Killer abs

When I started practicing yoga, I was rock climbing 4 days a week and going to the gym a lot. When I ditched everything else for yoga, one of the things I was willing to give up was nice abs. Well, not exactly willing, but I figured it was just part of the deal. If you don’t do leg lifts or crunches every day, or routinely hang on to handholds in order to haul your legs up a rock face, well, sculpted abs are a thing of the past.

I was past that, though, once the Ashtanga bug really took hold. The physical concerns were taking a back seat (where they probably always should have been, but oh well…) Anyhow, the past couple of years of practice have not taxed my abs. My hips have been realigned, my shoulders are still in process, my head is God only knows where (and no idea where it’s due to come out) but my abs, well, they’ve been left alone. Yes, there’s navasana, but that was never an issue.

So why are my abs killing me this week? I’m guessing it’s from deeper backbending, and from coming up from dropbacks. My upper abs, in particular, are really quite tender. From stretching? I guess that must be it. Now that I think of it, dropbacks involve a contracting of the lower abs, while the upper ones stretch like crazy. That’s kind of a new combo. Maybe that’s what’s doing it.

Or maybe some bandhas are being installed. That would be a nice surprise.

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4 Responses

  1. I found that Intermediate works my abs like nothing else, especially once you get to Bakasana B and have to use them to avoid faceplanting! Coming back up from Laghu V and Kapotasana also engages them nicely.

  2. I feel it’s kind of the opposite for me…well, except for bakasana b…Laghu and kapo involve more leg/quad action. It might be because I have some a hyper flexible spine. I hear backbends in general are good for the abs because they are after all front openers and you really need your abs to help facilitate the action from going to standing from a backbend and dropping back…

  3. when i first started doing second series, my thighs were so sore i could barely walk. the foot behind the head poses in both 1st and 2nd make my abs hurt. and both bakasanas. i really feel my abs when i really work on the jump backs, the proper floaty ones, not just pushing off with my feet.

  4. I noticed recently that the day after I was helped standing up and dropping back into backbends, my abs were sore in the upper region, like you described.

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