Core Vinyasa Yoga 101

Core Vinyasa Yoga is the culmination of 25 years of being a fitness/yoga teacher and educator. This style of yoga includes and trancends traditional teaching methodology to provide the student with a way of moving and breathing that supports the interconnection and intercommunication of the 'whole' body & mind for stability, mobility, detoxification, energy, strength, balance, mental calmness , clarity and joy.

How is Core Vinyasa Yoga different to other Yoga styles?

In a nutshell:

*Core support is not just about the abdominal muscles. Abdominal muscles are part of a whole interconnected stability system.

*Nothing exists in isolation. Your muscles are interconnected through lines, or meridians of fascia (connective webbing tissues). These lines run through your whole body like a web and intercommunicate so your body can take the path of least effort in all movement.  

*Using abdominal muscles without the next muscle line can compromise the integrity of your spinal curves in yoga posture, causing stress and strain. Cues like 'navel to spine, tuck tail etc can exacerbate this.

*Fascia loves non linear, varied, rhythmic movement and it's juicyness and springyness is key to ageing gracefully (not drying out!) and injury repair. 

*Each major line does something different:  forward bend is front body line, back bend is back body line, side bend is side body line, and such.

*The front and back body lines, especially the back line, are the ones we predominate in gym training and traditional yoga alignment teachings (think Inhaling up from a forward bend into Mountain Pose or a deadlift at the gym), this can be problematic, since these lines are particularly compressive for the lumbar spine, sacroiliac (SI) joint, and pelvic joints.

*Most yoga and fitness regimes predominalty use back and front lines. This can wear and tear not only these areas, but your knees, wrists, neck, shoulders—all joints that have to compensate for the increased pressure due to superficial support and lack of true core support.

*This Deep Core  line includes the major areas of the toes, inner arches, inner ankles, behind the shins, inner thighs, psoas, quadratus lumborum, pelvic floor and pelvic diaphragm, breathing diaphragm, and tongue.

*Simply put, your Deep Core line is your deepest, innermost, head to toe support structure which will create both strength and ease of movement.  The deep core line holds you up most naturally and powerfully. Most people's deep core line lies dormant while superficial muscles overwork, creating imbalances and tension.

The Science behind Core Vinyasa Yoga

In the field of anatomy and research we now know, there is clearly NO correlation between strengthening the abdominal muscles, and less back pain. That whole core stability altar we’ve all been worshipping at for years (myself included!) turns out has been a wild misinterpretation and misapplication of the data. 

Unfortunately, the idea that the spine is ‘unstable’ has fostered the concept of needing ‘core stability’ – and this has more often than not come to mean ‘not letting it move’.  It’s a myth that having strong abs will stabilise our spines and make our back problems go away, and in fact, since overly using the superficial abs can compress down the spine and sacroiliac (SI) joints, it’s found to actually cause more back pain & less mobility.  This can create dysfunctional breathing patterns, stress urinary incontinence and the inability to ‘extend up’ against gravity resulting in spinal and vital organ compression.

For over two decades, I have been teaching movement classes to groups and individuals, I have been immersed in many yoga styles.  I have delved into anatomy, physics and biomechanics study with leading experts in the field.  I now, can see more clearly why many students ( myself included!) are getting strained and pained, or just not benefiting in ways they could be from all the hours on the mat. Outdated and potentially harmful miscues such as  ‘pulling in’,  ‘holding’,  'bracing' and 'tucking' are still common in many yoga classes and are counterproductive to a body, mind and breath that is 'at ease' and united.

Core Vinyasa Yoga is transitional practice. Transitions tend to be overlooked or not taught at all in many teacher trainings and classes.  Transitions are everything! How you transition in & out of postures either activates the deep core line or it doesn't, this profoundly influences your experience in the postures.  My focal point is on the transition and breath into each posture, in a very specific order to activate the deep core line - giving you deep strength, power and fluidity, from the inside out.  The path of effortless action.

Core Vinyasa Yoga will turbo charge your time on the mat,  awakening a reservoir of inner strength & power so you can enjoy yoga through the years and live empowered , creative and healthy life for years to come.

References:

Tom Myers , Anatomy Trains

The Myth of Core Stability