Spacious Core Strength

Spacious Core Strength

Spacious core strength originates in the root of your body, the pelvic floor, with a technique known in Yoga as mulabandha. This is a lifting or "arching up" of the perineum, the precise center of your pelvic floor, into your pelvic bowl.
To help sense this, bring yourself to standing. Can you visualize how the arch of your foot lifts up, and gathers in the entire weight of your body, distributes it out and down through the ball and heel, and roots it easily into the ground? In a similar way, sense how the weight of your torso, arms, shoulders and skull is pulled down by gravity, travels through the spine and trunk muscles and gathers in your pelvic structure.

If you could lift up your pelvic floor like you do the arch of your foot, the “doming” would give an equal and opposite lift up through the entire core of your body. Then, if you could open your joints and align your torso, this lift would enable your body weight to flow more lightly and evenly down through your pelvic structure. If the pressure was more finely directed into the bones, muscles, and ligaments your upper and lower leg bones would move into a more efficient alignment above your feet, and your entire weight would move more easily through your arches into the ground. You would notice your ankle and knee joints opening and your arches actually lifting from the perineum lifting!

As a result, your ankle, knee, and hip joints could subtly realign, instantly reducing stress and anxiety. Using less energy, you would feel less fatigued and you would notice that you are actually smiling and experiencing more joy in your practice. Anytime I can have more joy in my practice, I am transformed.

You might notice that when the pelvic floor lifts, it would stimulate your core abdominal muscles to also lift and hold. This lift would enable your chest and upper back to more easily lengthen. As a result of this inner lift, the back of your neck could elongate, causing the crown to lift. The integrative effect would be felt as a subtle inner movement, an intuitive lengthening and alignment of your entire skeletal structure spontaneously occurring from the inside out.

As a result your body would feel stronger, you would move easier, and you could hold your positions longer with more gain and less pain.
If you then added a little extra lift to your sternum, relaxed your scapula back and down, and let a soft smile rest on your face, the effect of the core lift would extend through your throat and skull all the way through your fontanel and on…and on.

Because of the unique way in which it unites many different branches of the musculoskeletal system, mulabandha enables the core muscles of the neck, shoulders, back, chest abdomen, sides, hips, groin, and buttocks to be firmly rooted all the way down into the pelvic floor. Paradoxically we feel more grounded even as we feel lighter.

With practice, this rooting strengthens your core and enables your entire body to move into, hold and move out of a wide range of positions with greater freedom, easier alignment and more safety. When your body feels safe and open you naturally relax, you breathe easy and you feel uplifted physically, emotionally and energetically. As a result, you experience more happiness in your body.

The intention of this methodology is to empower our physical core to be steady and comfortable through establishing stable, mobile support via a strong yet flexible foundation.

When we shift our emphasis from imitating the formal look of a posture to realizing the core of the experience, we feel an ease of movement and a stability that even others recognize. We let go of unnecessary contractions and receive enhanced benefits. We learn to support ourselves from the ground up and the inside out. We move in our bodies and our lives with more grace, power and ease.

As we continue to develop our practice, the long-standing strength becomes more and more natural and we find there is more of a relaxed grace in our lives and in our movements. We can rest more fully in the bowl of the pelvis, poised and balanced with power and lift, enjoying the open space of our body.

Inviting the light into our innermost core, we can experience a more harmonious connection between inside and out, above and below, surface and core, light and strength.