Get the Inside Scoop What does core strength mean exactly? Yoga poses pictures When people think about abdominals and abdominal strength, they usually only think about the largest, Yoga poses pictures strongest, and most superficial of the abdominal layers: the rectuslayer. So, when they exercise, they usually only bend forward. This is a problem for two reasons. First, the back becomes weaker and weaker as more and more exercises are done in a forward direction. Second, all that movement in one direction shortens the muscles and builds a hard bulge in the belly. My exercises feature a three-dimensional core focus because the spine can move forward and back, side to side, in a twist, and even up and down. When we move in a way that focuses on the core’s three-dimensional ability, then we build true strength, create length and leanness, and aren’t in danger of hurting our backs. I have had countless patients instructed to do crunches by physicians, and their back pain persisted until I developed a new way for them to discover how to effectively use all of their core muscles.
Further, there were early hatha-yoga discussions within some Saivite ascetic cults. Here – for instance in the Armta-siddhi from 11-12 century – we find some of the earliest discussions of new hatha-yoga techniques like mudras and bandhas, according to Mallinson. Some of the Saivite groups condensed later into the monastic order of the Dasanami Sampradaya. In this Saivite milieu the discourse of the subtle body as a liquid system dominated. There was little discussion of Kundalini and chakras.
In the end, according to Mallinson, it would become the Kundalini discourse which came to dominate the history of hatha-yoga after the publication of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, not the liquid system discourse of the Saivites and Buddhists. The Kundalini discourse was especially developed in circles that later would become the Naths yogis. They claimed that Matsyendra (and Goraksanath) were their founding fathers and as we have seen, it was in this discourse that fluid and energy systems were merged.
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