With regular practice, you discovered that by doing core work in different positions, not just on your back, muscles are challenged in new ways. Please elaborate on the deep mind-body connection and “Active Your Core”.
I developed Activate Your Core after years of suffering from chronic back pain. Out of desperation, I decided to research everything I could on the spine and the core muscles. I discovered that the deepest core muscle the transverse abdominis doesn’t actually need movement to engage and it’s designed to stabilize the lumbar spine. I realized that this deep core muscle could radically transform the way we move in our yoga poses and help us achieve true strength from the inside out. At the same time, I was motivated to be able to do challenging arm balances, handstands, and transitions.
I began to work deep core muscles and focus on using my core through these poses and my body radically changed in just a few months and I was doing poses I never thought possible. I also stumbled upon a study during my research that showed that when we employ external muscles to the core like the deltoid, our core muscles worked more. I found this to be true in my own body as many of the poses I was trying to achieve were weight-bearing on my hands, not your traditional core work on your back. This became a central tenant to my method, varying weight-bearing positions while doing core work greatly increases strength in all the muscles of the core, not just the superficial muscles we only target with core work on our back.
I started teaching what I learned locally to sold-out workshops and then discovered it was having the same effect on others, especially women. Many of these students had never considered themselves strong before but were now discovering their true strength.
A lot of misconceptions cloud women who practice yoga leaving them confused as to when, how, and should or should not do certain poses?
Please clarify 4 misconceptions you often overcome during practice and training?
- I’m not flexible enough for yoga. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga, yoga makes you flexible!
- Arm balances and strength poses are for men. Strength can help increase your flexibility and learning to bear your own body weight in arm balances will empower you and build confidence. Yoga is a balance of strength and flexibility and the poses teach us something whether we are men or women.
- My mind is too active for yoga. Yoga is not about having any thoughts, rather it’s about observing your thoughts. Through mindful practice, we can begin to calm our active minds. Some people need more active forms of yoga to help them focus. Seek out yoga classes that will help you focus like alignment-based yoga, so your mind is focused on your form or classes that help you get into your body and feel like flow, or challenge you so much you don’t know what to think like power.
- Yoga is boring. There are different styles of yoga and something for everyone! If you took a class and it was boring, try a faster-paced class like power yoga or vinyasa. Also, all teachers are different, find a teacher you vibe with.
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