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Strong Midline (15-mins) Core

A short core class to strengthen the abdominal and gluteal muscles, this class is perfect to start the day and warm up the body. Two simple sun salutations open the class. Move through four heating exercises with lunges, knee drives, and dolphin plank pose. Four poses to open the heart, shoulders, chest, and back complete this short practice.

Style: Core Yoga

Duration: 15-minutes

Level: open

Props: none

Focus: core, glute, quadriceps, and hamstring strengthening.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Music: Spotify Playlist, Strong Midline

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

High crescent lunge pulses

How to do it:

  • Come into a lunge and bend the back knee
  • Take your hands to your waist or low back, OR
  • Extend your hands overhead to build more heat
  • Inhale and straighten the back leg
  • Exhale and bend the back knee
  • Keep pulsing just the back leg to bend and straighten
  • Keep the front knee at a 90-degree angle

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the gluteal muscles, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Exercise 2

Knee drives

How to do it:

  • From a high crescent lunge, bring more of the weight into the front foot
  • Take your hands down by your sides
  • Stick your but out behind you and drive the front heel down into the ground
  • Inhale and bring the back knee in towards the chest
  • Exhale and tap the lifted toes to the back of your mat
  • Keep the weight in the front leg, and the knee bent the entire time
  • Swing your arms at your sides or take them to your hips

Benefits:

  • Knee drives strengthen the glute med muscles, which are the muscles on the side of the buttock. Glute med assists with stability.
  • Strengthen the core abdominals and quadriceps.
  • This lateral lunge is one of the best ways to strengthen the lower body.

Exercise 3

Lunge with a twist

How to do it:

  • Come into a high lunge and bend your back knee
  • Maintain both knees at 90-degree angles
  • Lengthen your tailbone toward the ground
  • Draw your pubic bone toward your navel
  • Bring your arms wide and hands to touch like you’re holding a beach ball
  • Inhale with your chest facing the front of your mat
  • Exhale and twist your torso to the side with the knee forward
  • Repeat with your breath twisting to the same side

Modifications:

Do this with the back knee on the ground.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the entire lower body: quads, hamstrings, glutes.
  • Strengthens the obliques, which are the muscles at the side of the abdominals.

Exercise 4 

Dolphin plank pose with mountain climbers and toe taps.

How to do it:

  • Come down to your forearms
  • Tuck your toes and lift your knees from the ground
  • Reach the chest forward, taking your heart toward your thumbs
  • Lean back and shift the shoulders behind the elbows
  • Take mountain climbers, bringing each knee to the upper arm
  • Reach the chest forward, taking your heart toward your thumbs
  • Lean back and shift the shoulders behind the elbows
  • Take a toe tap, reaching the toes to the edges of your mat
  • Repeat several cycles for 60 seconds

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the core: transverse abdominals and obliques
  • Strengthens the upper back muscles and the shoulders

Modifications:

Do this with the knees on the ground.

Pose 1

Sphynx pose with Lion’s Breath

How to do it:

  • Come to your belly and extend your legs down your mat
  • Point your toes and press your thighs into the ground
  • Come up to your forearms and lift the chest
  • Inhale through the nose
  • Exhale and stick out your tongue
  • Take a few breaths here.

Pose 2

Child’s pose OR down dog for 2-5 breaths

Pose 3 

Seated arm circles

How to do it:

  • Come to a seat at your shins and reach your arms overhead
  • Inhale and lengthen the side body
  • Exhale and reach your arms down and back
  • Repeat several cycles in one direction and then switch

Pose 4 

Sufi grinds from tabletop on hands and knees

How to do it:

  • Come to all fours with your hands under your shoulders and hips over knees
  • Draw circles with your pelvis in one direction and then switch
  • Breathe long and deep into the lower belly as you move

Take savasana or a seated meditation to close practice.

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