The reason I love yoga is because it brought me to a very centered place. Whenever I have a crazy week, I think, “did I go to yoga this week?” Usually, the answer is an obvious “no”. I try to get to my Vinyasa flow classes at least 3-4 times per week to keep me fit, balanced- and, quite honestly, sane.
I went through yet another break-up a few weeks ago… I am/was bummed about it. As we dated and time passed, I had a gut feeling that we weren’t the right fit. I am proud to say I recognized this after month three- and actually did something about it. I think I can thank Yoga for that. That empowerment of letting go- I feel I can directly attribute to the strength I have in my core.
Core is in the 3rd Chakra- Manipura- the Transformation, personal power Chakra. When your core is strong, your personal power, will power, and self-esteem are all strong. Prior to starting to practice yoga last summer, my “core” was pretty darn flimsy. And something began to happen. I got stronger each time I went to class.
During my most recent relationship, like many of my previous relationships, my gut was telling me to let him go. The difference this time around, was that I actually listened -and had the strength to do something about it. In the past, I would continue dating someone for years, ignoring this crucial “gut feel”. Now I had the power and strength to make something happen.
So how do we build our core through yoga? There is traditional ab work in which one could administer- crunches, sit-ups, you know them all. But really getting into that core? The answer is in arm balances.
The pose I’d like to share today is Crow (Crane pose), or Bakasana in Sanskrit (yes, I think Sanskrit is important even though he is RIP’ing with his buddy, Latin). Let me warn you- this pose will either come to you in a second, or as my friend Biebs says, “never”. I wouldn’t say never, though.
Here are the steps to achieving Bakasana:
1. Come to a low squat, feet together.
2. Place hands about six inches in front of you, shoulder width apart or even a little wider.
3. Bring knees as high into the upper arms/arm pits as possible.
4. Place knees just to the outside of the upper arms.
5. Shift to tippy toes, keeping head lifted and keep gaze forward, in front of your mat. Lift spine, like in cat pose.
6. Lift one foot at a time.
7. Bring big toes together.
8. Squeeze knees toward midline.
9. To strengthen arms, lower the hips, flex the feet, bring heels together and melt the heart.
If you are looking to empower yourself, consider an arm balance like Crow. Or you can decide to use it as a party-trick and look like a bad-ass.