Yoga for Core Strength: 8 Poses You Can Do Anywhere

I love using yoga for core strength training because it encourages you to draw your low abs up and in, to align your spine and stabilize your body.

Yoga is so beneficial for a number of things. Most common people think of it when they want a deep stretch, lengthening muscles, and calming their mind. However, any yogi can tell you that yoga is also all about core strength!

Most forms of yoga use something called “Uddiyana Bandha” or an upward abdominal lock to keep the spine strong and posture tall.

While Yoga Journal describes how to practice the upward abdominal lock as an individual exercise, it’s also good to practice this move so your body can memorize the muscle action and use it throughout your entire yoga practice.

In general, practicing how to pull in your lower abs and back will help not only your yoga practice but help you work toward flat abs and a strong core every day.

I’ve put together my 8 favorite yoga poses that emphasize core strength into a simple workout for you to try. Follow the instructions below to start your journey towards a stronger more stabilized core!

Yoga for Core Strength Workout Instructions

  1. Perform each pose, holding each one for 30 seconds.
  2. Go through the entire sequence twice.
  3. For moves that are one-side, do one side the first time through, and the other side the second time through.

Once you try these yoga for core strength poses, check out the yoga poses I recommend doing every day.

1. Boat Pose

A boat pose is a challenging position that forces you to pull in your lower abdominals to keep your legs lifted. Don’t worry if your legs aren’t perfectly straight—most people have tight hamstrings, which will inhibit this.

Boat pose in yoga.

Just extend your legs as long as you can and do your best to let your hip flexors relax to keep the focus on the abs.

2. Star Plank 

Star plank is a great way to strengthen your obliques and lower abs while practicing balance and focus.

Star plank is a plank variation that strengthens the core.

To get started you can try practicing with your legs together in a full Side Plank, then work your way toward lifting the leg into a full star.

3. Chaturanga

While chaturanga (low plank) may seem very upper-body focused, it is actually your core strength that supports your body and allows you to lower down slowly without letting your back sag.

Chaturanga pose in yoga

Be sure to keep your spine aligned, abdominals tucked in tight, and elbows close to your side.

4. Bird Dog 

Bird Dog challenges you not only to hold your long leg and arm away from your body but also adds the challenge of holding your body very still. This challenge can be met by drawing the abdominals up and in and keeping them tight as you breathe smoothly.

Try a bird dog exercise to work your abs.

Every time you feel a little wobbly or like you are tipping one way or another, draw your abs in a bit tighter.

5. Warrior 3

Warrior 3 is a standing balance pose. This pose gets you to focus on lengthening your body and, obviously, practicing balance.

Try Warrior 3 to work the abs.

However, in order to hold that balance steady while keeping your body aligned and straight, you must use a great amount of core strength. Draw your belly upward into your spine and breathe with a strong exhale.

6. Side Plank Scoop

Side Plank Scoop takes a basic Side Plank pose to the next level! Not only are you working to hold yourself up in your side plank using your obliques, but you are now adding the strength of those low abs (called the transverse abdominus) to scoop your arm under your body and add the rotation without falling over.

Plank variation

To modify, you can either place your bottom knee on the ground or you can do it on your forearm if your wrist bothers you.

7. Crow Pose 

This is going to be your challenge pose! Crow pose is an arm balance move, but that doesn’t mean your arms are riding solo. In fact, there is virtually no way you will be able to accomplish this pose without using a significant amount of core strength.

Use crow pose to tone your abs.

After bringing your knees toward the back of your arms, be sure to draw your transverse abdominus in before you lift your feet off the ground to get your balance.

To modify, gently place your head down on the floor as well and practice Tripod Pose instead.

8. Windshield Wiper 

This will be a great pose to end on. You’ll get a great finishing stretch while also working your obliques by moving your legs slowly from side to side.

Yoga pose to end your practice on.

You and your abs are going to feel strong, powerful, and amazing after this yoga practice!

More Core Strengthening Exercises

  • 5 Pilates Moves To Sculpt Your Core
  • The Best Core Exercises for Seniors
  • How To Get Rid Of Lower Belly Fat + A 15- Minute Workout