So many people yoga is just about flexibility. It’s something you do to get bendy, or for the people who are already bendy. Well, let me tell you that yoga can also be great for strength training. Not convinced? Try this yoga for the obliques 15 minute class. You’ll soon discover that strength is also something we work on in a yoga class.
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Yoga for the Obliques warm-up
Each class, as always, begins with a warm up. Even for short classes it’s important to build up gradually. In this class we begin moving through cat and cow.
To further mobilize the spine, and hips there are also fire hydrants. Jane Fonda aficionado’s will remember these. From all fours raise one leg out to the side and back down to the floor.
Repeat a few times then hold the leg up and draw it towards the elbow then extend the leg back behind you. This movement will warm up the obliques and side waist. After a few repetitions hold the leg back, then lengthen the opposite arm forward.
Pause for a breath then replace the hand and knee back to the floor. Take childs pose for a few breaths before coming back to all fours and repeating everything on the other side.
Obliques focus – Side plank
After the warm up, this yoga for the obliques class really begins with some poses to challenge core strength. For this class that’s side plank. Begin by trying the modified variation of side plank. Lengthening the right leg back, and turning the foot towards the long edge of the mat. Then rotate the torso, reaching the right arm up. Hold for a few breaths. Then return to all fours, before resting in childs pose for a short while to rest the arms and shoulders.
If modified childs pose felt good then continue to the next variation of side plank in this yoga for the obliques class. A moving side plank. Same position as modified side plank but lift the extended leg away from the floor, and reach the arm over the top of the head. From here, you can hold or choose to ‘crunch’ the elbow and knee together. Reaching up over the torso towards the ceiling.
Do 3 repetitions then return to modified side plank. Again, resting in child’s pose for a few breaths before repeating on the other side. Notice if one side moves differently, or feels different.
Finally, there is the option to come into side plank. To test this find modified side plank with the right leg extended, as above. Then really push into the left hand connected to the floor, push into the right foot and lift the left leg extending it back behind the right leg.
This is the final variation of the pose in this yoga for the obliques class. Remain for a few breaths, then return to modified plank before coming to rest again on all fours and into child’s pose. Repeat on the other side.
Once in your final child’s pose come to all fours and sweep the legs in front and come into sukhasana. Before we rest, a stretch for the side waist muscles is needed. Place the right hand to the side on the floor and reach the left arm up and over. Squeeze through the side waist on the right to lengthen through the left.
Repeat the side stretch on the opposite side before coming to rest in a comfortable seated position. Take a few breaths to notice any differences in how your body feels now compared to before your practice.
Rest here for a minute, or longer, to settle the body, mind, heart, and breath. United as one.
- What’s the first word that springs to mind when you think of yoga?
- Do you think of strength as a component of yoga?
- Are there any exercises you do to workout your obliques?