Working the Core

August 13, 2017
Attitudes of Appetites
August 13, 2017
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Working the Core

Beautiful young woman working out in loft interior on blue mat, doing yoga exercise for strong arms and abs, full length

Since when did core work become a regular part of yoga class? I noticed a shift a few years ago when I was visiting a yoga studio in NYC and the instructor announced it was time to “prepare for core strengthening”. REALLY? Like, my core had been engaged since Tadasana, we’re making it official now by doing crunches?!!

I have taken classes in Iyengar, Anusara, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha and even Bikram, and in all of these “traditional” yoga classes your core is engaged throughout the entire class. So why are these newbies bringing in the old-school ab work out? One of the reasons yoga was so appealing to me 20 years ago was that it was the anti-gym exercise. You want some extra core work? How about cue-ing some old-school yoga breathing techniques like Kalabati? Remember Mula Bandha? Each and every yoga pose activates core strength.

The muscles that make up your core are the “Grand Central Station” of your body. It connects the top to the bottom and every move you make passes through this abdominal area we call the core. Core movements include: breathing, lifting, twisting, standing, reaching, carrying, bending, swinging, pushing and squeezing. A strong core will enhance balance and stability, good posture, and improve breath quality. A weak core can debilitate your entire body, creating stiffness, aches, discomfort and pain. I do not like the ab work out in my yoga class, but do you know what I dislike more?

Stiffness, aches, discomfort and pain. So the next time I do a drop-in and the yoga teacher announces it is time to prepare for core strengthening, I guess I’ll work my core!

Sarah is a busy yogini: with a traveling husband, 3 kids, 3 dogs, tennis enthusiast and yoga & meditation teacher. I have previously owned my own yoga studio and now I teach yoga and mindful meditation at Walter Reed Bethesda Medical Center, and I work privately with children/teens/adults with anxiety.   Most days I laugh that “I AM A YOGA TEACHER” because my life does not look peaceful or meditative: it looks like a 3-ring circus.  However, despite how crazy I feel (or act!), people ask me all the time about my personal yoga practice and how I incorporate yoga into my life.  This blog is to share with you how I live my yoga, how I am always trying to be more UNITED with my spirit, and the reality that I am still always practicing yoga and… have a very long, long way to go! – See more at:


December 13, 2014,



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