Core Yoga Poses

Improve balance and stability with core yoga poses! Each pose below comes with full instructions, a follow-along video, and much more!

What are CoreYoga Poses?

A core yoga pose is any asana where the core is one of the main points of focus. While many postures, in fact, require core engagement, this category only includes the poses where the core is the primary target.

Benefits of Core Yoga Poses

  • Core Strength. A combination of different yoga poses to stretch and strengthen the various groups of core muscles, including rectus abdominis (the 6-pack), transverse abdominis (the deep core muscles that wrap around the spine), the obliques (side core muscles), and even your back muscles!
  • Balance. When it comes to balance, the core is your best friend! The stronger your core muscles are, the more stable and controlled you will feel with regard to your balance.
  • Endurance. Core yoga poses are some of the most testing asanas in yoga! Sometimes it feels as if time stands still while you’re counting seconds in plank. However, the upside of the challenging nature of core poses is that it improves your endurance.
  • Breathing awareness. When the core muscles are engaged, breathing is naturally restricted by the lack of movement in the abdominal area. This teaches practitioners to be aware of their respiratory processes and get the most out of the available range.
  • Advancement for other poses. The core plays an important role in other categories of yoga poses, including balancing yoga poses, twisting yoga poses, and inversions. The more core yoga poses you practice, the better you will fair with yoga overall.

Examples of Core Yoga Poses

Plank Variations

Arm Balances

Other Core Asanas

Ramp it up!

If you want to set a challenge for yourself, you can enhance your core training with the following variations.

  • Make it dynamic. Who said you have to hold still as the sweat drips down your forehead? You could alternate between different variations of Boat Pose or switch between Plank and Downward Facing Dog to invoke some movement.
  • Switch it up. Almost every individual yoga pose has a more advanced variation. Plank Pose? Try elevating your feet on a chair. Side Plank? Lift the top leg into a starfish position. Crow Pose? Try to straighten your arms!
  • Add weights. Some modern yoga classes use weights to increase the intensity of the practice. One way to ramp up your core training is to stack some weights on your back in a plank variation or wear some ankle weights in an arm balance.