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Core and Abs Focused Yoga Sequence for Intermediate Levels

(Tummee Reference Yoga Sequence)

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Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans

Overview

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L15

Core and Abs Focused Yoga Sequence for Intermediate Levels: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breath Information

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  • Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
    Sun Salutation
    A. After few stretches, bring the body at ease at Samasthiti. Keeping the feet together with shoulders placed back and tight and tummy pulled in, bring the body to relax with few rounds of deep breathing.

    B. Begin the 11 steps of this wonderful Surya Namaskar keeping in mind the core and the pulling in of the tummy.

    C. Begin with inhalation and as the body moves downwards go into exhalation and at each pose remain there for about 3 breaths.

    D. Let the breathing be normal and slow, but if the breathing happens fast and is out of control, relax the body once totally at the pose and then with deep inhalation, begin the rhythmic breathing.

    E. The focus should also be on the stretch along with the pulling in of the tummy and the tightening of the abdominal muscles.

    F. The entire one round of Sun Salutations would be done with 33 breaths and continue this for about 12 rounds which means 6 pairs of the 11 poses.

    G. Relax at the end of the 12th round and bring the body to ease with awareness of the breath.
  • Airplane Pose II (Dekasana II)
    A. After the completion of the Surya Namaskar, prepare the body to go into Dekasana II.

    B. Dekasana is done keeping the core tight and expanding the spine and back deep forward and downward.

    C. Bring the feet a little more than hip distant apart, and place the left foot out at 90 degrees and the place the right foot turned in about 30 degrees.

    D. Inhale and stretch the body upwards and then as you exhale turn the upper body at the hip towards your left and face the left foot.

    E. With another inhalation bend the left knee and bring the body forward as close to the left thigh with your chest and place the arms stretched out at shoulder distance to the side of you. Exhale here completely and bring the body to balance placing the face parallel to the floor.

    F. Ensure the tummy muscles are pulled in deep and the entire front body is parallel to the mat or the floor thus giving the spine the right expansion.

    G. Holding this pose for more than 6 breaths with awareness of the abdominal muscles should slowly work on tightening the muscles at the core thus making it toned and strong.
  • Airplane Pose II (Dekasana II)
    A. Release the pose and bring the body back up and straight and relax.

    B. Then with an inhalation expand the upper body upwards and turn towards the right, placing the right foot at 90 degrees and the left foot turned in at 30 degrees.

    C. Take another breath and as you exhale bend the right knee and bring the upper body forwards expanding the spine and go parallel to the floor bringing the chest close to the thighs. Exhale completely and place the face parallel to the floor in alignment with the right foot too.

    D. In this pose make sure the tummy muscles are pulled in the spine goes deep froward and the leg behind you does not move too much.

    E. Remain in this pose for about 6 breaths minimum.

    F. The lower abdomen and the upper abdomen should feel the stretch while at this pose.

    G. Relax after releasing the pose and one can repeat this pose again, this time making it longer and deeper.
  • Bowing Yoga Mudra (Balasana Bowing Yoga Mudra)
    A. From the Airplane Pose II, sit down on the mat with knees bend and place the lower back on the heels behind you.

    B. Stretch the body and take a few breaths here. Then taking the arms behind you, interlock the fingers and stretch the arms out behind you. Inhale as you do this and exhale when stretched completely.

    C. Taking another breath raise the interlocked arms behind you and bring the upper body bending at the hips forwards and reach for the floor with the forehead.

    D. Pulling in the tummy and tightening the entire abdominal muscles but not holding the breath, take the stretch forwards and make sure the spine is stretched too.

    E. With complete exhalation go into the pose and feel the stretch at the abdominal area. Hold the pose with deep breathing for 6 slow exhalations.

    F. Come up releasing the pose with inhalation and relax the body with complete exhalation.
  • Boat Pose (Navasana)
    A. This pose called the Paripurna Navasana , has a direct effect on the core and the ab thus making it a mandatory pose to practice for good looking strong core and abs.

    B. Seated on the floor in Dandasana, stretch the legs out and take a few breaths here.

    C. With a deep inhalation pull in the tummy and raise the legs from the floor to about 60 degrees balancing the body on the tail bone and inclining the upper body backwards to 60 degrees from the seated position.

    D. Stay in the pose after complete exhalation and begin deep yet slow breathing without letting go of the abdominal muscles.

    E. One will feel the stretch at the thighs too and at the calves, but let the focus be more at the core. The deeper the pulling in of the tummy the longer can one remain in the pose and try and stay for about 8 breaths. If holding this pose is difficult beyond four breaths, then one can repeat the pose again after releasing and relaxing.
  • Both Big Toe Pose (Ubhaya Padangusthasana)
    A. After the practice of the holding of the pose in Navasana, inhale deeper and take the pose to the next level, Ubhaya Padangusthasana.

    B. Here from Paripurna Navasana, inhale deep and take the legs higher by holding the toes with your hands and pull the navel closer and deeper inside feeling the spine going straight .

    C. This pose with all its focus at the core, is most certainly a great way to work at the strength needed to hold the pose for longer breaths without shivering.

    D. Hold it for more than 6 breaths and as you exhale go deeper by bringing the legs closer to your chest.

    E. Release and repeat this pose for two more rounds and go deeper and higher to give more expansion to the spine and legs.
  • Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
    A. If one has a strong back and neck, then this pose works wonders on the abdominal strength and the core.

    B. Seated on the knees with the knees placed hip distance apart and the feet also placed hip distant apart making sure the feet are in line with the knee, bring the body up and stay straight for a few breaths.

    C. As you inhale, bend the shoulders a bit and with the hands reach for the heels throwing the shoulders back and expanding the chest. Exhale completely just feel the stretch here.

    D. With another inhalation bring the thighs stretched out forwards pushing the navel out and the lower back in, throw the neck behind and expand the chest and the entire abdominal area pulling in the tummy muscles. Exhale once in pose and begin a slow deep breathing.

    E.The deeper the abdominal muscles are pulled in the stronger will be the spine. Hold this pose for about 6 breaths and with every inhalation take the neck back and chest out feeling the stretch at the upper core.

    F. Release from the pose with inhalation and relax being seated on the knees and heels and once again come back to the pose. It takes a lot of practice to take the awareness to the abdominal area as this stretch is will felt more at the back .
  • Cat Pose Variation Knee (Marjaryasana Variation Knee)
    A. Moving from Ustrasana, release the body and sit on the knees. Stay for a few breaths ensuring the spine is straight and neck relaxed.

    B. Place the hands on the floor in front of you at a comfortable distance bringing the body forward and balancing on your knees. The arms should be in line with the shoulders and the palms should be just below the shoulders.

    C. Inhale and bring the right knee up raising the leg from the floor and hold the knee close to the forehead by bringing the head down. Exhale completely.

    D. Pulling in the tummy after a deep inhalation hold the pose by bringing the knee closer to the forehead feeling the stretch at the abdomen and the thighs. The entire body is balancing on the palms and the left knee.

    E. Ensure the hip is straight and the pose creates a tightness around the lower back with the pulling in of the tummy.

    F. A lot of stress can happen at the neck and shoulders, but with practice one can learn to loosen these muscles at the pose and yet take the pose deeper with breathing. Remain here for about 6 breaths. The deeper the pull of the tummy the stronger are the core muscles going to get.
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Note: Above yoga sequence is for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical professional and/or a licensed yoga teacher or yoga therapist before starting any exercise regime, including yoga.

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