This Saturday at 9am I am starting a new class at Like a Prayer Yoga focused on our cores. To be honest, I don’t exactly know what this will involve yet, but I have an intention (and excitement) behind it. For me, I have always thought of my core as being one of my weakest parts. Often it feels like I actually have no core, and there’s little to no strength or power to hold myself up. I can understand and connect with strength in my arms and legs; I can think, critically analyse, and mull stuff over pretty well in my head. My heart can feel sad and scared; it can also feel open and excited and joyful; either way I’m much more aware and connected to this. When I think of my core though, often it feels blurry or unpleasant or sort of not really there.
I can see how when we do things with intention, from our core; movements, actions, words, however we externalise; become pretty powerful. I can see how if we are clear about how we feel and go within and listen to our core emotions and intuition, then we become almost protected because we know what we need, want, believe. It’s hard to rattle or shake that clarity. I know when I don’t feel connected to myself, I flail. I start questioning every move I make and start listening to the fear-filled voices in my head. I can do things, take actions, move my feet and my arms, have ideas; but they don’t really go anywhere or lack direction, intention and can even take me places I don’t want to go.
When I think of connecting to our cores; I think of clarity, strength and power. I also think of nurturing. Because our second chakra; our sacral (sacred) chakra, amongst other things, is believed to be connected to how we feel about ourselves. So as well as this strength, power and force; there is also this gentleness, kindness, nurturing needed as we learn to genuinely look after ourselves.
I think it’s common to feel like we hold on around our core – either in our bellies, or by gripping our lower back. It seems likefear accumulates here; fear of not being enough; not being safe, fear of not being able to support ourselves. So part of it is trusting ourselves and the universe to let go a bit; to soften this part of our body; soften with ourselves. Rather than being angry at the weakness we perceive in our lower backs or bellies; we can learn to listen to why we are scared, why we feel weak, why our digestion or cycles might be off. And this can be confronting. And may be why it’s so hard to connect with this area in the first place. But going into the discomfort, the weird, uneasy, sometimes disgust-type feeling and seeing what’s there, without judgement or criticism and trying to let go of the fear around what it might be and what we might be holding there. This seems like a way to start really connecting and strengthening ourselves.
There’s a lot of attention on getting 6 packs or 8 packs or however many “packs” you like; and I think it’s easy to discount this as being superficial. But I don’t think the desire to look good is shallow. When you feel good, you invariably show it and look good too. We all want to feel that flow as the systems in our bodies work and effectively “do their thing”. The desire to look good gets a bit skewed if it’s coming from a place of inadequacy or insecurity or you put all your value on your ab definition and not on deeper layers like how your body feels; how you feel. But it’s also ok, because on some level we’re all a bit superficial and just want to look babe-ing.
So there will probably be some planks and a few crunches but I’m also planning some deep breathing and deep releasing for the class on Saturday and space to connect with this precious, powerful part of ourselves. Come along, if you can.