You know how most people have an area of their body they are self conscious about? Well for me it is my tummy. That is where I gain weight. That is my weak spot. I remember in grade two gym class when we first did sit ups. I was sure the teacher had invented a new form of torture. After my first baby it took me almost ten years to get my core back to something that didn’t resemble jello. My latest addition is two years old this May. The jello has returned and is being pretty stubborn about wanting to stay firmly parked in my mid section.

From a yogic view I believe core is about stabilization. It is our center where decisions and inertia originate. It is the place of gut feelings, intuition and bodily wisdom. We get very honest answers about ourselves and lives if we listen to this deep center. Ana Forrest, founder of the Forrest Yoga Institute in Santa Monica, says “If we don’t know how to get centered in our core, we’re basically doormats for whoever’s a stronger personality. We become susceptible to anyone who wants to push us off balance…”

This past week or so I have been doing yoga asanas that focus on my own core, taking the time to really notice how it feels emotionally and physically to work with this area. I feel a strengthened sense of being present and comfortable in my body, even though it has a jiggle to it. I notice that if I initiate movement from my core there is less grasping, clinging and reaching. The movement is more natural and genuine. This also has a ripple effect into the rest of my life, showing me how I tend to emotionally reach, cling and grasp for things. Working with my core reminds me to be present and honest with myself. It helps reduce the desire to “escape the present moment” through emotional eating, distraction or daydreaming.