Yoga for Life: Tighten the abdominal muscles for the New Year

Posted 12/6/23

These wide-legged poses are an excellent “wake-up” call for the body.

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Yoga for Life: Tighten the abdominal muscles for the New Year


Looking down the front of the body, observe if you have a straight alignment housing the vital organs of “the digestive, urinary, endocrine, exocrine, circulatory and part of the reproductive system” (Cleveland Clini 2023). To clarify, the abdominal cavity houses the organs of digestion such as the kidneys, esophagus, pancreas, rectum glands, aorta and duodenum providing blood supply to the nerves, muscles, and other physiological variants. Thus, a look down the body is one way for the individual to observe the anatomical alignment of the organs that governs an unobstructed blood flow into the organs for health and wellness. The mind’s awareness is the first part of the journey.

A healthy mind/body is a “philosophy” and a practice. Yoga is a means to apply research that entices the body to initiate mental/physical health goals. The “eyes” observe the physical state of being and the mind chooses a course of action to maintain a healthy structure.

Today, our Yoga practice focuses on tightening the abdominals, working to build core muscles for a “lean, mean, fighting machine!” The core muscles include the obliques (side muscles) gluteus maximus (buttocks) and back from the top of the neck through the thighs. The “gluteus” is the largest muscle in the body to help maintain balance in Yoga postures.

Every task involved in stooping with wide legs and knees pointed out to the sides builds a stronger core supporting greater flexibility, as you hold the legs wide and deeply breathe for at least 5 inhales/exhales.

These wide-legged poses are an excellent “wake-up” call for the body. A yoga practice is about the mind and body working together. When you include yoga as part of your morning “awakening” practice you will see the difference in your body/mind throughout your physical activities. Yoga postures build trust what you can accomplish that may have been restrictive from lack of use in the past. Yoga is a positive approach to each day and a great new beginning. The past is “dead” and the future is there to be created in beauty and strength.

Enjoy a weekly yoga practice with those of like mind at the Shield Wellness Center, 4597 Casablanca Circle, US 27 North. The Yoga class is positive and focuses on fun while learning! Join the yoga classes, which are FREE, meeting every Tuesday and Friday 12:30 p.m. and Thursdays, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Give yoga a place to grow in your life!

Yoga postures to improve the core are standing with wide legs apart and forward bending with hands reaching to the floor or using the legs to hold for balance. This pose requires a straight back and head in line with the buttocks when lengthening. The hips stay over the legs. Repeat this posture at least through 10 forward bends, rest, repeat and notice how your forward length improves as well as your ability to lower the hands flat on the floor.

yoga, wide-legged, pose, nancy dale