Functional Core Sequence

What a nice group joined me yesterday at Carrboro Yoga for a core-strength workshop! Our theme was finding mountain pose, the neutral and stable alignment of the pelvis and the spine, and holding that even as our arms and legs were moving and our orientation to gravity shifted. As I promised the students, I’m posting the sequence here.

Warmup: Finding mountain pose, using the glutes

  • Mountain pose
  • Dynamic tips into and out of Warrior III
  • Prancing pony (lifted leg, knee bent) to arrow lunge (diagonal spine) to balancing high lunge to side stretch in lunge to Warrior III. This is, in part, demonstrated in my column for Runner’s World this month and its accompanying video. It will also soon be posted at YogaVibes in its entirety. The sequence is a fantastic pre-run dynamic warmup.

Balance/core: Table Core Flow in The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga, also in the Quick Fix podcast

  • Bird dog
  • Cross bow (hand to opposite-side foot)
  • Side plank on knee
  • Half moon on knee
  • Side bow (bound half moon on knee, hand to same-side foot)
Core: Triple plank series, alternating three trips to plank with three complementary stretches
  • Arrowhead plank (on forearms)/half bow
  • Arrowhead plank, marching feet/half bow, other side
  • Arrowhead plank to dolphin pose, flowing with the breath; full bow
  • Side plank on elbow/mermaid stretch
  • Side plank on elbow, lifting top leg and lowering it with the breath/bharadvajasana
  • Lifting both legs while lying on side/hip flexor stretch from Z legs (students, do you have a name?)
  • Repeat side planks on other side
  • Reverse table/easy cross-legged fold
  • Reverse plank/easy cross-legged fold, other leg in front
  • Reverse table or plank, marching legs/seated forward fold
  • Boat pose/bridge
  • Boat pose with twist/wheel
  • Boat pose to half boat (“lower something”), flowing with the breath/bridge or wheel with leg lifts
  • Cross-legged reclining twist
  • Happy baby/shoulderstand
  • Corpse
We get tastes of these moves in my ongoing drop-in classes, Mondays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. Join me when you are in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC, or come along for a workshop!