Yoga For Your Core: 1 Pose To Do Every Day This Week

Photo: Nir Livni

This core drill with get your abs and back muscles stronger in no time, plus this week's series will strengthen your arms. Do this exercise every day for seven days as an addition to your regular yoga practice. If you don’t have time to do any practice one day, then at least do these drills and you will see your strength build over time.

Below is a beginner, intermediate, and advanced option. Choose the one that best suits you. See if you can advance throughout the week to some of the other options—challenge yourself!

1. Press-Up Variation: Beginner

Photo: Nir Livni

Begin in a seated position. Place your blocks lengthwise on both sides of your hips, between your hips and knees. Place your palms flush on the blocks with your fingers facing forward. Cross your ankles with your right ankle in front of your left. Pull your knees into your chest. Inhale and press your hands into the blocks, and lift your hips up off the floor by leaning forward slightly. Hold with your hips lifted for five breaths, and lower down.

Next, lift your hips up and down five times. Inhale up and exhale down. Don’t do them quickly. Keep your core engaged and your legs pulling in toward your chest and toward each other. If you know how to do mula bandha, engage it throughout both exercises. Repeat with your left ankle in front of your right ankle.

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2. Press-Up Variation 2: Intermediate

Photo: Nir Livni

Begin in a seated position. Place your hands on either side of your hips between your hips and your knees. Press your palms flush on the floor with your fingers facing forward. Cross your ankles with your right ankle in front of your left. Pull your knees into your chest.

Inhale and press your hands into the floor and lift your hips up off of the floor by leaning forward slightly. Hold with your hips lifted for five breaths and lower down. Then lift your hips up and down five times. Inhale up and exhale down. Don’t do them quickly. Maintain your core engaged and your legs pulling in toward your chest and toward each other. If you know how to do mula bandha, engage it throughout both exercises. Repeat with your left ankle in front of your right ankle.

3. Press-Up Variation: Advanced

Photo: Nir Livni

Option 1: Begin kneeling on the floor, sitting on your heels. Begin with the blocks on either side of your body. Place them between your hips and your knees. Place your fingers facing forward on the blocks. Bend your elbows. Pull your belly in. Inhale and press your hands onto the blocks and lift your knees up off the floor. Then press down more and engage your hip flexors to lift your feet off the floor as well. Hold for five breaths, then lower. Then do five press-ups, inhale up, and exhale down. Lean forward to be able to lift easier.

Option 2: Repeat the above exercise without the blocks. Hold the lift for 5 breaths. Then do the hip lifts 5 times. Make sure you lean forward throughout the process.

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