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How to Do a Telasana Core Strengthening Yoga Exercise

Learn core strengthening exercises from certified yoga instructor Chelsey Korus in this Howcast video.


Okay, so we're going to come into a core strengthening exercise. It's got to be one of my favorites. It's called Telasana or Balancing on Blocks. What it's going to do, it's going to work a very deep core muscle that's required to do inversions, arm balancing, even balancing, like in your daily life. So it's a really good one to practice.

And disclaimer before we start. Any form of the pose is the pose, so if your feet are still on the floor, which I'll show you in a second, it's not cheating, it's not bad, it's just the first part of the pose and I'll show you that. So, disclaimer, any part of holding this pose, if you're breathing and you're relaxing your face and you feel it in your core, you're doing it right. Okay?

So you need two blocks. If you don't have blocks, shoe boxes, I'm not sure. Just get some blocks. That'll be better, I think. Okay, so you want the block up on the medium height and you're going to either grab for the block in the center with one or two fingers or on the lowest height in the front. So you can choose. This one's going to be more challenging. Most challenging is without the blocks altogether, but I'll show you all three.

Okay, so I'll start with the medium setting. The legs are going to be into your chest like you're going to do a cannonball, right? So your knees are squeezing in, your shins are squeezing in, and you'll see that my ankle is pointed but my toes are on the floor. Okay? Now you're going to take your arms and then just work your arms to be straight. So I'm going to take my arms and stack my bones right on top of the other. So you'll see that my toes are still on the floor and I'm still in the pose. That's the first stage.

So you can stay here or you can start to squeeze your knees in towards your chest and reach your feet off of the floor. Holding here. You're going to want to do something like this, right? Let your face go. Let yourself relax and squeeze your knees in towards your chest. Drop the toes down and drop your seat down, and that's one repetition. You want to hold it for about 10 seconds, so 10 to 15 seconds. That's how you're going to hold this breath, I like to do five sets of that. So that's that.

Another block variation is here. If I take my fingertips in the front, lift my seat off, straighten the legs, squeeze the knees in. You can also parallel the feet and maybe even straighten the legs, [and I do my] toes, and then drop yourself down. Finally, fingertips onto the ground. So take your knees in. Remember to keep alternating your feet. One will feel good, one will feel weird, but it's good for you to have both. And then fingertips nice and flat.

Think about lifting your belly in and up, and then scooting your hips slightly back, and you'll see. So as I come up, I reach myself up off of the floor, maybe even straightening out the legs, opening the toes, holding here, and then dropping yourself down. And that is Telasana.

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