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It seems like every magazine cover you see has a headline about how to get perfect, rock-hard abs that will make you desirable and oh so sexy. We’re constantly bombarded with images of perfectly sculpted tummies and “quick” solutions for getting a set of washboard abs for ourselves. While a sculpted midsection is certainly worth pursuing if you want to look better in or out of your clothes, I want to emphasize that striving for a strong core instead of a “bikini-ready” body is an important part of keeping your mind and body balanced. Of course, a strong core doesn’t happen overnight.

Core movements typically revolve around sustaining your position for a long time to build up your muscles instead of using multiple movements to contract your muscles. The benefits of focusing on building a strong, healthy core will extend to virtually every aspect of your life. You might say that building your “outer” core can truly help you build up your “inner” spiritual core. This week, I am sharing the important benefits that come with dedicating a little bit of your time on the yoga mat to moves that will build your core.

Did you know that building up your abs through yoga can help you in the following areas?:

Cut Down on Injuries Having a strong core dramatically changes the way you move your body during everything from your daily workout to your weekly trip to the grocery store. Movements that start at your center and move outward will help you cut down on the work your extremities have to do and reduce the risk of many common injuries.

Better Performance If you’re looking for a way to increase your endurance on the yoga mat, start with your core. Many of the fancy yoga moves that people do with their limbs actually start at their cores. Your core links your upper and lower body and provides your limbs with the power they need to sustain complicated moves and support your body weight.

Better Posture Good posture can do everything from help you appear confident at work to make you seem more attractive on a first date. While many people think of the spine when they think of perfect posture, standing tall actually begins in your abdominal muscles. Strong ab muscles equal good posture (even when you’re not trying!)

Get Rid of Common Aches and Pains Many people suffer from back pain because they put too much stress on the back of their bodies because they do not have a strong core. Relying too much on our backs for support can lead to disc compression and other painful complications. Building a strong core allows us to balance our weight evenly throughout our body. The result is a life without the common aches and pains that so many people deal with on a daily basis.

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