The great thing about doing abdominal exercises is, if they are done properly and pitched to the right level, they make you feel fabulous. It’s what has made Pilates such a salubrious system – cultivating the core.

Yoga has remarkably few strictly abdominal exercises – paripoona navasana and ardha navasana being exceptions. But if we are doing yoga well, then we are working with the bandhas, and this is akin to abdominal strength. The bandhas have us working with the core, and awakening the inner body.

If you are not familiar with the yogic term bandha, Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s excellent book, Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha, is a fount of information. And, incidentally includes an excellent section on abdominal strengthening exercises.

Sequence for Abdominals and Twists

Sequence for inversions:



Lying down abdominal exercises

Adho Mukha Svanasana


Step-back lunges x 6

Integrate standing poses with lunges



Prasarita Padottanasana

Legs on wall Abdominals

Lying down, feet on wall crunches

Preparation for Sirsasana/Sirsasana

Dolphin Pose

Setu Bhandasana Sarvangasana



Ardha Jatara Parivartanasana

Chair Bharadavajasana

Chair, standing marichyasana


Marichyasana 3

(Viparita Karani – time permitting)

Ujjayi Pranayama