In yogic terms, the body’s core is defined as the workings of the entire torso. This includes the major and minor, inner and outer muscle groups, the stabilizer muscles, the connective tissues, organs, and energetic bodies of the entire midsection. According to a yogic definition, the core is not just a body part, rather it is an entire system that is to be incorporated, at least in some way, during almost any and all yogic practices.
As I teach, I often hear myself repeating such phrases as, “engage and activate the core”, “lift from the core”, “draw from the core”, “deepen the core” and so on…
And as I listen to myself describe these body movements, I cannot help but to draw a parallel to what it is like to live from our core in a subtle and figurative sense of the same verbiage. For, as I have said many times, in yoga, we can emphasize one part of our being, but we cannot completely isolate it. Therefore, when we engage, activate and draw from our core in asana, we do the same from within, but this time, from the core of our very being that has nothing to do with our physical bodies.
If you think about that for a moment, I think that you will find it to be true. For when we live from the core of our truest selves, draw strength and direction from our core values, and live in accordance with the deepest aspects of who we are within, and we are aligned with our core, we are at our very best. And we know this to be true, because we feel our inner strength, we are in tune with our source, and we are able to draw from within and live according to this reservoir within.
So while we may be able to emphasize our core physically in asana, we really are doing much deeper work than we may realize at the moment… and THIS, this is yoga. And this is a beautiful thing.