An Easy Way to Increase Energy and Improve Decision-Making Capabilities (and Build Stronger Abs as a Bonus)
Most of us have hate-love relationship with abdominals. On one hand abdominal exercises (or abs as we call them) are the essential part of every workout, but on the other most people are still the weakest in their abs.
I’m following Forrest Yoga tradition and including abs in every yoga sequence I teach. Here’s why.
abdominal exercises warm us up from the core preparing for further poses
they help establish the connection to the lower abdomen which most of us are lacking
strong lower abs in their turn let us avoid such problems as unhealthy gut, back injuries, knee injuries, hip injuries, even breathing problems (because if there’s no strength to support the lower back, the upper back will collapse, too, collapsing the lunges)
In addition to all of the physical benefits I mentioned, having a strong core equals increased energy levels, confidence… (you’re gonna love this!) and the enhanced ability to make mindful decisions that serve you best.
Let me explain.
Yogis call the area of the navel “Hara”, which literally means “sea of energy”. They connect the strong area of solar plexus and navel to the ability to move forward in life with confidence and power. It reflects the ability to make conscious choices and act from your power.
Now to my favorite subject of “gut feeling” (or intuition). You may think gut feeling is some kind of fairy dust, but gut feelings are backed by science.
Our gut, AKA the gastrointestinal system is lined by mucous membranes and wired by a complex of neurons more numerous than the spinal cord. These neurons are called the enteric nervous system, and some scientists think the gut has a mind of it’s own. Just like the brain, this neural network sends and receives chemicals called neurotransmitters, and reacts to emotions and experiences. The brain and the gut influence each other, but the gut can also respond independently to situations. Gut feelings may indicate a previous lesson learned, hidden from our conscious mind, but available in the memory bank of our gut then transmitted to the intuitive brain.
It means a strong, healthy gut (and that’s exactly what abdominal exercises are good for) is your support in decision making.
“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” – Albert Einstein
Uddiyana is an easy breathing technique that will ignite your abdomen area in just 3 rounds!
Stand up; feet are shoulder width apart; bend your knees. Press hands into the thighs and straighten your arms. This is a back traction position, feel how your lower back lengthens as you reach sit bones down.
Inhale through the nose.
Exhale quickly and sharply through the mouth. HOLD THE BREATH out.
Pull the belly in towards the spine, concaving the abdomen area and diaphragm. Flair the ribs sideways.
Hold it until you need to inhale.
Relax the belly first, then take an inhale.
If you want to increase your energy, rely more on your intuition and have a healthy digestion do Uddiyana the first thing in the morning. Start with just 3 rounds a day before breakfast, better than a cup of coffee!
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