Healthy Hollywood: Get Movin' Monday – Have Firm, Fab Yoga Abs!

We’ve all heard the term “the yoga butt!” It’s the perfect perk backside of yoga-practicing gals that is a status symbol in the yoga world (and beyond).

Now, the coveted yoga butt is taking a back seat to the yoga core – firm, toned abs that are the envy of all on and off the mat. I am starting to seethe just thinking about those flat-bellied ladies in my class.

Well, help is on the way. Yoga guru Rodney Yee has created Gaiam’s Core Centered Yoga DVD. He and his wife, Colleen Saidman, both of whom are rock stars in the yoga world, invited Healthy Hollywood to sample a few of their core-centric moves. Let’s just say I was off and running to my mat before the word “ready.”

“When we are looking at core-centered yoga, it’s not only a different take on yoga, but it really is a different take on how we look at the core,” reveals Rodney to Healthy Hollywood. “A lot of people in this society just want that six-pack, but in fact the core houses the vital organs. It is also the aspect of the lower back where a lot of us have problems. So not only does the core have to be strong, but it has to be fluid and coordinated with the legs and arms and these are things that haven’t been considered,” Yee adds.

First of all, Yee’s approach to a better core isn’t a series of fast-paced yoga poses. Most of the abs movement he showed the class were slow and deliberate and really got you tuned into feeling your abdominals. “To build strength you need movement. So, it’s not just holding a pose. It’s more about micro-movements during a pose. We want to be in sync with the core to build strength through fluid alignment and mindfulness.”

A few of Yee’s favorite core-building yoga moves are the boat pose, side bends and backbends. But, his wife, Colleen believes a simple mountain pose (stand with big toes touching, weight evenly balance on both feet and hang arms by your side) is a great core conditioner. “If you stand in mountain pose and take thumbs to armpit and lift front of the arm pits and chest. Be sure to engage tailbone, the abs and you get the back bone and the length of the waist and just stand there with that kind of integrity could be your one shot deal.”

For more on the Core Centered Yoga DVD, check out www.gaiam.com.

-- Terri MacLeod

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