In my last article, I discussed the foundational Yoga Tune Up spinal bracing technique known as tubular core. Now that you know how this concept influences your body, it’s time to serenade the spine and awaken the Tubular Core orchestra or, the or-CORE-estra. Before we begin, shift your perspective to that of “every pose is an assessment”. Turn on your inner ear and listen to what your tissues are telling you…who’s participating, who’s not?

Baylea's Tubular CoreHow to activate tubular core for beginners:

  1. Inhale into the abdomen and inflate all abdominal contents as if it were an inner tube.
  2. Retain the inhale and hold the breath.
  3. While maintaining the held breath simultaneously draw the puffed belly inner tube towards the spine from all conceivable angles. It’s as though you are bracing for impact to the gut without exhaling.
  4. Quickly palpate your Tubular Core. The entire core including the sides of the waist, lower back and intercostals should all be firm.
  5. Exhale
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 until the core’s orchestra is all in the same key during step 4.
  7. Then put your core’s orchestra to the test, attempting to recreate the sensation of Tubular Core without holding the breath.

If you’re looking to challenge and add precision to the activation of your Tubular Core, initiate using an abdominal thoracic breath (as demonstrated in the video below) in step 1, then proceed through step 7. In this variation, step 3 may feel as though you are attempting to cough without actually coughing.


Now that you have a harmonious or-CORE-estra, you are ready to take your abdominal work, inversions and heavy lifting to the next level. You will also detect traces of Tubular Core activation during daily respiration, elimination and (should you have to) expulsion of abdominal contents. It may even appear during everyday tasks from dressing to dishes. With proper awareness you will be amazed at how often your Tubular Core can be utilized throughout the day to help improve core-dination, posture and strength.


Interested in learning more? Check out the Coregeous DVD!


Enjoyed this article? Read Change Your Breath, Change Your Health: Lee’s Must-Do YTU Moves for the Diaphragm and Core
Baylea Micheli

Baylea is a student and teacher of mindful movement. Her teaching style nurturing yet playful. Her classes are inspired by her own self inquiry and fascination with the human body and it's resilient host, the individual. Teaching as a 200-hr RYT since 2009 and becoming a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant in 2014 has propelled her down a path of empowering individuals to restore the relationship with their bodies. With a trained eye in movement patterns and applicable therapeutic interventions, Baylea's intention is to awaken individuals to the reality of functional and sustainable movement as a foundation to overall health and well-being. It is Baylea's belief that your yoga practice, sport or fitness regimen should enhance your quality of life long after you've stepped off the mat or left the gym; therefore, setting a standard for quality movement and biomechanics is of upmost importance. Along with being a Yoga Tune Up Level 1 Practitioner, Baylea holds current certifications in Original Strength, and Clubbell Yoga by RMAX International.

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Denise Brown

Thank you for including this video on the “Abdominal/Thoracic Breathing” or “Tubular Core”. I work with younger students and work to incorporate this awareness of breath in my teaching however I am still searching for other imagery that might help my students to visualize while working with this breath technique. Thank you for the reminder that “ever pose is an assessment”. These words are a wonderful reminder to check in!

Jenn Austin

While I find the activation of tubular core somewhat intuitive, I have a hard time finding the right words to describe the action to others. I like the visual of a cylinder of strength supporting and stabilizing the spine. The more I practice it and teach it, the better I hope to become at finding my own unique language to teach and apply tubular core in my every day life. I really appreciate the videos to back up the article, thank you!

Aubrey Jackson

The more I read about Tubular core and the different cues the more I can visualize this tube inside my own body. I really appreciate the step by step instructions to teach this to beginners too and your fun play on words, harmonious or-CORE-estra. Thank you.