Stabilization: Core Form & Function

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.


  1. Lie on back, legs together, knees facing up.
  2. Lift one leg off floor, noticing contraction of abdominals. This is an example of the abdominals stabilizing the trunk.
  3. Now place thumbs on lower ribs and middle fingers on iliac crests (hip bones).
  4. Lift leg about 5 inches off the floor and then outward about 10 inches.
  5. 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