6 Yoga Poses to Help Build a Strong Core

6 Yoga Poses to Help Build a Strong Core

The practice of yoga helps improve our concentration, focus, confidence and mood, but we also love yoga for its spiritual and physical benefits. The tradition of yoga has been passed down since the 5th and 6th centuries BCE, and it’s no wonder that it remains popular. You may think that other traditional exercises are the best for building a strong core, but it turns out that yoga is amazing for building core strength. Here are six yoga poses that promote core strength and so much more.

1. Shiva Twist

Shiva Twist

Beginning a core strengthening routine with the Shiva Twist pose is a great place to start, as it is a level one pose for beginners. It serves as an easy, effective warmup exercise at any level of ability, and it can easily be reached through the familiar and comfortable, standing Mountain Pose. It is also a fun exercise to start with, as you are dancing like Shiva herself! Along with working on your core, the Shiva twist benefits balance and focus and overall mood. It also helps to strengthen your ankles and knees.

2. Warrior 3

Warrior 3

An intermediate level pose, Warrior 3 is also a standing pose that helps strengthen the core. As with the Shiva twist, it can be started easily from the Mountain Pose. You will notice that the Warrior 3 pose is also a balancing pose, and it’s important to note that any balancing pose works your core. If you do not use your core muscles in the Warrior 3 pose, you will know, because you will soon find yourself taking a tumble. The Warrior Pose is also good for focus and concentration, and it is a superb pose for invigorating the whole body.

3. Balancing Star

Balancing Star

Now we really get to work the core hard! The Balancing Star is excellent for all the oblique muscles, working your abdomen and back. Think of it as a side plank, which means that it is a challenging pose. Whenever you hear the word “plank” in yoga, you will be doing an exercise that requires quite a bit of strength, so if you are a beginner then you want to work up to it. Lastly, make sure you do this pose for both sides. That may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people forget to work out symmetrically.

4. Boat Pose

Boat Pose

At this point, you are probably ready to take a seat. The Boat Pose accommodates this desire nicely while still working the core. This posture pose benefits all the ab muscles, and you will feel it reaching all four layers. You will also feel the pose working your spine, hips and hamstrings. In addition, the Boat Pose promotes healthy digestion and benefits intestine and kidneys function while overall balance is improved. It is really an all-around fantastic pose, boosting both physical and mental well-being, and it is popularly transferred over to dance, Pilates and many other exercise regiments. We love the Boat Pose.

5. Camel Pose

Camel Pose

After the Boat Pose, you may be ready to stretch out your spine and abdominal muscles. You can do this nicely with the Camel Pose. This pose continues to work the abdominal muscles, but in a different way since you are now bending upwards and over. It is a classic back bend that works the core, improves flexibility along the spine and loosening tight shoulders as well.

6. Dolphin Plank

Dolphin Plank

After the Camel Pose, work yourself into a Downward Dog. From there, you can move into the Dolphin Plank. The Dolphin Plank Pose, also simply called an elbow plank, is one of the top poses for increasing core strength. It looks easy, but it is not—it takes a lot of strength to hold your body up this way, so, if you are a beginner or even at an intermediate level then you will want to work up to this pose. Typically, the Dolphin Plank begins with holding your position for just one or two breaths or seconds before you progress to increasing the breaths or seconds over time. In fact, you can readily come across 30-day planking challenges online that will get you up to holding the Dolphin Plank for a longer time. This is a pose that also helps with balance and overall posture as well as improving mood too.