Raise your hand if you love working your abs! Okay, so maybe you didn’t raise your hand. Today is all about the core, and I’m hoping to show you how important it is to love your belly by the end of this post.
First off, the core is the most important part of the body – that’s why it’s called the core. Unfortunately, it’s also the number one most disliked part of a woman’s body.
On the exterior, we think of the abs, but few of us think about the interior core. It’s on the inside where most the “real work” gets done.
Think about it. In the core of the body you have all the organs that digest food and convert it to energy so you can take action and do stuff. When you think about it this way, the ab muscles themselves are super important because they protect the very organs that give you energy. Without them, we’d all be slugs.
Granted, on some days you might feel like a slug anyway. It’s on these days when you need a little extra shot of core energy and ab work is the perfect cure. Counterintuitive I know, but effective nonetheless.
The Benefits of a Soft, Warm, Gooey Core
For those of you who have been following along with the Chakra series these past couple months, you’ll remember that energetically the core of the body is all about action, willpower and self-confidence. It’s a really powerful and positive energy happening here that we must tend, maintain and grow with care.
In many Eastern traditions and most other cultures other than the US, that whole flat-stomached, chiseled ab ideal most of us aspire to is less than appealing and certainly not desirable. In fact, many traditional yoga practices recommend keeping a soft belly so that the energy can freely flow throughout. When we tighten up, suck it in and walk around with chiseled rigidity, we naturally and unconsciously restrict our energy flow. Often, this makes us angry, unhappy and depressed, despite the fact we have flat abs. Take your pick.
I’ll never forget a woman I heard speak in college. She was a feminist and talked a lot about body image for women. In her book, she talked about the scientific research that has been done proving women can’t orgasm without a little bit of fat on their bellies. Something about needing that extra cushion to make it feel good – I don’t know, but clearly the general concept stuck with me. It’s like I needed to hold on to that one thing to keep me from doing more situps. Whatever it takes, I suppose.
10 Minutes to a Stronger Core
Point is, core work is really important, but we don’t have to overdo it. We don’t have to have a visible goal in mind when we work the core. All we have to have is breath, compassion and gratitude for what our core does for us every day. In this way, we approach the core in a whole new way and our ab work doesn’t seem so grueling. Okay, maybe it still does, but I promise you’ll learn to love the burn.
Plus, practicing core is a great way to redirect all your pent up energy and steam after a long day. Today’s video is less than 10 minutes – I know you can do it 🙂
Do you know someone who loves working on core? Send them this video so they can switch up their routine a little. They’ll appreciate you were thinking of them.