Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the homes to Gold’s gym. Gold’s has popped up everywhere over the years, and the topic of the day, after a yoga work-out, was abs. Redefining great abs can be done in a yoga practice as the abdominal muscles become healthy in a holistic way. Yoga allows for relaxing the belly and filling it up with breath. Classes with yoga instructors will use phrases such as “suck in your gut” or “draw the pit of the abdomen up” or, perhaps, “hollow the belly.” Lifting the waist was shouted out by another teacher. The viewpoint is to lift from the center but without creating hardness. The belly is the energetic importance and the body’s center of power. The abdomen initiates movement and is a repository for strong emotions or “gut feelings” ranging from fear to anger. Therefore, directions for engaging the abs are sometimes contradictory and more metaphysical than practical. However, what all of the above means is that most people hold a low amount of tension in their abdominals all the time and, therefore, they are unable to build abdominal strength because one can never strengthen a tense muscle. The answer is to continually relax them. . . then exercise and pull your abs toward your spine as much as you want.
Healthy abs, and creation of the rock-hard, washboard abs, that Americans are fascinated with, come from a healthy muscle which is actually springy and elastic. Therefore, elongate your spine, which pulls the soft belly in naturally, and breathe deeply. Before thinking about those washboard abs try creating abdominal strength to support vital organs and stabilize the skeleton. Allow your strength to be balanced with flexibility. Don’t create further hardness and tension; instead, let the abs be soft and release. A sedentary American lifestyle can create flabby abs so make sure you get in the habit of using abdominal awareness in your yoga practice. At Gold’s gym twists, inversions, and sun salutations were done by the class to keep health throughout the entire body, inclusive of the abs.
The instructors at Gold’s gym in Philadelphia pointed out that yoga is a discipline that seeks to unify, pinpointing one body part at a time. They were also in agreement that a healthy abdominal region is essential to a strong, healthy practice. Use your yoga practice to develop healthy abs that are strong and flat, allowing free flowing blood, oxygen, and nervous energy to flow with ease throughout the body. Overdevelopment of the ab area, or any muscle area, can be harmful because excessive muscle bulk can obstruct energy flow and decrease the body’s vital forces. Gut feelings and emotions are associated with the abs so connect with your center and take a stand to be truthful to yourself. Release psychological baggage connected with the abdomen, and focus on developing the six-pack muscles with smooth and long movements. Twisting poses in yoga train the abs.
Yoga involves moving the body in various positions, directions, and angles. Therefore, it is an excellent way to build up your abs. Yoga develops flexibility in the abdominal and back muscles. Pilates classes were also offered at Gold’s in Philadelphia and they are classes with powerful, intense, and abdominal-focused positions. Learn and experiment on the mat and create a connection from your brain to your abs. Each time you take a complete, long, breath you are toning the muscles of the abdomen. Build up that core strength and awareness in the abdominals and this will translate to feeling centered and strong in daily life. Find out what is best for you through trial and error. If pulling in the belly improves your posture and makes you feel energized and confident, that is telling you something. In yoga, and pilates, you can make decisions based on an inner knowledge of what the practice is doing for you. Philadelphia practitioners at Gold’s gym felt amazing after class.