not stabilizing your abdominals when you move your legs, it can also be a strengthening exercise that you can incorporate into your regular asana practice. – Judith Lasater