In nearly every asana we practice in yoga, we are utilizing our core strength in some way. Our core strength is important to the integrity of many different postures as it keeps us steady and prevents us from injury. As we hold a tree pose, transition from upward facing dog to downward facing dog and even while we practice the warrior series we are utilizing our core strength. It’s certainly not fruitless when our instructor asks us to hold plank pose or boat pose for an extra couple of breaths. Here are some of my favorite ways that we benefit, in everyday life, from the core strength we gain while practicing yoga.
Keeping Good Posture
For many westerners, a large amount of the daytime is spent either sitting at a desk or sitting behind the wheel of a car commuting in traffic. Our core strength helps us to have good posture while we are sitting for these long periods of time, protecting our spine and shoulders from perpetual slouching. Having good posture is more effortless with a strong core.
Carrying and Moving Objects Safely
When we have a strong core we are able to move through our day, picking up groceries, children and other heavy objects more efficiently. Not only does our core help us pick up and move these objects more efficiently, but our core helps us to do so more safely than we would with a weak core. Having core strength protects the back from getting injured when lifting a heavy object or doing any strenuous activity.
Running and Other Athletic Activities
Many activities, including something as basic as running, require core strength. During these activities our body demands the stability and balance that our core strength provides. Imagine trying to surf, roller blade or even ride a bike with no core strength. Our bodies wouldn’t be able to take part in any of these activities without a strong core without toppling right over. Additionally, the core helps us have more coordination between our upper and lower body.
Even though dripping sweat while holding plank pose for the 5th time during a yoga practice may bring us internal frustration, knowing that we are making a difference in our everday movements can provide enough justification to push through it next time.