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:
Warm-up
Warm-up
Lying down abdominal exercises
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Dynamic:
Step-back lunges x 6
Integrate standing poses with lunges
Trikonasana
Parsvottanasana
Prasarita Padottanasana
Legs on wall Abdominals
Lying down, feet on wall crunches
Preparation for Sirsasana/Sirsasana
Dolphin Pose
Setu Bhandasana Sarvangasana
Sarvangasana
Cool-down
Ardha Jatara Parivartanasana
Chair Bharadavajasana
Chair, standing marichyasana
Paschimottanasana
Marichyasana 3
(Viparita Karani – time permitting)
Ujjayi Pranayama
Savasana