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Stabilise the Core

Dec 15, 2018

Come to your Centre to balance and Strengthen …and it’ll help you get through life feeling lighter and easier.

Core Work – Bandhas

Have you lost your centre?

We flow through life and sometimes lose our sense of feeling centred/grounded/balanced! The centre of our body holds a lot of information: digestion, circulation, support and elimination to name a few.

Support of our spine, co-activation of muscles around our core helps stabilse and centre us.

Do we feel strong and supported when we stand and move around in everyday life or have we lost our centre!

In yoga we talk about Bhandhas

These are muscular locks and seals and support our alignments to stabilize our body.

Mula bandha: is a muscular lock or seal located in the pelvic region.

In males: contract the area between the anus and testes and in females we contract or lift the muscles of the pelvic floor behind the cervix. It’s a lift of the muscles – a lifting upwards into the body is the easiest way to try and feel this energy or as if you’re cutting off urination where we lift the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Uddiyana Bandha: is an upward lift of the abdominal wall, and has a pulling up feeling through the belly. To start this bandha it’s good to do first up in the mornings whilst the belly is empty. Try standing up and leaning your hands on your knees and exhale fully, then once you’ve fully exhaled contract the belly and left the chest without breathing in, It’s like a negative pressure lifts the whole abdominal cavity pulling upwards and expanding the ribs. Then you can do it standing upright and also then seated to feel the differences in position.

The Uddiyana image shows you the hollowing of the belly – so it’s a co-activation of muscles being lifted/suctioned in and up.

Jalandhara bandha: is activated and is the catching of the breath in the throat, to stop the breaths leaking from uddiyana bandha and so the breath is not coming up into the head and causing any internal pressures or lightheaded or dizziness. This protects the organs – ears, eyes and brain. It’s important to contract the chin down when activating Uddiyana Bandha.

In class we generally tuck the chin to elongate the muscles at the back of the neck and support the weight of the head. This helps us generally to balance our head position so we’re not jutting the chin or collapsing the back of the neck.

To activate the full Jalandhara chin lock (to stop the breath coming upwards) in a full bandha lock: Tuck the chin towards the notch of the throat; lift the sternum to also come up to the throat, then you may feel your shoulders drop away behind you and the chin tuck into the notch more easily, and you may also feel the lift and expansion of your rib cage too!

Please never push deep onto the neck with undue pressure and if there are neck injuries please check in with your physio/chiro/oesteo.

Poses that help build and integrate up back to our core:

All poses help as we’re switching on our muscles and holding our bodies at angles! But the core activation obviously are the best

Plank Pose — Kumbhakasana.
Please do from your elbows if wrists are sore

Kneeling single arm and leg poses

Single arm and leg variations so not to drop in your joints also – good core activation

Chatarunga Dandasana

Progressions shown -point your toes though

Make sure your legs and gluts are activated and you’re not overarching from your ribs, there should be NO pain in your lower back, and counter pose into child pose.

Holding your knees in and lifting your body off the mat – this pose can be activated starting on blocks and lifting one leg at a time in crossed legs, this version shows full padmasana

Core work that you also do: Crunches – in class we do the lift of the shoulder and head and hold – no bouncing no up and down but a hold to where you can, knees stacked above hips, feet stacked in line with knees and rolling the forehead to the knees – careful of your neck/back and ensuring you’re activating your core muscles not the hip flexors.

Summer Solstice: December 21, 2018

Meditation class will incorporate Friday Dec 21st Solstice

In the midst of the longest day of the year, we simultaneously begin our return to the dark half of the year… We can use this time to focus on what we wish to nurture and develop in ourselves during the coming months. The summer solstice is a doorway into the second half of the year, energizing the paths that lead within. Stand on the threshold and ask yourself what you wish to encourage in your life.

Jilly Shipway, Seasonal Yoga

SUMMER Solstice: = The Sun standing still – where we are bathed in the sun for longest hours on this day.

  • Set intentions for the next 6 months of what we want to bring to fruition and make goals for the remainder of the year.
  • Perhaps wake early and do a sun meditation, through gentle eyes watch the sun-rise and experience the wonder of our sun’s energy.
  • Gratitude: for the sun and the light it provides us for the planet’s life.
  • Take time to honour your own light and it’s expansion over your own shadows
  • What progress has been made on your dreams?
  • Am I honouring myself?
  • Be out in the sun and honour nature and enjoy the light and warmth
  • Light a candle and make a wish upon it
  • Journal and write your projects, intentions and commitments to yourself to bring forth.
  • Go for a swim in the ocean and embrace Summer
  • Plant and water the garden.
  • Set up an alter outside or somewhere where the sun will hit it
  • Wear or have colours of the sun around you – reds/oranges/yellows – fire colours of warmth/golds
  • Symbols – circular in shape like the disc of the sun, equal length objects
  • Elixir of chamomile, cinnamon and ginger
  • Eat fresh healthy foods that are grown in the sunlight – all fresh and healthy and in season


DO YOGA and MEDITATE on the calm and centering aspects of life in balance with harmony and nature.

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