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Core Connection (20-mins) Core

Connect to your core strength and light up your glutes in this short resistance band strengthening class. The band creates more stability and strengthens the abdominals, hips, pelvis, glutes, and biceps/triceps. Move through four strengthening exercises with leg lifts from tabletop, broken clamshell, and squats. Three cooling poses close the class to release the muscles strained with hip and hamstring lengthening.

Style: Core Yoga

Duration: 20-minutes

Level: open

Props: 1 resistance band

Focus: core strengthening

Location: Vancouver, BC

Music: Spotify Playlist – Core Connection

Opening Movement

Come up to stand with your feet wider than hip-distance

  • Inhale and reach the arms wide and high
  • Exhale and take your arms wide and to your sides
  • Repeat several cycles

Bring your palms to your lower abdomen and breathe deeply into your belly.

Connect to your core, your pelvis, with your breath.

2x Sun Salutations – flow on your own or follow the cues

Tadasana (mountain pose)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Phalakasana (plank pose)

Chaturanga

Bhujangasana (cobra pose)

Adho mukha svanasana (down dog)

Eka pada adho mukha svanasana (3-legged downward dog)

Anjaneyasana (lunge)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Ardha Uttanasana (half lift)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Urdvha Hastasana (hands to sky)

Uttanasana (forward fold)

Repeat the same sequence on the other leg.

Exercise 1

Tabletop extended leg lifts with the resistance band

  • Slide the resistance band over your thighs above the kneecap
  • Come onto hands and knees
  • Slip one side of the resistance band onto your knee; keep the other side hooked around your thigh.
  • Straighten the leg that has the resistance band on the thigh
  • Line up your hands under your shoulders
  • Hug the belly button in towards your spine
  • Keep your gaze forward on the ground
  • Claw the mat with your fingertips
  • Lift the extended leg and pulse it towards the sky
  • Keep the toes pointed and turned towards the ground

*Option to do this from forearms if you have a wrist injury or sensitivity.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the hamstrings of the extended leg.
  • Strengthens the core.
  • Activates the shoulders, upper back, and bicep/tricips.

Exercise 2 

Tabletop bent-knee leg lifts with the resistance band

  • Slide the resistance band over your thighs above the kneecap
  • Come onto hands and knees
  • Slip one side of the resistance band onto your knee; keep the other side hooked around your thigh.
  • Straighten the leg that has the resistance band on the thigh
  • Line up your hands under your shoulders
  • Hug the belly button in towards your spine
  • Keep your gaze forward on the ground
  • Claw the mat with your fingertips
  • Lift the extended leg and bend it so that the heel faces the sky
  • Pulse the lifted leg towards the sky
  • Keep the toes pointed and turned towards the ground.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the hamstrings of the extended leg.
  • Strengthens the glutes of the lower leg.
  • Strengthens the core.
  • Activates the shoulders, upper back, and bicep/triceps.

Exercise 3

Broken clamshells pose with the resistance band

  • Come to recline on your side
  • Bend the elbow of the arm on the ground and prop up your head
  • Keep the resistance band wrapped around the thighs above the knees
  • Option to keep the heels on the ground OR lift them higher than the knees on the ground
  • Inhale and open the knees wide, keeping your heels together
  • Exhale and slowly close the knees
  • Pulse against the resistance band
  • Move slower with more integration

Benefits:

  • Strengthens glute med along the outer buttock. The Glute medius is the muscle responsible for stabilizing the pelvis.
  • It helps balance the muscular effort between the inner and outer thighs.

Exercise 4

Squats with the resistance band on the hands

  • Place the resistance band on the outer palm
  • Press your hands out into the band to create resistance
  • Take the arms over the head OR in line with your shoulders
  • Inhale and stand tall
  • Exhale and squat the hips down and back
  • Press your heels into the ground
  • Keep pressing your arms out to the side
  • Hug the lower ribs in
  • Squeeze the glutes gently as you rise

 

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the legs, gluteal muscles, and core.
  • Activates the biceps and tropics with the resistance band.

 

Cooling Poses

  1. Arm circles to release the shoulders.
  2. Standing pigeon pose to release the glute of the standing leg
  3. Cross-toed forward fold to lengthen the hamstrings and outer hips
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