Iyengar Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 6

Core Stability

35 min - Practice


This class explores asanas from dynamic as well as static perspectives to find strength and stability in your core. We work with the strap to isolate the action of the legs, move deeper with awareness into the core, and release the back with Down Dog and a restorative Savasana. You will feel strong and settled.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Wall, Strap

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hello, everyone. Welcome. So in today's session, we're gonna focus on core. We'll look at core strength, core stability, and we'll explore a few different asanas, both from a dynamic perspective, as well as static. Okay. All you need for the session is a strap, a long strap, if you have one. Share may come in handy, the wall may come in handy, and, of course, you're matte.

Alright. So to begin, have your strap and make a small loop in the strap. And then place it on your right foot at about your arch. So it's quite it doesn't have to be super tight, but it's a small loop, and you've got a long, long tail. Okay. And then lay yourself down, like so, and just see the wall is irrelevant. So, you know, give yourself lots of space. And when you lie down, if you have some, maybe, some tightness in the shoulders, that sort of thing, please feel free to put a blanket under your neck, under your head there, if that feels more comfortable for you. Okay.

If you can manage, just sort of the natural curve of the neck without anything under there, then don't feel that it's absolutely essential. Okay. And then with your legs bent, you can raise this right leg up to about 90 degrees. K. Turn the front of the left thigh in. And then extend that leg to straight. Okay. So we've got like a one position here. Okay. Then you'll hold your strap nice and high and pull your leg towards you. K? Even though you're pulling your leg towards you, press your knee away, press your thigh away.

And now let's go dynamically. Okay? Lower the leg down, raise the leg up. And you can see here my elbows are bending. I'm taking the leg as high up as I'm able, so you do that as well.

And just find a little bit of rhythm here. Riz the leg up. Lower the leg down. Rase it up, lower it down. Okay. And you can challenge yourself here a little bit by playing around a little bit where on the strap, can you hold. Right? If you hold higher up, this drop is gonna be a little more challenging as you raise your arms over your head.

Okay? Go for a few more and then insert 1 little nuance here. Okay? Every action has a reaction. And so as you're taking this right leg up and over, What happens to the left thigh? Okay. Very naturally as the right leg comes up and over, the left leg will bend. So are you able to work in this dynamic fashion where you're lifting and lowering the leg, but still with an awareness on that left side.

Left eye, press it down, raise the right leg up, lower it down. Okay? Without disrupting the left side. Okay. Then just finish up, and you can bend your knees. Pause there.

And then switch the strap over to your left. Okay. Again, place it on your arch and raise the leg up to about 90 degrees. On the right side, turn the front of your thigh in. Extend your leg to straight. And pause here for a moment in the one.

Okay. And then again, we'll continue with this dynamic action. So pull the leg towards you, but at the same time, press your knee away, press your thigh away. And even as we go faster, that still the action. Leg is being pulled towards you, but don't forget. Push your knee away.

Push your thigh away. Okay? Go for it. Pull it in. Lower the leg down. Lift the leg up. Lower the leg down.

And the arms can come towards your head and over. Go for a few rounds. And then as you start to feel like you've got some rhythm, The back of your leg is opening. Maybe your hamstring is talking to you. Then you can also insert that other nuance here.

And see can you keep your mind equally in the leg that's being lifted and the leg that's on the floor? Okay. So a leg that's on the floor, internally rotate it, turn it in, and press that thigh strongly down. Even, right, even at this point as the leg comes up, can you keep that thigh pressing down? Okay. Couple more. Alright. And then release.

You can lower the leg down, bend your knees, and just remove the strap from your foot. Okay. Moving on. Now you've already got a small loop in your strap. You can make it even depending how long your strap is, you can make it even smaller so that you have just one long tail here. And from here, you're gonna bring your knees to your chest.

Hope the strap across your your arches, maybe a little bit more towards your heels. And raise your straight legs up to the ceiling. Okay? So now we're in an asna in a pose called Ervapres Rita Padasna. And here, spread your toes, spread your toe mounds. You can pull down on the strap on your heels, but at the same time, reach up through the back of your legs.

K. You've it's a lovely pose because you got a nice view of your legs here. Can look and see which way your knees are facing, how your thighs are positioned. Right? Push your knees away. Press your thighs away. And as if you could make the back of your legs taller than the front of your legs, extend up.

Okay. Now with your arms, just to hold the strap, but, you know, don't hold for dear life. Keep the fingers soft. You can press the elbows down all your shoulders under. Okay. Once again, press your knees away, thies away, erd Vapresrida Padasna. Okay. Now keeping your right leg exactly where it is, just slip the left foot out from this drop.

Turn the front of the left thigh in. And again, supta Padangustas, now one. Start to slowly lower the leg down. And when you reach the ground here, can you do so in such a way that the inner heel touches the ground first. So you're helping to encourage that internal rotation.

Now as soon as you touch down with your left leg, slide your right buttock further away from you on the mat and from the back of your leg, extend up. Suptopadangostasenal 1. Straighten both legs completely. Okay. Now reach into your left heel. Absolutely straighten that leg, reach into the heel.

And from the back of the leg, raise your straight leg back up. Slip it back into the strap, or vipress Rita Padasen again. Press your knees away, thies away. And also lift your chest. Good. Pause here. Breathe.

And now second side. We're going erd Repres Rita Padassen into supta Ferrengustas, now one. K. Keep the left leg exactly where it is. And then slip your right leg out from the strap, but keep it up there. Okay. Now turn the front of your right thigh in. And slowly lower that leg down, but also reach it.

Reach it. Okay. Turn the front of the thigh in. And aiming the inner heel down first, inner heel down first. As soon as the inner heel touches, from you the corner of your left hip, left waist, reach away from you. Slide the left buttock. Away from you and reach up through the back of your leg. Back of your leg.

Press your knee away. Thigh away on the left side and press your right knee and thigh down. K. Avoid bringing the leg way up and see. Can you work with the leg only at 90 degrees. Okay. Now reach into your right heel. Extend extend extend extend.

And from the back of the leg, reach, raise that straight leg back up. Okay. Place it back in the strap. Press your knees away, thighs away, and lift your chest. Brief here. Okay. Moving along, we're gonna go next for Erud Vrapres Rita Padassen in a slightly more dynamic fashion.

Okay. So you can hold the strap here, and it's quite handy to have the strap more on your heels, right, as opposed to, towards the toe mounts. K? So on the heels, pull down, get that connection, 5 bones into the root, into the root in the pelvis, And now reach up into the strap. Reach up into the strap. You're pulling the strap towards you, but you're also extending into the strap. Maintain this and then slowly start to lower your legs down. So this is where the long strap comes really handy. Right? Lower the legs down just just before you touch down. Reach into your heels and raise those straight legs up.

Okay. We're gonna go for a few more rounds here. Turn the front of the thighs in. Press your knees and thighs away. Reach into your heels. And start to lower the legs down.

And you can find your own rhythm with this. Reach into the heels. Raise the leg up. K? Again, look to see you're not rocking on the pelvis. Right? Feel how your back pelvis touches the ground. Look for those natural curves in the spine and maintain them. Okay?

Lower the legs down. Reach into the heels, raise the legs up, lower the legs down, reach into the heels, raise the legs up. One more. Lower the legs down. Reach into the heels.

Raise your legs up. Okay. And then release, bend your knees, and pause. Okay. We're carrying on here. So we're not quite done.

And what I'm gonna show you next is a progression. Okay? So you can always step it back to what we've just done, and please feel free to do that. But where we're gonna go next is like this. You'll be on your back. You can hold the sides of your mat here and just get a little bit of a grip for some extra extra tension, roll the shoulders back, and create that dome shape in your chest.

Then from here, bring your knees up You're looking for thighs to be perpendicular to the floor and then extend your legs up or repress Rita Padassen. Broaden the back of your thighs, turn them out, and press your knees and thighs away. You have the memory of having just used Right? So reach up into your heels as if the strap was there. And now lower your legs to about 60 degrees. Extend.

Now hold it. Hold it. Turn the thighs in. Press your knees and thighs away. Gripping the mat, push it away, shoulders back and down, and then come to about 30 degrees. Hold it.

Hold it. And then just just hover above the ground, and then bend your knees. Raise your legs up or to put us in. Okay? So that's extra little bit of challenge here. You go for another round. Shoulders back and down, lift your chest, and then legs 60 degrees.

Spread those toes. Reach the inner leg away. Hey, knees away, thighs away, maintain this. 30 degrees. Hold it.

And then just hover, reach into the back of your legs, and raise your legs up. Oh, I just showed you what it was next. So you can raise your legs up with bent legs. And then come back up. But if you're ready to progress, we can move to the next section.

So the next, variation of this pose would be the classical variation. Okay. So in this one, you can start with your legs up. Urd Vipres Rita Padassen, and you can also explore with your arms up. Okay? And some people find that it's actually easier to have that extension with the arms up. Other people find holding the mat gives them what they need. So explore both and see what works best for you.

Okay. And then this time, we're gonna go straight legs on the way down, straight legs on the way up. One caveat here, if you are struggling with some a compromised lower back, I would stay with the bent knees on the way up. Yeah. You'll get enough sort of, exercising of those lower spinal muscles doing that way. Alright. So from here, 60 degrees, Hold it. 30 degrees.

Hold it. Lower the legs down. Just hover, hover, hover, reach into your heels, raise those straight legs up. Turn the front of the thighs in. Press your knees away.

Thighs away. Press the back of your hands down and reach. 60 degrees. 30 degrees. Hover, reach into the heels, and raise those straight legs up.

Last one, 60 degrees. 30 degrees. Hover, reach into your heels, raise the legs back up. And now you can lower your straight legs all the way down. Lower your arms, bend your knees, pause, and then roll to your side and slowly push yourself back up.

Alright. Okay. Sit next in a swastikasna position in a simple cross legged position. And let's do a little twist. So some of these, as I alluded to, some of this core work, can be quite strenuous on those paraspinal muscle So let's release the back a little bit with a twist. Okay?

Turn yourself to the right. You're gonna take your left hand across right hand behind you, lift, and turn. Roll that right shoulder back with your left hand Pull the left side of your body around. Come back to the center. Pause here.

Second side. Right hand across. Left hand behind you. Lift and turn. Turn your abdomen. Turn your rib cage.

Roll that left shoulder back and pull yourself around with your right arm. Good. And then release. Alright. So we're not quite done with the core work.

We're gonna continue to twist, but I'm gonna add in a little bit of. Okay? This is a fun one. And, actually, I would do it in such a way that you don't have the wall right behind you because we are gonna play a little bit with balance here. So you'll start in your cross legged position. Twist yourself to one side.

And then come back to the center and then see, can you find? So you're just gonna roll a little bit towards the little more on the back of the buttock bones and then chest up. So knees as close to the body as you can. And chest up, then immediately change the crossing of your legs and lift and turn to the other side. And then again, back to the center, chest up, knees in, chest up, hold it, and keep going. See if you can find a little bit of a rhythm here. Okay. You release it with the twist, come back to the center, chastop, abdomen, and thigh, nice and close.

Change the crossing of your legs. Lift and turn. Lift and turn. K? And then as you're doing this, you can also challenge yourself a little more. See if you can straighten the legs. Chasse up.

Change, lift, and turn. Come back to the center. You can straighten the legs. Sometimes if you need a little help, you place your hands behind the knees. Press those knees away.

Press those thighs away. Chest up. Again, change the crossing. Lift enter. K. Go for one more.

Nava, snah, and parsvah, swastikasana. Okay. Finish up so that you feel even. You've done both sides, and then just take a moment. Rest here.

Okay. Let's unpack perrypern1 of us now a little bit. Let's let's work with it a little bit more. So I'd like to show you, a couple different approaches, different ways that we can work on it. For this next variation, Get yourself your chair, and you can place it like so.

And then have a seat in front of your chair and see if you can position yourself such that your calves are on the edge here, and you're gripping the lip of the chair seat with your hands. K? So you can sort of see the shape coming in. And then spread your toes, spread your toe mounds, turn the front of the thighs in, press your knees and thighs away. But here, you've got this added benefit holding the lip of the chair seat. Pull back against yourself and lift your chest.

Roll those shoulders back. Right? So move the spine into the body. Chast up and hold it here. Okay. Press your knees away. Thighs away. Pull back against the chair, lift your chest up, Perry Perna Novana. And you wanna see if you can get some angles.

So the legs are angular and the torso also. If you can work it out, some of it's a little bit of a proportion thing, but the torso shouldn't be is not meant to be vertical, like completely upright. It's a little angular. Hold it for a bit and see. Right? In these supported variations, you can go for duration. Alright. And then release undo yourself.

And come to a seated position. Okay. If you feel any, any desire to do a little twist here, just even after that one, Navasna, to release the back, feel free. Because we're gonna go into yet another presentation of Perry Brennan of Usna. Okay. And each presentation is different, you'll find that certain presentations really work for you, and others maybe don't feel as a So as we go through them, do make sure to take note for yourself. Which one do you like? And if you'd prefer to stay with that one, then by all means, please please do so.

Okay. The next variation that I wanna show you, the chair can go away. And then with this one here, you'll want your strap. Okay? And for this, you'll want the strap to be open. Into a nice big, long loop. Okay. And then here, you'll take this big loop and place this drop over your head, and then under your armpits. Okay?

Then Bring your knees towards your chest and hook the strap on your heels again. And you wanna see that you have access to the tail so that you can loosen or straighten your strap as needed. K. Keep the strap nice and high up under the armpits. And then stabilize with your hands on the floor and then slowly extend your legs to straight. Okay? Press your knees away, thighs away, internally rotate them, and then try to lift up over the strap.

Right? Chest up. Absorb this drop in towards you. K. And then just see, can you find your balance here? Extend one arm, extend the other arm, perryperna of us. K. Big broad feet.

Open up. Press your knees down or away. Press your thighs away. And then lift your chest up. That you're trying to lift up and over this strap.

Reach into your fingers. And then hang out here. Okay. And then release. Alright. So that's Perry Perna Navasna.

Number 2. Again, feel free. Do a little twist. Release the spine afterwards. And now I'll show you one more variation. So in this variation, it's, again, a dynamic version, and we're gonna almost play the the the edge here between Perry Perna Navasna and Arda Navasna.

Both have very different shapes. So I'll show you what I mean. And again, it is nice to do it where the head is not too close to a wall because if you do fall back, you know, you just wanna make sure you've got this space. Okay? So begin here seated with your knees bent and then shift towards the back of the buttock bones, see if you can find your balance. Knees up. Knees up.

Extend the arm. So this is the shape. Perry Pernan of us, not From here, you're gonna open your boat up and come a little more towards our end of us, navel towards the spine, upper back is a little more round. Pull the legs in chest up. Open the boat up like a canoe. And then pull it in.

And then you work with this, see if you can get a few rounds in. Perry Perna, Avasna, Arna, right, classical Arna Vasna, hands are behind. I'm shaking in my boat. Okay. And then keep going.

Couple more. Alright. And then finish up. Take a little twist. And pause.

Alright. So lots of options for your Navasana, different ways you can play with it and explore. Let's sort of wind down now and, again, release the spine. One of my favorite ways to do so after this is to work with an a one legged, downward dog. Okay. So for this, set yourself up so that you are close to the wall with your feet and then lift up first into your dog pose.

K? And feel free to have the heels a little bit elevated for this variation. They can be just touching the wall, but do notice that it's not the sole of the foot on the wall, but just that center back point of the heel. Okay. And then push the floor down, lift your hips up, and move your thighs back. Okay. Now keeping your left leg exactly where it is. Take your right leg up the wall.

You're gonna tuck the toes under. And then extend. Reach there. And it's not so much about, you know, really how high it is. Can you still keep the hip level? So you're not you don't wanna really distort yourself. Keep the hip level.

Turn the back of the thigh open. Kick the heel out, right, and then reach into that heel and see can you lengthen your back pelvis lengthen the lower back region by extending into your heel. And then release again. Lower your leg down. Push up and back.

Okay. Of course, feel free to bend your knees if needed. Or you can continue to the second side right away. Hey. Lift your hips up and back, and then take your left leg up. Tuck the toes under, and then reach into your heel. Broaden your buttock away from the tailbone, that left buttock, broadened the back of the thigh from inside out, and roll the heel slightly outward.

Now extend into that heel up, up, up, up, and lengthen the side body, lengthen your back's pelvis area to the maximum. And then release. Mukashwanna snah. And then bend your knees for just a moment and take. Head down.

Take a few breaths here. And then let's repeat that one more time. Okay? Lift yourself back up, downward facing dog, Mukesh Vanas now. Stabilize on the left side. So even when you're starting to lift that right leg up, from the left hip, suck in. Okay. Then take the right leg up, tuck the toes, reach up into that heel.

Okay. Sometimes the second time you do the pose, you can you're sort of instead of thinking about it as a repetition, Think of it as a continuation. Right? So come to where you left off, and then is there a refinement that can be made to this a kapada at Mukeshvanas now. And then release. Angle for your second side. Reach the left leg up.

Extend into the heel. Remember, you're doing this with the intention of releasing that lower back. Push the floor down, extend into the heel. And then release. And again, bend your knees and head down.

Just take a few breaths here. Okay. And then slowly push yourself backup. Okay. Let's end in Shavasna, and please do take the Shavasna that's that you feel will give the best completion to your practice.

But if you're open to or feel that this would be good for you, I'm gonna show Shavasna that I find, helps to release the lower back quite a bit. Okay? So it's shavasana 3 legs over the chair, and you're just going to layer off down on your back, and then adjust yourself so that your calves are supported here on the chair like this. And what I like to do with these kinds of chairs is actually hit my heels, my outer foot there, out against the chair, almost like a container, and just helps to ever so slightly turn my thighs in. K. And then there's just a nice release at the back pelvis area. Hey. You can lean to the left, roll your right shoulder blade under, lean to the right, roll your left shoulder blade under, and then settle settle here except receive the support of the chair and of the floor.

Let go of any tension in your face. Be soft there. Even your lips, your throat, that all the facial muscles Just let go and release. Turn your focus towards your breath. And with each exhalation, let your abdomen soften even more and release back and down.

Inhale, exhale, Be here right now. Breathe. K. Please stay in your Shavasna until it reaches its natural end, but I'm going to end the session right here. Thank you so much


Jenny S
2 people like this.
Loving the use of props in the Iyengar practice πŸ‘ I also found the simple twists after each set to be relieving and refreshing (experienced some nice snap crackle and pops with those as well). Β Overall I feel that I’m learning some valuable alignment tips! Β πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Lauri K
2 people like this.
I ❀️ unpacking πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ poses You are so knowledgeable TY πŸ™

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