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Home > News > Why do we need to retract the abdomen in yoga practice? How should I close my abdomen?

Why do we need to retract the abdomen in yoga practice? How should I close my abdomen?

2021-04-07

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Why do we need to retract the abdomen in yoga practice? How should I close my abdomen?

In yoga practice: "Close the abdomen" is a command we often hear. Then why do you want to tuck your abdomen? How should I close my abdomen? Let`s talk about this topic today.



Why do we need to collect the core and belly?

In our yoga practice, except for Yin Yoga, almost all asanas need to close the abdomen. There are three main purposes for this:

1. Tightening the abdomen is also to protect the lumbar spine.

We know that the spine has no external bones in the lumbar spine to protect her. It is completely supported by muscle strength, and compared to the left and right neighbors of the lumbar spine, the lumbar spine is more flexible and it is easy to be forced to compensate.


For example, when we are doing forward bends, the hip joints are not flexible, and the lumbar spine will be forced to compensate; when we do backward bends, the thoracic spine is not flexible enough, and the lumbar spine will be pushed out to compensate; and for example, when we lift our hands upwards When the head moves, the shoulder joint is not flexible enough, and the lumbar spine compensates; when we do exercises that require leg muscles, such as the phantom chair pose, the legs are not strong enough, and the lumbar spine compensates. If you tighten the abdomen during exercises, it will reduce the damage to the lumbar spine and protect the lumbar spine.

2. Create space to make the posture deeper and more in place

For example, when we are doing twists and forward bends, if we want to make the action deeper, we need to tighten the abdomen to create space for the body. Just kidding, many people say that their stomachs are too big to bend down. It can also be understood that there is not enough space.


3. It is the source of physical strength.

The abdomen is a part of the core. In fact, when we talk about the abdomen, we refer to the core more than just the belly. In yoga, the core is strong, the posture can be light and strong, and the posture can be stable and lasting only when it is maintained. Otherwise, no matter how beautiful the posture is, it is just an embroidered leg with an empty shell.


For example, in the maintenance of standing forward bending, we often hear such a sentence: "inhale to extend the spine, exhale to strengthen forward bending", how to strengthen forward bending? Tighten the abdomen, on the one hand, create space for the body, on the other hand, it is to activate muscle strength, so as to have the conditions to bend forward further.

How to tighten the abdomen, we have said before, what we said about tightening the abdomen actually refers to the core, not just sucking in the stomach.

Here is a brief talk about the core concept: the core can be seen as the middle part of the torso, a sealed box, and a gas station for the human body. The diaphragm is the top of the box, the pelvic floor muscles are the bottom of the box, and the waist, abdomen, and waist are the four sides of the box. , Just move closer to the spine from the center of the box. There is no need to think so complicated, and there is no need to entangle the muscles.



Now we know that it's not that we sucked the front of the belly in as we imagined, but that the upper and lower sides of the box are closed in the middle. How do you collect it?

Please follow my description to try it out and find out how to correct your abdomen. (Be sure to try it out, it feels straight cut after reading it ten times and not doing it once)

1. Specific steps

Stand in mountain style with your feet apart or close together.

Place your left palm on your lower abdomen, just below your belly button, and press your fingers on the pubic bone,

Put your right hand on your back waist

Inhale and move upward toward the anus to tighten the perineum



If you are not sure what is tightening or yin upward to the anus, imagine your tailbone is a pen and draw a tick toward the front of your body. Remember to draw a hook, draw up and inward, not just push forward. At the beginning, the amplitude can be made larger and exaggerated, and feel the changes in the core part. Slowly slow down the movement until you close it, but others can't see it.

2. Specific feelings and physical changes. Let me describe in detail the correct feelings of this step. You can compare and even imagine these feelings.

You can feel the pubic bone under your left finger lift up and have a tendency to roll inward slightly;

The muscles on both sides of the waist automatically tighten and converge with the middle to the lower abdomen, which is the position of your palm;

The palm of the hand, which is the lower abdomen, will actively tighten and lean inward toward the spine. And tighten up and inwards along the orbit of the pubic bone

The upper abdomen, chest fossa, and the lowermost edge of the ribs lead to the middle and tighten back;

The back waist of the right hand will feel that the waist becomes longer and straighter.



These points are the most important feelings, and these physical changes happen almost simultaneously.

3. Breathing.

Don't breathe deeply, don't use abdominal breathing, just breathe into the chest cavity. I should have shared before that abdominal breathing is actually not suitable for asanas. I also mentioned this problem when I talked about boat pose yesterday. Abdominal breathing will weaken the tension in the abdomen, which is not conducive to the strengthening of the abdominal muscles.

Don't hold your breath, don't strain your shoulders and necks.

Relax slightly as you inhale, and continue to tighten as you breathe.

After you find the feeling of abdomen in the mountain pose and master it, you can bring this feeling to all asanas, even in normal times. This is also a way to exercise the core and thin abdomen.

Have you learned to "retract the abdomen"?

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