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What is the core?

The jasmine is blooming, the music is swirling, and spring is doing its thing in New Orleans! There are weddings with second lines every weekend, streetcars full of onlookers, and flowers blossoming on every corner. It’s a delightful time of year and there are many exciting weekends approaching. Between French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, and Bayou Boogaloo, our weekends are about to be full of the good times.

For the entire month of April I’ll be teaching about the core container. We often think of the core as an unachievable 6 pack abs, but there is much more to the core than meets the eye. The deepest layer of our core functions as a pressure system. As we inhale, our diaphragm and pelvic floor contract together descending as a unit. As we exhale, they relax and rise together.

The transverse abdominus muscle acts as a back brace supporting the spine and hugging the organs. The multifidus acts as an anti-rotator preventing the spine from twisting while we walk, lift, and move through life. The core container helps us move our extremities with ease and stand tall through life’s complicated movement patterns. It allows us to be adaptable and find balance.

The phrenic nerve, which exits C3, C4, and C5 vertebrae, innervates our diaphragm. Breathing slowly and intentionally can be a wonderful way to increase the excursion of the diaphragm and connect to the core center especially if you have decreased motor abilities or sensation in this region of the body.

Another amazing nerve that innervates our organs is called the vagus nerve. It originates in the brain and makes connections to the diaphragm. It provides visceral sensation to the heart and abdominal organs. When activated, the vagus nerve helps us enter the parasympathetic nervous system which makes us feel calm, at ease, and in synchronicity. The core also houses the manipura chakra energy center which represents self-confidence, wisdom, and the ability to make sound decisions.

Join me Saturday mornings in April at Swan River Yoga from 11am-12pm to flow in community and learn more about your adaptable and strong core. We have a few fun offerings this month with Accessible Yoga Practices. Bhakti yoga is the yoga of sound and devotion and it is a very inclusive style of yoga. Caroline is apart of a band called RadBhav and they have shows listed below. Caroline's yoga teacher, Kelly Haas, is teaching a donation based Adaptive Yoga and Meditation course at Split Second Fitness which is listed below, as well. Join Kelly Haas and Caroline for a FREE training on Yoga Therapy this Friday, April 7th at 9am. The replay will be available.

Rooting for you,

Caroline Hughes

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