The entire practice of yoga asana revolves around a core strength. A steady and strong core is the foundation in which all other postures are built upon. It is essential that we have adequate core strength in order to keep proper alignment during our practice. Our core is also the seat of our agni, our inner fire that governs our vitality. Postures that work our core help to strengthen our agni which in turn strengthens our digestion and vitality. Follow along with this sequence to strengthen your core and boost your inner fire.
Start by warming up and stretching out the abdominal area with some rounds of cat and cow. Start in a table top position, wrists stacked underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips. On an inhale, press into the mat and drop the belly as you lift the gaze, exhale, arch the spine and bring your chin into your chest, gaze toward the navel. Continue to move through these postures, linking breath to movement for about 15 rounds.
From your table top, step your legs back, pressing the mat away coming into high plank, then come down to your forearms, hands facing forward and palms spread wide. Tuck your tailbone slightly under and press the mat away, puffing up between your shoulder blades. Keep your core engaged as you hold and breathe in forearm plank for 10 breaths.
From your forearm plank, come back up into a high plank, making your way onto your palms and then press back into a downward facing dog, lifting your hips toward the sky. On an inhale lift the right leg long behind you and then exhale bring your knee to your nose as you press the mat away and round your spine. Inhale extend the leg long behind you, exhale knee to nose for cheetah. Repeat five times on the right and then transition to do the same on the left side.
Come into a high plank, then slowly roll onto your right hand and the blade edge of your right foot as you reach your left arm toward the sky. Press the mat away and lift your left hip a little higher. Flex both feet toward your face and hold and breathe for 10 breaths before transitioning through high plank onto the left to repeat on the other side.
Come to lie down on your stomach and bring your heels into your glutes. Reach back for your ankles or the tops of your feet with your hands. Take a deep breath in, and on an exhale kick your legs into the hands to lift the chest off of the mat, balancing on the hips. Lift higher with each inhale and after 10 breaths, slowly release down to the mat on an exhale.