When a PT, yoga teacher or fitness instructor asks you to engage your core can you actually do this? What does even it mean? For many people it means bracing their rectus abdominis or six- pack muscle.
But the core comprises 35 muscles!
In Ashtanga yoga we engage the obliques and the lower portion of the rectus abdominus, the transverses abdominus along with the pelvic floor muscles throughout our yoga practice, or at least we are supposed to!
In postures such as navasana (boat pose) we are toning our psoas. (note a healthy muscle is one that can contract and relax and I am definitely not alone in having a psoas muscle that cannot switch off sometimes)
What about the glute max though? That big meaty butt muscle! This part of the core.
When I started practicing Ashtanga many years ago teachers always said to relax your glutes in back bends like upward facing dog and even in more extreme back bends that occur in second series ashtanga.
This is actually pretty bad advice! Your glute max is a key stabiliser which will support the back in back bends.
I’m not suggesting a full-on butt squeeze like you’re trying to crack a nut between your cheeks but a subtle engagement of the lower portion of the glute max.
This could mean easing off back bends until you can achieve this.
If you spend 5 hours a more a day sitting and then join an exercise class or train at the gym in the evening lord help your back! This is the reality for many people. You definitely need to connect with and fire up that core.
This class will show you how to access the core muscles, connect with them and strengthen them. Will this class give you a 6 pack? Sadly not but if that is your goal this will set you on the right path.
If your goal is to do your sport, training or yoga of choice knowing you can connect with your core and support your back then this class is for you!
Class is £12 or £10 for regular students. Message me to book your place .