Mindfulness in Motion 10-Day Yoga Challenge Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Day 5: Power of the Core

30 min - Practice


You're halfway through your challenge! In Day 5, Quamay leads a quick, fiery practice to activate the muscles of the core. We move dynamically through various shapes to gain a deeper sense of the entire circumference of the core, and learn how to mindfully use it to support everyday movement. You will feel energized, grounded, and confident.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video


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All right, hey everybody and welcome. This is day five of your 10 day yoga challenge with me. And today we're gonna focus a bit on the core. So there's nothing really needed for the practice. So we're gonna begin in the seat whenever you're ready, just join me in a position that feels comfortable, okay?

Nice, all right, and once you arrive on the mat, take a few more moments to just settle and then just feel this space to kind of pause a bit. All right, and just letting the focus of the mind kind of travel down into the feeling of the body. And then feeling that you can maybe breathe a little deeper than you did just a moment ago. And start to notice the feeling tone of an inhale where it registers in the body as you breathe out. And then just start to notice which you can release and soften the body as you breathe out.

All right, and from here, I want you to bring the hands to the front part of your core, right? And I just wanna make that like really distinct at the beginning of class. Like one of the big misconceptions about core is that it's just this part here, all right? But today I want you to focus and feel this whole cylinder of the body, this whole wrapping around in the core. So for a moment, hands to the front part of the core.

And then feel that you can pull that part of the belly in and give yourself a little lift through the chest for a moment, all right? Take your mind to that feeling in that part of your body and just notice and try to stay with it. Nice, all right, take one big inhale. Good, as you exhale, release the belly, release the hands for a moment, all right? Transition slowly on the mat, we're gonna come into all fours tabletop position.

Right, and as you arrive in your tabletop, set your hands up so they're right underneath the shoulders and the knees are right underneath the hips, all right? Then just a few cat-cows just to get into that middle section of the body. So as you inhale, belly drops to the mat, lift the heart, lift the chin up and away from the floor. Good, as you exhale, draw the belly in, press the mat away and around the upper body, all right? One more time as you inhale, front of the core relaxes down towards the mat, all right?

And as you exhale, draw that front part of the core up and in and lift through the body. Nice, take a few more of those on your own, right? And it might feel good to match rhythm of the breath, so feel free to just keep that pace, right? If you wanna take a little, like some nuanced kind of movements, feel free to kind of explore, all right? Nothing too crazy, but keep yourself centered, keep yourself subtle.

Nice, all right, and then the next time you pass through neutral, I want you to pause, all right? And you're gonna tuck your toes, actually release the toes, keep the toes untucked, all right? So the tops of the feet are onto the mat, right? You're gonna take a nice inhaling, and as you exhale, I want you to press into the hands, lift the knees so they hover right above the mat, okay? And if you're feeling for a moment that that same work through the front part of your core, you can pull in here to draw a front belly in and then engage through that front part to round up or back a little more towards the ceiling, okay?

Register that work, all right? Try not to run away from it, let it stay in the mind, all right? Take a deep inhale, front belly in. In and as you exhale, tuck toes, lift the hips up and back, pause in for a moment just to register, all right? And again, what's the after effect, right?

Can you stay in that part of your body enough to notice the sensations as we leave? Good, all right? And from here, bend your knees, look forward, all right? And you're gonna slowly walk to the top part of your mat, come into a fold once you arrive, good, all right? And then take a moment in your practice just to feel everything soft and down to the floor, right?

So no effort, right? Feeling for a space where there can be a release in the body, good, all right? And for a moment, you can sway the upper body a little left or right, right? If that feels nice, you can carry a little bit of that movement into the neck as well. So maybe you shake your head a little yes and no just to release upper body, good, okay?

Big bends in knees, if you wanna take that a little lower, feel that effort and movement through the legs, all right? But whatever feels good to kind of open up and kind of just find some motion in, okay? Feel that space to release, nice, okay? And as you inhale, come into a half lift. So your hands can rest on your thighs or your calves, but for today, I want you to notice, right?

Core, same idea in half lift. You're gonna draw a front part of your core up and in, but feel also the side parts of your core. You're gonna find some length there as well. So this whole midsection of the body is gonna stretch the chest a little more to the top and then keep that supported and engaged. Take a deep inhale in.

Nice, as you exhale, fold, relax, you soften, good. All right, next inhale, stand all the way up, arms over the head towards the ceiling, stretch. Nice, as you exhale, mountain hands to the sides of the body. All right, pause it for a moment just to pull your mind back into the breath. Take a deep inhale in.

Nice, soft exhale out. Let's do that one more time, y'all. Big, big inhale, fill up the chest. Nice, as you exhale, soften the shoulders, release that extra tension we don't need, okay? So keeping that focus on the breath, salutations just to move with that rhythm, right?

See if you can also keep a little bit of your mind on that feeling in the core as well, all right? One more time. Inhale, arms forward and up. Nice, as you exhale, take the body forward and down over the legs, we release, good. All right, as you inhale, fill the core, stretch the heart forward.

Nice, as you exhale, soften and release, let that effort go, good, y'all. Right, as you inhale all the way up to the top, big stretch, stand tall and reach. Good, as you exhale, let the hands relax to the sides of your body, okay? One more time. Inhale, big breath to the top, right?

As you exhale, try to take that entire breath down into a fold, so no rush, but try to lengthen, okay? Good, as you inhale, half lift the sides of the core, stretch you forward, there we go. Good, as you exhale, fold and release, let it all go. All right, inhale all the way up to standing, stretch the breath. Nice, as you exhale, let the hands soften and release.

All right, one more time, if you wanna close your eyes, that might feel good today, all right? Inhale, arms forward and up. Nice, as you exhale, soften, release the neck, feel that kinda effortless feeling in your practice. Nice, inhale, half lift, a little active through the core, but again, as you exhale, we soften, we release the work. Nice, all right, as you inhale all the way up to standing, take as much time as you need to lift.

Good, as you exhale, let the hands soften, you relax, okay? Keep that same focus on the breath, we're gonna move through one sun A, pacing rhythm, okay? Inhale, arms forward and up. Nice, as you exhale, we release y'all, okay, slow, right? No rush for anything in our practice, all right?

Inhale, half lift. Good, exhale, hands on the mat, same breath, no rush in the breath, step back, plank pose, okay? So even here, as always, right, if you wanna come down to knees, feel supported, all right? But whether your knees are on the mat or your toes are like tucked, core is active, okay? So as if you're not trying to let the belly button touch the mat, pull up and in through the front part of your core, and then again, feel that extension through the sides and try to have your back be a little flat.

If you got a lower, go for it, okay? Take a deep inhale, exhale, come halfway down. Nice, you're gonna inhale over the toes, up dog, heart forward and up, let the shoulders relax back. And then as you exhale, down dog, you lift through the hips. All right, pause it for a moment just to regulate that rhythm in your breath.

So if you feel rushed again, nothing fast, just a little smoother on the inhale, a little slower on the exhale, that's so good, yeah, okay? So from here, bend your knees, look forward, and then slowly walk our hop to the top of your mat. Nice, okay, as you inhale, half lift, exhale, soften and release. Good, inhale all the way up to stand and take as much time as you need. Nice, as you exhale, let the hands soften to the sides, okay?

Just if you can, right, ensure that quality, especially working through a quarter day, like breath is gonna be a thing, okay? But allow yourself to just keep that in your mind, keep that focus and keep that rhythm. Last one, inhale, arms forward and up. Nice, as you exhale, soften your body, release the work. Nice, as you inhale, half lift, draw the shoulders back a little bit more.

Nice, as you exhale, hands on the mat, step both feet back, down dog, and then from here, it's your choice, all right? Throughout the practice, if it feels better to pause, allow yourself to stay, focus on that breath, right? If it feels good to flow, take your time, but that's still in rhythm, right? Inhale in the up dog, exhale in the down dog. Good, all right, pausing for a moment, all right?

Use these pauses, use these spaces, just reestablish that cadence, all right? Keep that consistency, nice. And on your next inhale, you're gonna stretch your left leg up and back. Good, and then as you exhale, step your left foot forward in between the hands. Right, we're gonna set up warrior two, so back heel comes down to the mat, and then stretch the arms out to the sides one more time.

Good, all right, so as always, as we arrive, just take a moment to still maintain the breath, okay? And maybe the hands today can come to the front part of the core just to remind yourself that feeling. But again, we're gonna come back to that feeling of drawing front belly back and in, so that front part of the core is engaged. And also feel that you can lift out of the sides of your body, okay? Simple warrior two, but we don't think about how we hear sometimes.

So again, feel belly in, sides lifted, that core is lifting everything up our body, nice. Right, soften through the shoulders, feel that stretch through the hands, but keep that focus, right? Take a deep inhale in, nice. As you exhale, take the left elbow down to the knee, top arm is gonna stretch up towards the ceiling for a moment, okay? And especially here when we're like shifting orientation a bit, tempted to like splay back a little bit.

Keep that containment, drawing the front belly up and in, and then imagine you're trying to lengthen through the sides of the body as well, okay? Keep that focus. Arms up, take a deep inhale, open the core, nice. As you exhale, take that top hand down, step back, downward facing dog, all right? Full flow if you're taking it, right?

If you need to pause at any moment, you know you can, good. All right, soften for a breath, good. All right, when you're ready, inhale, right leg up and back, all right? As you exhale, step forward in between the hands, set up warrior two one more time, nice. Okay, so again, just taking a moment to breathe big, nice, okay, and then just checking the boxes.

If you wanna take the hands to the core, I usually love to do this just to feel the feedback, but feel that you're pulling front belly back and in, and then again, you're lifting a little through the sides of your body. So the front of the core and the sides are super engaged to support upper half, there we go. All right, stretch a little more through those arms, feel that reach, be a little soft here, good. All right, take a deep inhale. All right, as you exhale, right elbow down to the knee, left arm up towards the ceiling.

And again, you can see it more now, like sometimes we're here, this is the thing. Feel that you can contain that middle and we're not laying on the thigh, but there's some extension, yes, to lift, okay? Take a deep inhale, stretch up, nice. Exhale, left hand to the mat, down dog. You either flow or we pause here.

Nice, all right, taking a breath, breathe big, all right? Remind yourself, like if it's not the whole breath, maybe one part is just a little more extended than usual. Okay, and just let that be your reminder, let that be the focus a bit too. All right, bend your knees, look forward, good. Slowly walk a hop in between the hands, you're gonna come into a fold at the top part of your back.

Good, all right, as you inhale, half lift, let the core stretch your heart forward. Nice, as you exhale, soften, we let it all go. All right, inhale all the way up to stand and take as much time as you need. Nice, as you exhale, let the hands relax to the sides. Nice, all right, so take it a moment.

I want you to bring your feet together at the top of the mat, okay? So give yourself like one firm, just pillar or column of support at the base. All right, and you're gonna swing the arms out to the sides and over the head and at least the fingers above you with the index finger release, you can crush your thumbs, little Charlie's angel vibe, you know? And you feel, shoulders not up, relaxed, good. All right, and again, especially in this one, sides of the core are gonna be really active, okay?

So you're gonna inhale, stretch up and as you exhale, tilt the body over to the right, let the hips fall to the left a little bit more, okay? And in the pose like this, especially like when we're lengthening, temptation, crunch, right? Today, lift and lengthen, we wanna strengthen those side parts of the core as well, okay? So feel up, nice, and then carry that up and over, extend through those left side ribs as well. Nice y'all, bump the hips a little bit more, take a deep inhale, exhale, come back to middle, okay?

Release the hands for a moment, like I know we're working hard, so I'm not gonna torture you, you know? Take a moment, shake that out, right? Let the shoulders release, feel that after effect, stay present, all right? And when you're ready, feet together if they're coming apart, arms over the head, interlace the fingers, release the index. All right, and then soften through the shoulders, pressing through the feet, take a deep inhale, lift through the sides of your core, and then bump the hip to the right, head falls, shoulders to the left.

Nice, okay, and then remind yourself, right? Back bend, not too much, right? Draw a front belly up and in, core's working, and we're lifting through the sides, stay supported and stretched and lifted, nice. Okay, hips to the right if you can, ground through the feet, take a deep inhale up and over, nice, and all the way to the middle, release the hands. Good, shake it out, nice, y'all, okay?

So back in the rhythm, we're gonna come back into salutations, inhale, arms forward and up, nice. As you exhale, soften, feel that feeling of letting go for a moment, nice. As you inhale, half lift, right? As you exhale, take the hands to the mat, step or hop back, down dog, right? Full flow, or if something feels better, just support the space, take what you need.

Nice, okay, taking a breath. All right, it's okay, no rush. All right, so as you inhale, left leg up and back, right? As you exhale, step forward in between both hands, warrior two, one more time, so back heel down, feel that space to stretch across the chest, all right? And then remind yourself, right?

You've been here before, all right? And then sometimes we forget things real quick, it's okay. In, lift, there we go, okay? Stretch the arms one more time, take a big breath and feel that support in the middle, good. And as you exhale, left double tisney for a moment, top arm over the head, just revisiting, okay?

Keeping that containment, keeping that length, and then to challenge that, notice, top arm is up, left arm we lift as well, good, okay? So especially in a pose like this, again, sides of the core work hard, okay? So no slouch, lift the upper body a little more if that front leg so the torso can stretch, but again, keep everything contained in the middle. There you go, soften your shoulders, you don't need that work, all right? Stretch the fingers, take a deep inhale and reach, good, as you exhale, right hand down to the mat, left arm up towards the ceiling, okay?

So also noticing the core is the thing that supports twisting as well, okay? So again, not front, not just back, not just sides, this whole cylinder is supporting everything. Keep the length through the sides of your body so you're not crunched like how we said earlier, and then lift the heart a little higher if possible. That's so good, y'all, take a deep inhale, stretch up, good, exhale, left hand down, all right, down dog, we step back, all right? Flow in if that's where you're going, and I'm so happy that rhymed, take a moment.

Nice, all right, down dog, hips up and back, all right? Stay in to regulate, nice, okay, right leg, inhale. Exhale, right foot forward in between the hands, warrior two, back heel down, heart open, all right? And just check in boxes, right? Like notice what your mind focuses on when you don't feel this or the tension's not here, and then try to draw everything up and in, remind yourself where we rest the mind, good.

Take a deep inhale, stretch through the arms, as you exhale, right elbow, right thigh, left arm over the head, okay? And then feel in that space to not back bend too much, that core is keeping you supported, stretch through the sides of your body, and then bottom arm comes up, good, y'all, okay? So feel, we're working, I understand, right? But as much as you can keep that integrity, use your core, like let it support the movement, right? Try not to lay, all right?

Reach in through the sides of your body, extend a little more through those ribs, right? Take a deep inhale in, exhale, left hand down, nice, right arm stretches up towards the ceiling, good. So again, we're not trying to close this middle space off, so feel that you can use that belly and sides to extend, and then roll the heart open like literal cylinder, roll the cylinder, good, okay, turn the heart open, top arm is super active, okay? Take a big inhale, exhale, top hand down, down dog, you step back, all right? Pause or flow, you know where to go.

It's happening, good, down dog, all right? Soften for a moment, all right? Let the exhale remind yourself you can like let go of shoulders, you can let go of anything unnecessary, nice, all right? And then find your knees onto the mat, tabletop, and then just give yourself that space to set up one more time, so hands underneath the shoulders, okay? Knees underneath the hips, all right?

And then a little bit of core work, all right? So we're gonna start with a little bit, we've been doing this, okay? Left arm forward, all right? Stretch that left arm a little more to the top of the mat, and then that right leg, excuse me, gonna kick back, if you can reach your right arm, cool. All right, so from here, core in, right?

Feel again, there's no droop, but there's that front part of the core engaging a bit, so you find a little more stability in that mid-part of the body, okay? Stand long through the sides, take an inhale, kick and stretch, and then as you exhale, draw the belly in, round your upper back a little bit more, nice, okay? Inhale, stretch one more time, exhale, draw the front part of your core in and round, nice. Okay, one more time, inhale, stretch and kick, exhale, pull it in, and we're gonna hold this one for a breath, and just enforce that curl, belly in, inhale, nice, exhale, stretch, take a big reach just to hold, good, left hand down, right knee down, right? Pause it for a moment if it feels good, cat cow, real simple, or maybe just a different intuitive movement that feels a little better, right?

You know your body way better than anybody, all right? So your choice of what you need is always gonna be a good choice, you know it, you know? All right, pause next time you pass through neutral, all right, same thing, just setting up hands in the new shoulders, knees in the new hips, right? Starting with the right leg, left leg this time, kick back, good, right arm stretches to the top, okay? Feel, right, you took away two of your pillars of balance, so this front hand is back, leg has to work a bit to support, but also just add this in, right?

All of this is working together, core lifted, right? Take a deep inhale, stretch and kick, exhale, pull underneath, round upper body, nice. Inhale, stretch, one more time, exhale, curl, front part of the core lifts, there we go, y'all, all right, last one, inhale. Exhale, pull it in, we hold, all right? Feel that lifting from the front of the body, curl and round.

Nice, inhale, stretch, exhale all the way down. Nice, all right, take what you need. Good, and right now from here, just slowly come forward onto the belly, all right? Hands close to the chest, maybe right underneath shoulders, and then squeeze the elbows in so they're a little more supportive and tucked in this moment. Chin on the mat, take a beat.

Nice, all right, so as far as core goes, we did a lot of the fun of the core, we also targeted some of the sides. Back of your core, really important, especially if lower back is the thing for you, we need that, okay? So feel, hands on the mat, simple, let's say cobra first, okay? Chin up, chest up, right, keep the elbows squeezed in, okay? Feel even here before we add more, you can engage a little bit through the glutes and then push the hips down into the mat, okay?

Let that support the low back, and you're gonna even take your hands a little more off the mat. So cobra, no hands, it's done, nice, okay? With that, stretch the arms back, right? And if possible, lift the legs a little off the mat for full locust, okay? But again, feel that squeeze through the glutes that work the lower back to support, and then feel any amount of lift through the chest and chin stretch up, lift, nice, take one more inhale, reach.

Good, as you exhale, chin on the mat, all right, maybe take your ear to the mat, all right? Take a moment, arms can be down by your sides. Nice, all right, we're gonna lift up one more time, because we always love one more time, right? You know, hands close to the chest, chin on the mat, right? And just setting up the same way we did before, legs together, in steps, okay?

Glutes engaged, push the hips down, all right? Lift the chest up, squeeze the elbows in, all right? Next up, hands off the mat, keep that press, maybe a little higher, good. Legs up if possible, stretch the arms back, full locust, okay, feel that work across the back, and that's that work we want. Stretch through the arms and legs, lift chest and chin a little higher, nice.

Inhale, exhale all the way down, all right? Opposite ear to the mat, arms down by your sides, ever feels good. Nice, okay? From here, I want you to find your way onto the back. I'm just gonna pancake flip it, because it works.

All right, if you pancakes, you get it, if not, whatever option, all right, that you can flip. All right, and then from here, take the right knee up into the chest, and it lays the fingers on the top of that right knee. All right, keep that left leg extended, but try to soften everything else around that work. All right, and you're gonna take a nice breath in, as you exhale, squeeze the knee into the body, okay? Do that one more time, big inhale, exhale, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, nice.

All right, twist it over to the left, take that right leg across the body, all right? Right arm out to the side, if that feels good. All right, similar to the idea from earlier, not as pronounced, the core is helping here, okay? So if you can keep this upper body just like straight and relaxed, let the twist be supported by the core. All right, lower body moves, you can keep that top part planted.

Nice, all right, soften that right shoulder one more time, take a deep inhale, all right, as you exhale, all the way onto the back, all right? Take that right knee closer to the heart for one more breath, okay, it's a deep inhaling, and then exhale, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, nice. Okay, and then soften the right leg down to the mat, you're gonna pull your left knee up and in, here we go. All right, so interlace the fingers on the top of that knee, all right, and again, upper body, all right? Chin into the chest if it feels like you can kind of stretch the back of your neck, but lay flat, there you go.

All right, inhale, exhale, draw the knee down and in. Good, one more time, inhale, exhale, squeeze, squeeze, good. All right, twisting over to the right this time. All right, left arm out to the side, nice, okay, last view. See if you can feel where the breath starts in the body.

Nice, all right, slowly come on to the back. All right, one more pull on that left knee. Nice, all right, and bottom of the feet down to the mat, bring the soles of your feet together, hands to the belly, bada karnasana. And actually just feel for a moment, right, like the motions of the core. Nice, all right, draw the knees together, stretch both legs down onto the mat.

All right, I suggest if you can, keep the hands front part of the core, all right? And so allow these first, excuse me, last few moments of your practice, be just a space to really deep dive into the sensations of this part of your body. I feel like oftentimes this part of the body can be really just a functional thing we look at sometimes, you know? We eat, we digest, we wonder how it looks, it's just like a thing to have. But it's literally the core, like the center of your being.

See if you can think of it as more than just functional. You can feel it. You can feel it, you can feel it. All right, take a few more big inhales and just try to extend on those exhales a little bit. Again, I always try to invite that feeling of release a few more times into my practice before I move.

All right, and slowly but surely, start to bring a little bit of movement into the body. So maybe you start with hands, could also flex the toes. All right, a little bit of movement up top wouldn't be too crazy either. So if you wanna rock the head a little left to right, you go for it. Now you're gonna gently draw the knees up into the chest.

Give yourself a big squeeze around both legs if you can. You might catch elbows, all right, but hug the body, right, like feel that. God, and then wait over to the right part, wait over to the right side of your body, excuse me. All right, taking a moment, feel the head on the arm. And slowly coming up to a seat, if possible, keep the eyes closed.

And then just staying gentle, staying as relaxed as you can, all right, hands can rest on the thighs or the knees unless it feels good to press the palms. God, all right, before you move, before you open your eyes and just pop back into everything outside, all right, just take one big breath, you could also take two. All right, but feel the inner space, feel the connections you work to create. I just hope that you don't lose that, all right. Thank you for sharing, appreciate your practice as always.



Lise G
3 people like this.
Sweet work out, bringing focus to the core. Namaste!
Quamay S
1 person likes this.
Lise G  Namaste Lise! 
Kate M
2 people like this.
I'm at home, by myself, which is sweet, finding my way through a quiet, reflective New Year's Eve : ) Your happy voice and gentle guidance was just the perfect thing this morning. Loved this holistic focus on the core. Wishing you, Quamay, and all the lovelies at YA, peace, comfort and joy in 2023 ; ) Love, love
Catherine A
Another superb class, Quamay! 😊
Laura M
1 person likes this.
One of my favorite core classes, thank you Quamay!
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Quamay, for this excellent practice that made me aware of the strength of my core! Namaste! 🧡🌼☀️
Heather B
I really enjoyed this work out

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