Tara Lee is Alice Asquith’s, our Founder and Creative Director, yoga teacher. Here she explains why having a strong core is so important…
As I get older, I am realising more and more how important a strong core is. I feel very fortunate to be over 40 and not to have suffered from any back pain (even during or after my two pregnancies). I think having strong core muscles is the key to this and so I am incorporating these exercises both in my own practice and in my classes.
I have taken inspiration from many places including Pilates. Having strong core muscles helps with posture and overall support. You don’t need to be doing crunches or gym work to have strong abdominal muscles. Plank pose, side plank, opposite arm and leg lifts on all fours and navasana (with variations) are just a few examples of yoga poses that strengthen these muscles.
You can also strengthen your core muscles any time outside of the yoga class, for example when you are just walking or driving, think about drawing the navel back and up as the lower ribs draw down and you sit, stand tall or walk.
The belly area is also considered the seat of power across cultures and spiritual traditions, particularly in the East such as in China and Japan. Manipura chakra in yoga philosophy located at the navel is seen to be related to our centre of power where agni (the fire of digestion) resides, another good reason to develop strength and awareness here.
If you would like to find out more about how Tara develops the core you can buy her wonderful DVD on our website.