Yoga Tune Up®’s Revolved Abdominal Pose is all encompassing. I could recommend this pose to almost anyone for so many reasons. I practice this pose almost daily. A few words come to mind to describe it:
Unwind, strength, up regulating, down regulating, big, small, maybe I’ll grow an inch, detox, fun, indigestion fix, yogic, morning, noon, night. That’s a lot to say about a Yoga Tune Up® exercise! You can link this with your breath and make this pose as big and juicy as you want or you can slow it down, execute perfect alignment, and melt into it.
Revolved Abdominal pose is logically named, as it grooms the abdominals, hips, spine, and thorax – and it tunes up your core from the inside as well. Your core has a conversation with the skin, connective tissue, muscles, spine, and organs. When thinking about the thorax (the trunk of the body), most of us consider the “belly and back” surfaces and neglect the sides. As Andrew Biel writes in Trail Guide to the Body: “The sides of the thorax connect the “belly and back” together and that the thorax is actually one three-dimensional unit.”
Let’s talk about the exercise!
This pose begins in symmetry and with dynamic movement and breath becomes asymmetrical. That’s just fun and cool. Beginning with the starting position the yogi is lying on her back, arms flexed into a T, knees into her chest. Where the pose gets interesting is when we twist the body from side to side: The twist begins at the thoracic spine keeping the scapula and upper thoracic and cervical spine resting on the floor. The internal and external obliques are toned and strengthened as well as the lower back and hips, because it is paramount that the femur and knee bones stay perpendicular and to hold that alignment we use our quadratus lumborum to stabilize.
Unwind in this pose by revolving the knees to the floor – I sometimes use a block to ensure the joints stay stacked, I position my shoulders and arms in the best rotation possible finding space for my heart to face up. Once I’ve found my perfect expression I practice the Yogic Complete Breath for at least five breaths. Then I remove the brick and return to native breath. Noticing my body melt, drain, and I lay there until I feel prompted to return to my upside down childs pose and hug my legs close to my core. I repeat a Sankalpa and return the favour to the other side.
We can playfully up regulate this movement by linking breath with the movement creating a mini vinyasa. The knees can flex or you can open them wide as there are many modifications the yogi can make along the way.
If I slow this down or speed it up I always feel core connected as my organs get a good hug and squeeze. Perhaps you could think of this pose is a positive way to hug into yourself.
So many actions in life would be easier if we have a healthy core from every angle! Maneuvering in and out of a car or city transit we have to twist and use all of our limbs quite asymmetrically. Having a healthy lower back and hips is beneficial in any type of labor, light or heavy. Bending over with ease and confidence means the world, and for some people the revolved abdominal variations will help this.