Core Strength for Bakasana


By: Gaia Staff  |  April 8, 2013

Many people think that all you need to balance on your arms in yoga is strong arms. While there is no substitute for a solid foundation in your shoulders and upper body if you do all the work of arm balances and inversions with your upper body you miss the inner work of yoga. A careful development of core strength will help take your arm balances to the next level.

It took me a long time before I was convinced that a little activation of my pelvis would make a difference in arm balances. But the logic is pretty simple and overwhelming when it comes to building up a strong core. Your arms are relatively small in comparison with the total weight and mass of your body. If you ask your arms to do all the work while your body does nothing it’s an unfair and unrealistic burden to place on such a small part of your body. If you rely on only your arms you will need massive bulk through the upper body to hold your body off the ground. If you think instead that each part of the body is responsible for lifting and being strong itself then you will have not just the strength of your arms but the strength of every muscle in your whole body to lift up. If you engage your pelvic floor you will gain direct connection into your center of gravity. If you control your center of gravity you control how your body moves through space. When the whole body is engaged and united around a singular activity there is also a synergy between the whole network of muscles ad energy that creates more strength than any one muscle on its own. Distributing the work of the posture throughout the whole body is more balanced and does not overuse or stress any one muscle or joint. Building a strong core is an efficient movement pattern that prevents lower back injury and keeps the body in healthy alignment.

Try a simple movement like this to tune into the combination of core muscles and abdominal work that will improve your arm balances from within. Lying on your back engage your pelvic floor, bend your knees and stretch your arms out. Then lift your hips up and forward to place yourself into a modified crow posture while reclined. Visualize your pelvis and torso strengthening to hold your body in the posture. Next time you are in crow posture, Bakasana, consciously activate the same muscles and use the activation of your core strength to lift up even higher with less effort.


 

Kino MacGregor

Dedicated to transporting the torch of Ashtanga Yoga throughout the world, Kino Macgregor broadcasts the amazing practices and benefits to all.
In her motivational yet easy going approach, Macgregor aids her students in developing and deepening their understanding of their own life through yoga. As one of only 14 people in the United States to receive Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga from its founder, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India, Macgregor finds that yoga?s most authentic manifestation is through its message of spiritual empowerment, composed flexibility, and expressive harmony.
As the youngest woman to receive the Ashtanga yoga certification, Kino Macgregor has completed the challenging Third Series and is now learning the Fourth Series. Based at her yoga teaching center in Miami, she travels throughout the world sharing her message of Ashtanga Yoga.
Without any previous knowledge in movement training, Kino MacGregor tried her first yoga class at the early age of 19. Three years later, she joined Govinda Kai’s Mysore-style classes in New York City and became a devoted Ashtanga Yoga practitioner. After seven months of traditional Ashtanga practice, Macgregor traveled to Mysore, India to meet her true spiritual teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (“Guruji”). After seven years of consistent trips to Mysore, at the age of 29, she received the Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga and has since has worked tirelessly to spread the inspiration and benefits of practicing.
After devoting a major portion of her life in personal growth work, Kino Macgregor returned to her home of Miami Beach to create an area devoted to the incorporation of yoga, and holistic health. In 2006, she and her husband, Tim Feldmann, founded Miami Life Center, where together they now facilitate daily classes, and workshops in addition to upholding an international traveling and teaching schedule.
As a life coach and Ph.D. candidate in holistic health with a Master?s Degree from New York University, Kino Macgregor integrates her passion into awareness and empowerment within her yoga teachings. She has been featured in Yoga Journal, Yoga Mind Body Spirit, Yoga Joyful Living, Travel & Leisure Magazine, Ocean Drive Magazine, Boca Raton Magazine, Florida Travel & Life Magazine, Six Degrees Magazine as well as appearing on Miami Beach?s Plum TV and the CBS Today Show. Her individual products include four Ashtanga Yoga DVDs (Kino MacGregor ? A Journey, A Workshop; Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series; Ashtanga Yoga Intermediate Series; Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga), an Ashtanga Yoga practice card and a podcast on yoga. She is currently working on a fourth DVD. Trailers and excerpts from the DVDs can be viewed at her website (kinoyoga.com) or on YouTube.


 

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