Life Lessons from Yoga #7

 If you keep your core strong, everything is easier.

Part of my August series on life philosophies learned from yoga.

After years of practicing yoga, I learned a really simple trick that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been aware of before.  Any time you are struggling with a pose, it suddenly becomes easier as soon as you tighten your core.  This is especially so in balancing poses like Warrior III and standing back bends.

Many classes will start with a few core exercises.  This usually garners a few grumbles and is part of the series where everyone feels justified to holler out in pain and give a groan of relief when it is finished.  Sometimes our instructors give a little comic relief saying that core works really lights up that area.  I guess it’s all a matter of how you look at it – is it pain or is it aliveness and progress?

The reason these abdominal exercises are so instrumental in yoga though is because ever pose requires you to engage your core or at least be aware of what it is doing.  It should never really collapse or be abandoned.  It connects the top half to the bottom half and also protects the back.  It’s the core of your body but it’s also the core of your practice.

It’s the same in life in that if we’re always aware of whom we are at our core, everything else is easier and stronger.  Like yoga as in life, it makes it much easier to find balance once we are aware of our center.

I talked about this on my post about values.  If you can identify your top five or ten values and periodically assess them, it makes some of the big decisions in life easier and makes it more straightforward to prioritize on a daily and weekly basis.

Are there areas of your life you feel like who you are is collapsing?  Do you ever feel like there are certain things you could improve on, or feel more confident in or increase your benefits from? You may want to try asking yourself how marrying your situation or decision with a tight inner core could be the final touch on bringing it all together for you.


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