Dr. Malori Tinsley (Dr. T) held a workshop on how to strength your deep core and increase pelvic flexibility. Dr. T and her good friend Anna Tsui, a business and life coach, taught yoga poses for a strong core, how to trust your self, breathe and stay calm. Dr. T and Anna offer four ways to strengthen your deep core and stay peaceful throughout the day. By strengthening the core, and therefore bolstering your inner strength, you can visualize who you want to be and better connect to your core self.
Inhale, deeply. Exhale, slowly. Now sit down and do that for 40 seconds. Just breathe. What may seem like a simple task is more helpful than you may think.
Anna said that most of us are in a reactive state for most of the day, but she said “Taking just 40 seconds to breathe can help get you out of a reactive state.”
Without pausing, without checking in with ourselves, we respond to a myriad of factors. This constant action and reaction takes a great toll on spirit, self and body.
A situation is put in front of us and, “we react by holding our breath,” said Dr. T. “This puts a toll on our nervous system, putting us into the dreaded fight or flight state, leaving us more susceptible to disease. Our breath is so important and being conscious of it is a great start to changing your health for the better.”
Dr. T uses the power of breath in her practice and in her daily life to remain calm, healthy and productive. “Breath can put you in a better state of mind and health,” she said, “This is what our classes teach you to do, to come back to something so simple.”
How to: Another great exercise is Rhythmic Breathing. Dr. T recommends the exercise to reset the nervous system. Start by sitting up straight in a comfortable position. You can sit on the floor or in a chair. Then breathe in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 8 for two minutes. “This helps re-balance our reactive stressed out states,” said Dr. T.
2. Be a warrior, or a clam
Whether you are new to yoga or a master yogi, learning how to activate your core and bring awareness to your center is an important step.
“Increasing your awareness takes a lot of patience. Don't dive in. Take it one step at a time and start slow,” said Dr. T.
The warrior positions, clam shells (see photo), oblique engaging movements, bridge position, and the cat cow stretch are all great ways to become stronger and more in tune with your core.
Your deep core muscles are the ones that keep your spine supported, your side muscles that help you twist and dance, and of course your abdomen that keeps you balanced and mobile. When properly engaged, all of the deep core muscles work together to tone your body and keep you standing tall.
How to: For the clamshells, lie down on the floor and roll onto your right side. Then bring your legs up as if you were sitting on a chair so that your legs form a 90 degree angle with your body. Then open your legs while keeping them bent. Your legs should like a clamshell opening up. This is good for strengthening your pelvic floor and strengthening your inner thighs.
3. Think of a color
Anna lead the class in a visualizing exercise while sitting on the floor. By visualizing a color, focusing on a positive feeling, and choosing a location that embodies that feeling you can stay calm and mindful, so you can feel centered inside and out.
To start, think of a positive message to send to your body and mind. Think to yourself “I want to feel ___________.” And put in the word that feels good in the moment. Perhaps calm? Confident? Loved? Patient? Or maybe you are encouraging yourself to love your body more? By starting with this statement you can flow into a mantra and a more peaceful day.
How to: Sit quietly and think of what you want to improve in yourself. Then choose a color that exemplifies this good feeling. Once you have your color in mind picture a place in which you see yourself feeling this way, perhaps in a forest, at the beach, or in your home.
Then create your mantra. This is as simple as making a positive statement about how you want to feel. If you want to feel more centered your mantra would be “I am centered.” If it is to feel more self-love your mantra could be “I love myself.” Think of your color, place and mantra. And don’t forget to breathe!
4. Take a moment
The Well Balanced Body studio is the perfect place to take a moment for you, with soft music, candle light, and the scent of zesty orange essential oil it is a center of calm. Remember to take moment for yourself and make it special, light a candle, turn off the TV, put your phone in airplane mode for five minutes, and close your eyes. Whatever you want to focus your energy on, whether it is taking time for yourself, calming down after a busy day, or gearing up for a long day ahead, taking a moment to center yourself will make all the difference.
By breathing deeply, engaging your body, and visualizing a peaceful image, that reactive self can become a more mindful self.
Leave us a comment of the color you visualized or your favorite way to center yourself!
Did you miss this workshop or just want to continue to strengthen yourself? Join us at Well Balanced Body on December 2nd from 10 to 12pm for a Fundamentals of Self Care Workshop lead by our yoga teacher Michelle. We can’t wait to strengthen with you!