Coming from Your Powerful Core: Calibrating a Centered State of Being for Yoga, Dance, & Life
Do you want to feel more powerful in your movements in everything you do?
Centering and integrating generates power for movement and taking effective action from the core of your being, your core values and beliefs, and your deepest and most efficient muscle groups providing a strong and effective powerhouse.
Here we create cohesiveness, movement, and transformation, providing fuel for growth and burning through change & challenges.
Integrated Physical Core
In the physical body, the core muscles connect upper and lower body, torso and limbs, organize around the spine, and coordinate our movement. To generate more core power for your dance or yoga movements or athletic pursuits as well as for everyday life, I’ve got a variety of exercises on my Concentrated Core Conditioning & Beautiful Breathing playlists on YouTube. [Video at 02:22]
I experience an increased sense of personal power when I train my physical core, both physically and mentally/psychologically, as articulated by fellow yoga teacher Barb Elias as guest on the Bone health episode of the Connected Yoga Teacher podcast:
“The stronger I get in my body, The stronger I feel emotionally.”
~ Barb Elias
Strong Spiritual Center
We can also develop a spiritually strong core, focusing on our most valued beliefs and in the yogic tradition, our svadharma.
A strong spiritual center can help us realize our purpose in the world and to take effective action. In his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, _The Living Gita_ verse 3:35, Sri Swami Satchidananda states, “You have been created unique with certain abilities no other person can do. That’s your svadharma, your individual duty. […] something completely righteous. It’s something completely natural to you that you could do to benefit others.”
Coaching for Living from Purpose
There are a few related ontological Coaching Distinctions that are applicable to the act of centering, including identifying our personal Essence, Purpose, and Values. The work I do as a coach is built upon understanding clients’ strengths, beliefs, and values and how generate powerful action.
The Purpose Coaching Tool is where we identify our core purpose in life and if you’d like support in clarifying your own purpose and aligning your actions with it, I’d be delighted to guide you through the process in a 1:1 call which you can schedule here with no obligation.
I was recently reminded of this work listening to “Elizabeth Gilbert, Black Diamond Quitter” episodes of the Quitted podcast (Part One & Part Two), where they talked about how we may feel like we have to figure out our unique purpose and it has to be something that generates our legacy, something we are acknowledged and remembered for, at which we are better than anyone. I think we can tend to think of dharma in the same way. What pressure!
But I don’t conceive my Purpose that way, thanks to my training with Accomplishment Coaching. It is timeless and unconditional, not a “solution” to some “problem” that we perceive in the world, but rather awareness and the choice to Be my Essence and express something universal through my life, to connect with others. My own purpose is joy, but for some it is love or truth or some other essential quality.
Living a purposeful life is important to me, but I’ve come to realize that satisfaction and fulfillment live in the PRESENT moment, so my purpose is to simply be here for it, witness to it, appreciate, and enjoy. That’s why I’m grateful and enthusiastic (as much as possible), because that is what I am meant to bring to the party called life.
My purpose is something I can do and be every day, in every mood and moment, free from assessment or achievement. There’s nothing to accomplish, really. Centering has to do with self-knowledge and is built on a foundation of well-being and stable groundedness. It is strength and empowerment, wisdom and self-confidence, inner resourcefulness.
Center of the Energetic Body
The “core” of the energetic body in yoga philosophy includes the Sacral (Sradhisthana) & Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakras, associated with hips, mobility, digestion, and transformation. We can support our energy in flowing through the chakras and enlivening body and soul through a variety of approaches, a few of which I include here. [Video at 00:55]
Colors correlated with the Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakras are Orange & Yellow. You can apply color therapy through what you wear, visuals in your environment, or mental visualization as we will apply to the following meditation. Associated Elements are those of Water & Fire, which we can bring into our space through a simple cup or container of water and a candle or incense.
If you enjoy playing with crystals, Agate, Amber, Carnelian, Citrine, Pyrite Stones can be used to connect to core values and strength. Orange, Grapefruit, Citrus, Ginger, and Peppermint Aromatherapy essential oils can also be used.
For breathwork, a few examples of centering Pranayama are Ujjayi breathing, work with the Bandhas, and Kapalabhati/Skull Shining Breath/Breath of Fire techniques. There are certainly others – what sorts of breathing techniques or other tools help you feel strong and centered?
Here in the video above and podcast below, I suggest a few Centering Breathing & Meditation practices that can be done in any comfortable position, with or without supportive tools.
Centering Meditation for Strength
In the video above [at 03:40], I start by introducing the idea of Centering Meditation, including recommended Props & Tools, though it can be practiced without accoutrements.
Check out Rufio the cat’s cameo at about 25 seconds in, right when I say “power.” 😀
You may choose a reclining, seated, or standing position, and start by evenly distributing your weight and Sense of rooting and anchoredness. For more about cultivating a sense of stable grounding, check out my Get Grounded Stabilizing Meditation and video and Get Good and Grounded blog article.
Centering Props & Tools
Gather your Props & Tools depending on preference and access, taking into consideration associated Colors, Elements, Stones, Aromatherapy/Essential Oils, Tea, Journal or whatever else pleases you.
You can involve all the senses, or practice without any tools required.
Central Flame Visualization
Come into a comfortable position–seated, reclining, or standing–that is rooted/anchored, evenly distributed, and stable. [Video at 06:09]
Options for hand/arm positions, holding crystals – Gently close or softly focus the eyes – Imagine a flame burning at your center, casting yellow and orange light, your breath, fueling your central fire, sending energy out into the world, emanating from your core – Continue breathing calmly and naturally, or join me in a Pranayama practice. [Video at 06:52]
- Hands on belly, or one hand on belly, one on heart, or hold favorite centering crystals(s), or palms upturned in lap.
- Imagine flame burning at your center, casting yellow and orange light. As you breathe, envision it fueling the fire, see the light pouring over your body and out into the world. Feel an energy of power and confidence emanating from your core.
- Continue breathing calmly as you hold this image, or practice Ujjayi breathing as follows.
Ujjayi Pranayama for Core Connection
Ujjayi Pranayama creates a slight closure or constriction to the throat, like sucking a straw. It can be practiced on it’s own or during a vinyasa or yoga flow practice. [Video at 08:06]
In through nose on the inhalation if possible (though you can practice through the mouth as well if needed), and as if fogging a mirror on the exhalation, such that you hear an ocean-like sound.
Notice how the core expands and shrinks with each cycle. Take a few slow and mindful breaths in this way, then return to breathing naturally
Always take breathing exercises at a slow and mindful pace, and return to or continue to breathe normally if they aren’t right for you.
Choose a centering thought/affirmation/stand or compose a different phrase that resonates in your core [Video at 10:07]:
- I need/want/act.
- I know who I am, and I honor and embrace my true self.
- I am confident in who I am.
- I am confident in my ability to create what I desire.
- I believe I am worthy of my desires.
- I have the strength and energy to pursue my passions.
- Creativity flows through me.
- Joy flows through me.
- Abundance flows through me.
Repeat your chosen Centering Thought to yourself as we continue with the meditation. [Video at 11:19 with music, 3 minutes]
Release your Centering Thought and slowly return to the room and gently open your eyes. [Video at 14:09]
Record or write down your centering thought in a place where you will encounter it throughout the day and be reminded of your personal power.
“Personal power is the ability to take action.” – Tony Robbins
Questions for Reflection
- What is the core of my being?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my core values?
- What are my core beliefs?
- Where are my actions in alignment with my core strengths, values, and beliefs, and where am I out of alignment?
Let’s connect by email or on Instagram @ablythecoach, I am delighted to hear your perspective!
Related Resources from Blythe
- Getting Good & Grounded blog article
- Reflective Practice Through Journaling blog article
- Meditation Practice Challenge blog article
- Beautiful Breathing – Yoga Pranayama video playlist
- Concentrated Core Conditioning video playlist
- Accomplishment Coaching training materials
- Teacher Training with yogaloft, Cologne
- Teaching People Not Poses: 12 Principles for Teaching Yoga with Integrity by Jay Fields
- Chakras & Self-Care: Activate the Healing Power of Chakras with Everyday Rituals by Ambi Kavanagh and Poppy Jamie
- Music: “Glacier” by Patrick Patrikios on YouTube
I hope you enjoy this meditation and collection of resources to develop inner strength and integration for every area of your life!
Blythe Stephens, MFA, Bliss Catalyst
she/her or they/them
Creator of A Blythe Coach: dance through your difficulties and
take leaps of faith into a joyful, fulfilling life
DISCLAIMER: A Blythe Coach recommends that you consult your physician regarding the applicability of any recommendations and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself.
Pingback: Orienting to Your Place, Purpose & Vision | A Blythe Coach
Pingback: Say the Magic Words: Musings on Resonant Affirmations, Powerful Phrases, Prayers, Stands, & Mantra | A Blythe Coach
Pingback: On Balance - Practicing the Process of Dancing with Equilibrium | A Blythe Coach