Core power vinyasa sequence

Sometimes, before I begin teaching a class, I'll ask for requests from the class. Almost always, if anyone is willing to speak up, they request core strengthening. Good on them: I think it's one of the most important and beneficial parts of a yoga practice. Stronger cores can mean less back pain and better posture. Also, just as long as you didn't just eat breakfast, they can aid in digestion.

Here is a quick core strengthening sequence:

  1. Eagle pose on your back. Exhale to take elbows to knees, inhale to tap fingers on floor above head and feet on floor below hips. Repeat 6-12x. Modify by keeping arms and legs wound, but extending them parallel to the floor (without touching) to warm it up a bit. 
  2. Body into "X" shape on the floor. Exhale to get into tiny little ball. Inhale to "X." Flow back and forth. 
  3. In "X" imagine you're in a King Size bed and stretch opposite arm and leg, same side arm and leg, full body, and take up space. Sighing helps, too.
  4. Repeat step 1, other side. 
  5. Take legs to ceiling, back still on floor. Exhale to lower legs parallel to the floor. Inhale hold. Exhale draw knees into chest from legs being parallel to floor. Inhale legs to ceiling. Continue, making big circles with legs 6-12x. Repeat, drawing circles the other direction. 
What are some of your favorite core warm-ups?

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