20-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Core Stability and Balance

20 min - Practice


Feel rooted and stable. Sarah guides us in a strong practice to find rooted stability in the feet, legs, and core. We play with balancing postures and core strengthening postures.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, welcome back. It's me again. You can go ahead and come to a comfortable seated position and we'll get started. This first pose is just simply hands on your knees and swivel around a little bit. Kind of getting some movement in your low back, in your shoulders. Get into it. And then slowly as you're starting to get a little more comfortable with the movement start to pull your belly towards your spine so that you're kind of taking your guts with you as you move. Like you're bringing your abdominal wall to your spine. Switch directions. Kind of like a coffee grinder. One of those old fashioned ones that you do yourself. That's kind of what we're doing right now with the spine. Just warming up a little bit in the belly. Switch directions one more time. And then coming back to the center. Kind of noticing if you've generated a little bit of heat in your belly. And then we'll take that heat and step into a plank. Top of a push up. Shoulders over your wrists. And extend back into your heels. Give yourself a little bounce. And then swivel side to side like windshield wipers with your hips. So that you notice how heavy your hips are. And then coming back to center. Find a way to make them feel lighter. Zip up a little bit in the low belly. Zip up a little bit in the pelvic floor. Draw your shoulders down and squeeze invisible chopsticks in your armpits. Take an intentionally deep inhale. An intentionally deep exhale. And hold for two. Three. Four. And five. On an exhale push back. Downward facing dog. You can walk your dog a little bit. Kind of giving your hamstrings a chance to warm up. And then the belly stays pulled in on an inhale. Roll forward to a high plank. Lift your gaze. And then exhale. Push back. Down dog. Couple more times like that. Inhale. Roll forward to a plank. And exhale. Pushing back. Down dog. One more time. Inhale to plank.

Inhale. Down dog. Lightly float your right leg in the air behind you. Flex a little bit on your heel so you feel your foot in space. And then on an exhale round your back. Touch your knee to your nose. Inhale. Send your leg back out. Exhale. Knee to nose. Inhale back out. One more time. Knee to nose. And then gently place your right foot forward. Tense your fingers on either side of your right foot. Take some time to really get your balance. Make sure that left leg is active. And then inhale. Come up. We're back in our crescent lunge. This time hands at your hips. Take some time to get settled. Letting your right knee move forward. Pull your back. Heel up. And engage a little bit in the belly. And then squeeze energetically between your thighs like a little. Take an inhale. Exhale. Tap your left knee down. Inhale up. Exhale. Tap your left knee down. Inhale up. One more time. Tap your left knee down. Hover. And then bring it all the way down. Release the back foot. You can interlace your hands above your right knee. Take some time here. Keep that energy between the thighs. Keep a little zippy feeling in the belly. And then start to press your hands into your right thigh. Straighten your elbows. Let the back of your heart move forward. Maybe drop your head back. Take a big breath. From here slowly coming back down. Hands back to the floor. Take a moment. Get your balance. And then we'll come up. Arms up. From here, look forward. Hands out to the side. Step into your right leg for a Warrior III airplane. Kind of broadening in the front of the body. And then stand up. And release. On an inhale, reach your arms up. Big stretch. And then exhale. Fold forward over your legs. Take an inhale to look up. And then exhale. Step back to your plank.

Pause once more. Take the time to stabilize. And see if you can kind of get a little taller. Get longer through your neck. Shoulders moving away from your ears. Belly moving towards your spine. Take an inhale. And exhale. Down dog. Bring your left leg in the air. And exhale, knee to nose. Inhale, back out. Exhale, knee to nose. One more time, back out. And exhale. Left foot forward. Tend to your fingers. Set yourself up for success. Make sure you have a really snugly foot into the mat. And inhale. Hands to hips. Crescent lunge. Ground yourself in your legs. Lifting up into your chest. Take an inhale. Exhale, right knee taps down. Inhale up. Exhale, right knee taps down. Inhale up. Use your left heel. Exhale, tapping down. Hover and release. Interlace the hands. Take some time here to really lift up into your chest and then start to push into your left leg so you feel your elbows straighten. Your shoulders will try to meet behind you. Maybe let your head drop back. Keep squeezing between your thighs. And then slowly coming back to the floor. Right leg picks up. And then we'll bring the arms up. Overhead. Crescent lunge. Stabilize through your left leg. Step up.

Under three. Doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to go all the way down. Really looking more for stability in the belly and extension through the extremities. Stand up and release. Bring the weight into your right foot. Bend your left knee in towards your belly and then place the foot either inside of your thigh, your calf or your ankle for tree pose. You can start with your hands at your hips. It helps get your balance a bit. And then decide what you want to do with your hands. You can keep them where they are. You can press them together in front of your chest. Or maybe grow your tree reaching up. Like we did in that warrior three, try to radiate from the belly so that you're very stable in the trunk of your tree or in your core. And then reaching up through your extremities. Nice easy breath. And then hands come back down if they were up. From here, left knee comes back and then we'll step out to a warrior two. Right knee over the right ankle extending out through your hands and grounding here. Like in that crescent lunge, you want to kind of energetically drag the feet together. Straighten the right leg. Turn your right toes in. Bring your hands to your hips. Take an inhale here. And as you exhale, fold forward. You can interlace your hands behind your tailbone and let gravity do some of the work. Stretching a bit in the shoulders, keeping your weight tipping forward. And even here, belly pulls in towards the spine. Release your hands carefully to the floor. Look forward. Your right toes will step forward again. Your hands crawl up. Make your way back. High plank. This time we'll add a push up. Draw the elbows in. Lower your body towards the floor. And inhale, up dog. On an exhale, downward facing dog. And then step lightly up between your hands. Take an inhale to lengthen. Exhale to fold. Push into the feet. Inhale all the way up. And release. Left leg is our standing leg now. The right knee pulls in towards the belly. You can place the foot inside of the thigh, calf or ankle. And again, you don't have to do the same thing with your hands. This is a good place to be creative. Making sure that you have that stability in the belly. And a nice easy breath. Standing tall, like in plank. Trying to get that extra space in the neck. From here, we'll go to our warrior two. The right leg steps back.

Left knee goes over the left ankle. Looking out over your left middle finger. Straighten your left leg. You can release your hands. Turn your toes in. Adjust your stance if you need to so that you feel like you have some good range in your hamstrings. Belly pulls in a little bit. Fold forward. Bring your fingertips to the floor. More or less in front of your face. Lengthen. Roll your shoulders back. Your left hand can stay tented on the floor. And peel your right arm up. See if you can follow your fingers with your eyes. Really pulling the belly towards the spine. And lengthening. Exhale. Right hand comes to the floor. Same thing on the other side. Opening the chest. A gentle twist. Keeping stability in the legs. Lengthen the spine. And slowly hands back to the floor. Left toes will come forward. Crawl your hands on either side of your right foot or your left foot rather. And step back. High plank. Pause here. Ground down. And then lift up. Anything that faces the ceiling can lift up. Maybe half an inch or an inch more. That space between the shoulders can fill out. Belly pulls in a little. Float your left leg up. Keep your gaze forward. Take a deep intentional breath. And then left leg floats down. Right leg floats up. Try and keep the hips level. It's not easy. Big deep breath helps. Chopsticks in the armpits help. Right leg floats down. Down dog. Take a big exhale. And then from here. Elbows come down to the mat. And walk your feet back. Rolling your hips down. So you're in a forearm plank. Same idea as plank. Everything that faces the ceiling lifts up. Shoulders away from your ears. Stay broad in your chest. And then very slowly sink your hips down. Release your feet. Pull your chest through your shoulders. It might be that like me you need to inch your elbows a little bit further away from your body so that you can get some traction. Pull the floor back for sphinx. Your hips and belly can relax for a moment. Just think about moving your breastbone forward. And then from here. We've already done some rolling in the low back and belly. We'll put that to work here. Try and pull your navel towards your spine. And peel your hips up. Inhale. Come back to the floor. Exhale. Peel up. Inhale. Come back to the floor. Exhale. Peel up. Two more like this. Inhaling to come through. Keeping your knees down for now. Exhale to peel up. Inhale back down. Last time. Pulling up. Holding. Tightening in the belly. Tuck your toes. Lift your legs. One. Two. Three. Four. And five. Hips back down. Bring your hands alongside your chest. And roll back into a child's pose. Hips to heels. Forehead to the floor. Roll yourself up. And either take a seat on your heels like me or you can take that crisscross position from the beginning and let your belly relax a little bit. Sit nice and tall. And on an inhale bring your arms up so you really stretch in the sides of the body. On an exhale right hand comes behind you. Left hand over your right knee. Look over your right shoulder. And breathe as deep as you can. Take the deepest breath yet. Really let your belly puff up. And then inhaling arms back up. And exhale. Other side. Rolling that left shoulder back. Opening the chest a bit. Nice easy rinse. And then slowly rolling back. You can reach your arms up.

Take another little stretch. Extend your legs out in front of you. Keeping your feet slightly separated. Sit nice and tall first so you lift up into your chest. And even here there's a modicum of abdominal work. Just the very gentlest pull of an able to the spine. As you fold forward let your head drop towards your legs. Your hands can do whatever grip is comfortable. And take a moment to breathe into the back of your body. Allowing your shoulders to relax. Letting your head be heavy. And inhaling. Looking up. Walking your hands back in. And lie down on your back. Separate your feet a little wider than you would normally. Turn your palms open. And close your eyes. Feel the heavy parts of your body on the floor. Allow yourself to really sink in. Soften the belly. Relax the jaw. This is our last pose. Take advantage of the time. Unreally relax. And Notice where you're breathing in your body, the quality and tone.

And without changing too much too quickly, take a hand to your belly and feel your breath for a moment. At some point in the next few moments, reaching your arms up, taking a big stretch, knees pull in, roll to one side, stay there for a moment, let your belly drop. And we'll meet in an easy seat, hands resting comfortably in your lap, close your eyes for a moment, relax in the pelvic floor, relax in your belly, but still sit with some integrity and spaciousness, looking for those light points in the body. Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing your practice with me. Namaste.


Christel B
3 people like this.
Wonderful session.  Felt a lot of openings for such a short routine. 
Sarah Lowe
3 people like this.
Christel I’m so happy to hear that—Thank you for practicing with me!
Jenny S
4 people like this.
Namaste Sarah...what I’m really loving about these practices is that although they are shorter, they never feel rushed. A lot happens in 20 minutes, yet there is still time for a nice, relaxed savasana and sit. A lovely way to begin the day 🌅
Sarah Lowe
2 people like this.
Jenny thank you Jenny! It’s so nice to hear how the practices are working for you ☀️ 
Glenford N
3 people like this.
Hi Sarah.  The core work is making a difference to my posture and  balancing positions. A great way to start the day listening to your soft calm voice. Namaste. 
Sarah Lowe
2 people like this.
Glenford it makes a difference in my posture too! So happy you’re enjoying the practices 🙏🏻
Cheryl Wray
Yaaaaaaas Sarah! These 20 minute pratices fit well into my morning regimen.  thank you for being such a good teacher.
Sarah Lowe
2 people like this.
Cheryl thank you! 20 min is all you need sometimes — so glad it’s working for you! 😊
Glenford N
2 people like this.
Hi Sarah. Took a few days off then went back to  your stability/ core practice and discovered a few secrets to the balancing positions .  Your suggestions on squeezing in the stomach and pressing the inner thighs together really worked. I'm making progress by staying on a routine for a few days and soaking up its subtlety.  Namaste. 
Kate M
2 people like this.
What a sweet little practice! It didn't feel at all rushed, yet I was surprised at the ground we covered. A yummy little hors-d'oeuvre!
1-10 of 26

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial