Core Embodiment is about integrity. Integrity involves creating alignment between your intentions or vision and your actions.
How many times do you hear?
“Those were not my intentions”
“They meant well”
“I could not help it”
“I am my fathers daughter”
“That’s just the way it is”
These statements are excuses we make when we loose our integrity, when we loose the alignment between our higher purpose and our actions. So often we start out with lofty goals only to find ourselves frustrated, burnt out and lost in the process.
Core embodiment is about committing to the process. Put another way it is the alignment of your creative or liberating upwards-moving energy with your manifesting downwards-flowing energy.
What is the core? The core tends to be a trendy fitness word that is often misunderstood and misrepresented with images of a hard bulging six packs. The core however also represents something more powerful, much like a set of Russian dolls, as we peel back the layers of the physical body, emotions, memories, thoughts and all of our perceptions that create our limited self belief and identity, we tap into something truly magical at the center, and within the center lies infinite potential and possibilities. Core work prepares you for self-reliance both literally and metaphysically. Literally these muscles support that axis of the body, allowing the rest of the body to function safely and effectively whether you are standing on your feet or standing on your hands. Metaphysically “core work” stokes the internal fire, burning toxins, increasing vitality and strengthening will power. It is within this “power center” that the downward manifesting energy is directed upwards in order to become creative energy, opening the channels of love, compassion, freedom, and joy. It is also within the Power Center that we build the strength and courage to be ourselves.
“With great power comes great responsibility” Spiderman
We must be willing to leave passivity behind; to leave behind the way it has always been, to transform our habits, to individuate, and to be the change we wish to see in the world. Located at our core beneath the layers our tainted reality is our best self, the work of this practice is to courageously chisel away at each layer in order to uncover the statue whiten the stone. The fire from our “Power Center” transforms us, igniting our life with purpose
Physically the core can be defined as the muscles of the abdomen (Transverse abdominals, Rectus abdominals, Internal and External Obliques), pelvis (pelvic floor), hip flexors (Illiacus and Psoas) and the extensor muscles of the spine. These muscles are the muscles that say “I got your back” as they are responsible for stabilizing and supporting the axis of your body. The axis of the body houses the most important things you own (not your car, or your new shoes) including: your internal organs, Vena Cava, the spine and the thoracic cavity (lungs and heart).
If the core muscles are weak the back and often the hips will bear the burden of maintaining this support. Instability in the core leads to compensation in many areas in the body including: the low back, hip flexors and even the diaphragm. Because it is the job of the core to create stability if it is not doing its job then the surrounding musculature goes crazy. YES your “tight hips” or “tight low back” could be a result of instability in the pelvis due to weakness in the core and therefore stretching these areas will do no good as they are the victims and until you find the criminal you will not find any relief, in fact you may even create more instability.
Often a strong core is misidentified with a ripped, rock hard six pack. If we were to take a look at the anatomy of the core we would see that if the rectus abdominals (the six pack) are too tight and ridged, then the overall position of the spine, pelvis and even the ribcage is pulled out of its optimal alignment. If these muscles are too ridged respiration, digestion and immune function may also be compromised. Suppleness in the core is just as important as firmness. The following are a collection of exercises that create strength, stability and suppleness in all layers of the core. It is important during these exercises to maintain strength and stability in the core, without over attacking or forcing. Strong from the inside but soft from the outside.
The following exercises can be done to create strength, stability and suppleness in the core (video and pictures to follow)
4. Side Plank-in side plank try elevating a leg or lifting and lowering the hips
8. Dancing Dog
10. Rolling/Bouncing Boat
12. Half Boat
13. Rocking Half Boat
14. One legged Half Boat
17. Pelvic Peels
18. Rope Climbs
20. Supine Twist
21. Cobra on a roll
22. Udyiana Bandha
23 Nauli or abdominal rolling (can be done with a soft ball)