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Season 6 - Episode 3

Core to Restore

40 min - Practice


Work that core of yours! This class focuses on strengthening and bringing awareness to this integral area of your body in its entirety - the muscles of the abdomen, glutes, hips, and quads - for optimal functioning and movement of your body.  We move through leg lifts, bicycles, side planks, and many more familiar and new movements, before closing in some simple shapes to settle the nervous system and find space in the body. You will feel strong, balanced, and relaxed.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hey there, welcome to Yoga Anytime. My name is Robert and this is a core, predominantly core with some stretching bonuses in the end. How about that? All right, so you'll have some familiar core movements, maybe some new fun things to play with, do your best, modify if I don't offer the modification, but remember how important not just the surface six pack, you know, abs are, it's the whole core. I think of that as like the quads, the glutes, your back, your midsection.

So let's see if we can kind of touch on all of those spaces, embrace the tension and the effort because that's how we get stronger and we grow and you know, all that stuff. But I do believe that. So we're going to start on our back, all right? So on your back, you don't need any real props unless you do. Was that kind of vague?

But no, I'm not going to offer any props, but if you know you have something nearby, that'll help you take it. Okay, your mat, your magic carpet, where all that magic happens, let's begin to have some fun and move and strengthen our bods. First starts with the breath. So let's just take a few breaths, maybe bring your hands to your stomach or your rib cage or where the stomach and rib cage meet and breathe in through the nose and see how like expansive and grand you can get in the front, side and back midsection. Exhale as fully as you can without forcing, nice.

Three more, breathe in and breathe out. Two more, breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in fully, front, side and back and exhale, let it go, okay? Draw your knees in, start to wander around, just kind of massaging the low back, knowing that in advance that your low back could, I don't know, build up like a little tension or maybe it's already sore. So this is that space that you want to take care of, all right?

You just, if you need a break, you come down, maybe pull the knees in or do whatever sort of back stretch that's appropriate for you. Extend your left leg out, but hug that right knee in to the body. Point your left toes or push through the heel and you determine moving forward right now, which one adds more stability to the entire left leg, okay? It's important as we move forward that you kind of have that established. So you can see here as you hug the left leg in, so you don't want the right leg just kind of dangling, right?

You want it to be an integrative piece, you know, it's the rest of what's going on and what's helpful is if you point through the toes like they would in like Pilates or dance, right? Or drive through the heel with your toes pointing back. So let's switch again. So become familiar with that if you're not already and if you're already familiar, then, you know, just dig the sensations of the quads engaging and the muscles around the calves and shins. So we're still kind of priming and preparing by using the breath and we're getting some nice little stretches along the way.

Now this is wind relieving pose, so feel free to let it flow, especially if you're at home, no one around. Just let it go, okay? Now hug that right knee in, let's lift the chest up, okay? Now you have like a little more engagement through those abdominals, still active in the feet and we'll kind of just slowly build. Now what's going to happen also is your neck is going to get a little fatigued.

So for instance, if you bring your left leg in, you can just bring it in with your left hand and hold the back of your head and then you can switch. Or if your head or neck is totally fine, don't support it, up to you. But we're still lifting the chest, lifting the shoulders up off of the mat and this just helps to kind of curl in and engage and create that kind of tension in the abdominals. Okay, let's go one more on the right, one more on the left, and typically we're exhaling as you bring the leg in, okay? Now bend the legs 90 degrees, your arms can go out to the sides and let's begin to twist.

But we're not just kind of twisting lazily, we're using our core to lower and to lift. Lower those legs down, lower them legs down and lift them back up. So the core really like drives or dictates the movement. So what I like to do also is create these little circles so you can almost like you're drawing a circle on the ceiling with your knees, drawing the knees in and over to the side and then forward, almost like putting your legs straight but not really, and then repeating. And you can tuck those knees in pretty tight and that'll recruit, let's go the other way, that'll recruit those lower abdominals, almost like you're lifting your low back up.

Not almost, it's actually lifting the low back up and that'll sort of prepare for the next side or the next exercise. And the arms are down with the palms facing down to give you some extra little assist or support, okay? Now let's actually twist because I didn't really do too much in that department. Twist your legs over to the left, good, keep trying to keep your right shoulder grounded. Now when you lift your legs up, engage your core first to inspire the movement, almost like you're trying to press your back down.

So breathe in, as you breathe out, push down and the legs should just follow up and over to the other side. So twist, so this is part kind of integrating core but also preparing your back and your hips for some of the movements, combo offering, you're welcome. Okay, again, get in that habit, breathe in, exhale, engage, maybe even lift those pelvic floor muscles a little bit to ride those legs back uptown, good. Now keep those legs just like that and you may find actually that you're crossing your ankles is helpful to unify the legs, knees shoulder width, palms straight up to the ceiling. Breathe in, as you breathe out, press the palms up, up, up, up, up like you're trying to touch the ceiling or sky and then add on knees touching the elbows.

Now inhale, lower down, that's one of 10, exhale, palms up, shoulders up, knees toward the arms, good, two, exhale, three, exhale, four. So right about, keep going, right about the time that you're exhaling, you're lifting, like if you had to take a wee, I love that, if you had to take a wee but you were going to like hold it or stop it, it's right around there that you want to gently kind of lift those muscles. It's a much longer conversation but if you just imagine yourself kind of lifting those muscles up, it kind of like helps to support the lower portion of your core. Can we do one more, yes we can, up, up, up, up, up. Now here's the fun part, extend your left leg out, left hand behind your head, okay now push the right arm into the right knee, already like boom, I want to stop but I can't.

Now extend your left arm all the way out, now exhale, knee to elbow on the left side five times while holding and bracing that right side, two, shoulders up if you can, good, three, beautiful, four, pointing or flexing that left foot, five, hold, now five on the right side, exhale one, exhale two, exhale three, exhale four, and five, now hold both there, five, four, pull the knees into the arms, arms into the legs, three, two, and one, relax for just a moment, windshield wiper the knees side to side, doesn't take much to light that space up so, okay let's mix it up a little bit, legs straight up, hands underneath your low back where your low back and buttocks might meet, keep your head and shoulders down to start, cross the ankle or point, flex the toes, inhale, lower the legs down with straight legs or bent and exhale, lift back up, inhale lower, exhale lift the hands, protect your low back no doubt, three, if you want to lift the shoulders, lift the head to engage those abdominals just a little bit more by all means, go for it, good four, five, six, seven, eight, perfect, nine, ten, keep the legs up straight or bent whatever your choice, fingertips to your knees or shins, exhale, glue the fingertips to the shins as you slide and reach up as high as you can, inhale lower, exhale, inhale lower, exhale slide, slide, five, six, seven, you're doing great, eight, nine, ten, ten, ten, hold for five, four, three, two, one and down, feet below the knees, let's take a bridge to open this front body up okay, so lift the hips, stretch the hip flexors, your abdominal muscles out, now that was primarily the front side or like some of the deeper pelvic floor, deeper core muscles, even your hip flexors, your psoas specifically, now we're going to roam onto our side body and go for the obliques all right because it's a full 360 of muscles that we're looking to get, so lower back down, okay let's move on to the side body, your right side, so I'll be facing you, so it's a forearm plank setup and you've got two options that I'll share with you, knees bent, knees hopefully in line with your hips and shoulders, I'm going to slide my knees back a little bit more, almost as if you were standing, so the tailbone draws down, pelvis is neutral, now, hi by the way, it's like such a funny pose you know but just saying hey, I see you there doing the work, now lift your hips obliques right side, you can take your arms, your left arm all the way up, if you feel like you want a little more spice, you can extend one or both of your legs, stacking or staggering, I choose this one because it feels better for me, lift your hips and stay here or lower the hips down and lift your hips back up for one, good, so if you're holding and not dipping two, you're holding, three, when you lift, I'm kind of bringing my arm up and trying to extend it overhead, so I get a left side stretch, four, nice, five, remember I said right front side and back body, so this is the side, the right side, let's go for eight, nine and ten, forearm plank, see if you can just transition right into your forearm plank, okay now if again bringing the knees down is appropriate, bring those knees down, it's not a lesser than, it's never been a lesser than thing to bring your knees down, it's you making the call to figure out what's appropriate for you to optimise the exercise, okay, should make a meme about that one, it just felt like the right thing to say right now, so right now in the forearm plank you're just kind of dipping your hips from side to side, this is part stretch but also part like oblique recruitment we'll call it, okay back to centre, bring your knees down, press up onto your hands, tabletop, cat cow, inhale, this is like a recovery posture, exhale, inhale arch, cow pose, exhale, it's recovery but if you really pull up through the pelvic floor muscles and the abdominals, you kind of pull in, squeeze in, it can be a little bit of core love as well, okay back to centre, extend your left arm, let's go with the right arm and the left leg, so that extended tabletop, get fully extended here, point through the toes or that left heel and bring the limbs back down, switch left side, left arm, right leg, keep the core braced as you extend the limbs away from the body, bring it down, repeat right arm, left leg, inhale and exhale, inhale left arm, right leg, exhale, inhale right arm, left leg, exhale left arm, right leg, fully extend, bring it down, good, now extend the right arm, left leg, right elbow meets left knee like cat pose, pull the abdominals up and in, round your back, five times, inhale, exhale two, exhale three, exhale four, exhale five, now extend out, bring the left foot down, right hand down, now kick that right foot over a little bit, ground the left foot, side plank, this is typically what I call like a stretchy side plank but today we'll add a little something, lift the left leg up, push through the left heel, extend your left arm overhead, now recruiting the left obliques and other muscles, exhale, elbow to knee, now extend, inhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, one more time, exhale, grab the left foot, go for a little stretchy yumminess this, pull the heel in toward the seat or push the foot into the hand to open up like a little back bendy kind of thing, extend the left leg out, back into tabletop, perfect, now extend the left arm, right leg, extended table, stay here or join me, elbow to knee, inhale extend, exhale contract, inhale, exhale, number four, inhale, number five, boom, now extend out, bring the left hand down, right foot down, slide the left foot over, right foot is kind of like at the back corner of the mat on the left side, open the right arm high, reach the right arm long overhead like side angle pose, lift the right leg, stay here, you're going to feel it in your buttocks, remember I talked about the glutes, this whole area, that's something, now exhale five times, elbow to knee, inhale, get the stretch, exhale, exhale, one more I think takes us to five, now fully extend back into your tabletop position, push back into a child's pose, just for a moment, stretch the arms out, downward dog through table, a little more midsection, center midsection, love, now you're not going to lift your leg up, all you're going to do is bring yourself into plank which is enough but we're going to bring our right knee inside the right elbow with the exhale and then step right back without lifting the leg, exhale, left knee, left elbow, down dog and repeat, remember to remember, I just said member, remember when, what am I, five, okay, three, four, four, I was going to say remember when I asked you to engage the pelvic floor muscles on the exhale, you want to do that but that's a little late now but you'll want to do it here tabletop, this will get a little fun, tabletop with your knees lifted, okay, what I want you to do is just kind of like keep those knees lifted without bringing them too high and transition or transfer like the length of your mat a couple times, you're going to feel this in your shoulders, little tiny steps, trying to maintain this tabletop kind of square position, now the good thing about this is that you know, you build shoulder strength, you definitely have to be bracing the midsection, let's have a little fun and take it into like a 180, so walk to the right, so now I'm kind of facing the back side of the mat, tabletop, hold for five, knees lifted, four, three, two, knees down, perfect, walk the knees back, shoulders are going to feel it right but you'll be off them shortly, five push-ups, keeping your core nice and engaged, hands about shoulder width, inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up, let's begin, inhale down, exhale up, two, three, elbows back or hovering over the wrists as best as possible, four, shoulders back, core engaged, five, now pause here, exhale, lower down, all the way, point the toes back, remember I talked about the back body being part of your core, from cobra lift your hands up off of the mat, pull the elbows up and back, trying to get that back engaged, now lift your chest, hold, keep pulling, pulling, pulling back with the elbows, draw the shoulders down, keep a neutral head, maybe take it up and down a couple times, almost like a cat cow, perfect, lower down, perfect, good, now take your arms, stretch them overhead, similar position in your pelvis, similar sensation in your back, ten times locus rows, lift your arms, lift your chest, if your legs lift, that's fine and exhale, pull the elbows back like you're trying to touch your elbows, inhale, lower down, starting position, exhale, lift and pull, two, lift and pull, three, lift and pull, four, lift and pull, five, stay here or rest for a second but I want to say it can be very effective not actually coming up as high, if you want to come up about halfway or stay low, just the pulling mechanism can be really valuable, okay, so if you feel aggravation in your low back, come down a little bit or resume, we have five more, inhale, exhale, exhale two, exhale three, exhale four, exhale five, stay lifted, hands underneath the shoulders, lift the chest, a little bent arm lazy up dog to stretch out the hips, maybe addressing the low back tension, perfect, lower down, left side, forearm plank, we meet again, again with the knees bent to start or legs straight out, let's lift, okay, hips lifted, feet staggered like this or stacked or knees down, legs bent, arm overhead when you're fully lifted, okay, lower the hips down, bring the right hand to the right thigh and then lift and extend, beautiful, two, three, four, five, exhaling as you lift, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, now last forearm plank here, elbows below the shoulders, feet hip width, hold for ten, push the elbows away from you or down to the ground to separate your shoulder blades a little bit more, keep the core engaged, six, five, four, three, two, one, knees down, child's for just a moment to release the shoulders, you can even bring the hands alongside your body, come up to kneeling for a moment, adjust, okay, I'm gonna spin around, you can spin around onto your seat, a little more core fun and we get that stretching stuff that you know we deserve after this, so seated rotations are one of my favorites, you've probably done them with me before if you've practiced with me, arms out, rotate the left arm back behind you, right arm forward, twist, now maybe for the first one or two, use that back hand to drive yourself into the twist a little bit but then we're gonna start to just kind of go hands free, so this is like a foot down boat pose rotation kind of thing, so the whole time you're kind of steady and stable in the midsection, this is kind of prepping you for those Russian twists, why are they Russian, I don't get it, it's just what you see, right, so you repeat it to center, sit up tall, so start the boat position with the integrity of the spine intact, right, so you don't want to end up like this, sit tall and you can do this with your feet down on the ground just like this and it's probably extremely effective, right, or lift your feet, cross your ankles just to kind of like keep the legs together and engaged and now we'll just kind of touch from left to right ten times each side, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, when I do that like that means I'm working, 9, 9, 10, 10, low boat, I'm sorry but we have to do it, low back rounded, shoulders lifted legs lifted, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, listen I can tap out at any moment but I'm not going to, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, relax, hug your knees in just so your head's not off the mat, we've made it to the stretch portion, good job, you know, either that was really easy for you or really hard or somewhere in between, roll up, use those core muscles you've got, alright, bound angle, I'm gonna face you because we're friends, we're pals, we just did that together so I like to take my hands to the feet, butterfly the knees for a sec, just enjoy the simplicity of the pose, not easy but simple, simple offering, few deep breaths, maybe a little wave, just lean into it if you'd like, you know the cool thing about that little series we just did is, you know, maybe you can do it back to back if you're feeling like that wasn't enough or you want a little bit more, back to back to back even, you know, it's up to you, we're gonna windshield wiper with our hands back behind, we're gonna go from side to side, really just so we can get to this potentially favourite stretch of mine, so let's go to the left side, so you're in the 90, kind of 90, they call it like a shin box thing, right, now you fold your body over your inner left thigh, here's where it gets good, stay on the left side, extend your right leg back as far as it will go, so it's like a pigeon but on the, heavily on the left side and then use your left hand to kind of brace yourself, extend that right arm and nestle in and find that spot, so you've got this deep stretch that you're leaning onto but that big extension sensation you might be feeling on the right side, alright, let's check it out on the other side, rotate, boom, stay here or if that served you, extend this left leg back, ride our left arm forward, use your right arm to brace you, find your sweet spot, listen to your body, yeah, that's it, you know, I said it earlier, it's simple, it's not easy but it's a simple offering, usually the head gets in the way, the mind, push up, boom boom boom, perfect, take a wide as wide as you can, so if this doesn't feel good, take your legs together and do a forward fold, I've been kind of working on this lately and it just feels kind of nice to explore over to the left and over to the right, straight out in front, come up, I'm not sure where I learned the name but mermaid, so left foot into the inner right thigh but bend like it's part of like a hurdler stretch also, so that right leg is bent, you sit up tall, try to sit on both sit bones and we'll twist to the left, so right hand to the left knee, left hand back behind you, a little rotation, you can also turn to the other side, left hand to that right knee, right hand back behind you and lean back also, this one from your knee to your hip, if you lean back and reach back, good, let's try the other side, it's interesting too, right, I mean it's no surprise that one side feels completely different from the next, so you are completely normal if that's happening, left hand to the right knee, right hand back behind you, just to prop yourself up and rotate, switch to the other side, right hand left knee, left hand back behind you, stay tall in the spine, rotate, lean back, quad stretch, good, left arm reaches up and back and then I like to kind of rotate down and reach, meaning rotate the left shoulder down, reach back and it just gives me a little extra flavour, a little extra spice, but you don't want it too spicy, right, don't want to suffer through it, okay now exit, spin around, let's roll down to our back, now here's where you are either like yeah, done or like I said earlier, circle back, start over, why not, hug your knees in, prepare to rest, so an embrace, hands on the knees or shins or wrap it all the way in like you are giving yourself the biggest most like self love, self care hug, good job you, now let's take a few moments to relax, if you are feeling like a one minute relax or five minute or twenty minutes, up to you, we will spend a little time together here resting, for the first two or three breaths I invite you to extend, maybe take a really big inhale and extend your exhale as long as you possibly can. As you are extending your exhale, you are noticing different parts of your body beginning to relax, beginning to let go, let go of all that self imposed pressure about having to be this and do that, just drop into a momentary space and place of calm, peace, ease, relax, let the breath begin to kind of come and go on its own, please feel free to relax as long as you like, if you would like to join me to sit to close out the practice, we will meet sitting, we will finish with one deep breath in, bringing the arms overhead, gathering all of the positivity you can, like bring it, bring it, bring it, grab it, gratitude, pull it into you, into your heart, into your body, like why not, why not do that, right? Thank you for being here, thank yourself more than anything, namaste.


Anastasia T
Thank you Robert!  I loved this practice. I felt like I was sitting in a live class with you, and everyone else.  It was fun and challenging.  Just what I needed.  Thanks again.  
Robert Sidoti
Anastasia T Awesome, so good to hear - especially the part about feeling connected to others in a live class :)) Thanks for being here!! 
Wendie Heijmer-Arendse
Thx Robert nice practice, ready for the day with a lot off energy! :)
Have a good day everyone and greetings from the Netherlands!
Christel B
1 person likes this.
Yeah! more sessions with a familiar face on YogaAnytime.  So great to work on the core to support our backs ,etc.
Robert Sidoti
Greetings Wendie Heijmer-Arendse ! Always so nice to see you here and to read your comments - I cannot wait to visit the Netherlands sooooon, I hear so many good things! 
Robert Sidoti
Nice to see you again Christel B !! Yes, core work to support our backs - let's feeeeel goooood and do what it takes to do so! Have a blessed day! 
Charlie S
1 person likes this.
Wooo Hooo! Happy to have you back Robert. Always such a treat to practice with you. 
Sandra Židan
Thanks, Robert, for this great and interesting core practice! Namaste! ❤️
1 person likes this.
Brilliant. So challenging and juicy! Thanks, Robert. I love practicing with you. Feeling super refreshed now :).

Lina S
1 person likes this.
Energizing yet calming practice. By the way, mermaid stretch is a side stretch in Pilates (that can be done with Z legs too) and not a twist. Great class as always!
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