These three tips will help you get the most out of your core workout or core-based flow.
1. Literally think about your core
Where your mind goes, your energy flows. It’s so easy to simply check out and go through the motions, especially in a flow, and especially when working out at home. But doing the movement is only a piece of the workout, and it takes more than crunches to truly activate your center—it takes your mind, too.
Think about your core as you move, the way your abs contract in a crunch or lengthen when you balance. Become super interested in what’s happening to your muscles, and you’ll see instant results. Try it: hold a tree pose while deeply focusing on your car and see how better you balance!
2. Move slow and controlled
The goal isn’t to rush through these poses as fast as possible—it’s about mindfulness and challenge. It’s much easier to use momentum and fling your body around your mat, a little more challenging for your body and mind if you move slow.
Try moving from high boat pose (navasana) to low boat pose (ardha navasana). Your core is activated right away from just being in boat pose, so your mind’s tendency is generally to get you out of it as fast as possible. Moving slowly and focusing on your center will not only give you a stronger workout, it’ll get you deeper into your moving meditation, too.
Especially in this movement, when it comes to working your core, it’s more efficient to do 3 reps slow than 13 reps fast.
It’s hard to breathe deep when you’re squeezing your core! But that makes breathing that much more important to finding that real activation. The next time you’re working hard or when you’re starting to feel challenge in your body, try breathing just a little deeper.
Test Out the Tips!
Remember: it’s a practice, and it’s supposed to be fun. Try these tips during your next core flow and see the difference!