It seems like every yogi has cute capri leggings, a tight stomach, and a super strong core. Their stomachs are different than just your typical six-pack in the sense that there isn’t nearly as much “bulk” to their strength. Their stomachs are lean, bendy and yet somehow they’re very stable. You might think that it comes from doing incredible handstands and backbends but one of the best exercises for your core can be done in savasana. If you want to know how to use savasana to tighten your core keep reading below!
What is Savasana?
Before we go any further, Savasana is actually a resting pose that is performed at the end of each yoga class. Savasana means “corpse pose” in Sanskrit and that is exactly what it is. You are laying on your back with your arms and legs straight down and relaxed; palms are facing up. As much as this is obviously not a core exercise in it’s raw form there is one way that you can sneak a simple little movement into it that can give you the stomach that you’ve been looking for.
Your Transverse Abdomen
When you hear abdomen what is the first thing that comes to mind? Probably the muscles that run along your stomach area stack on top of on another that makes up a six-pack. You aren’t wrong but there are also other parts to your abdominals. There is actually a paper-thin layer of muscle that wraps all the way around your core and is responsible to holding everything tight and together. It is not bulky in any way and it does not require crunches to strengthen. This muscle is called your transverse abdomen.
This is the part of your core that you can strengthen in savasana.
Let’s Get Started
Start in savasana. I explained this in the second paragraph but this is essentially just lying on your back with your arms and legs resting down on the floor. From this position you are just going to practice pulling your belly button down towards your spine. Make sure you are not sucking in and sticking your chest out as you do this. This pulling of your belly button should not cause any tension in your chest of anywhere else in your body.
Once you have your belly button pulled towards your spine hold there for 3 breaths and then release. If this is comfortable for you, you may wish to hold it longer. Continue this sort of contraction and release cycle for at least 5-10 times. The key here is to engage this muscle, not to strain it too much. Once you learn how to engage this muscle you can even do this while sitting on the couch, waiting in line, or sitting at work.
The entire point of savasana is to rest so make sure that you do allow yourself some time to do just that; rest. This little exercise should only be done for the first little part of your savasana before you do relax and cool down from your yoga session.