Core Yoga Lesson Plan Series (part 2 of 3) 


To Celebrate Passing The 3000th Shared Yoga Lesson Plan Milestone, Here’s A FREE Downloadable Core Yoga Lesson Plan For You…It Was Created Using The Drag & Drop Yoga Genie Planner.


This Core Yoga yoga lesson plan was created using the Drag & Drop Yoga Genie Planner. It’s free because we’re celebrating the 3000th shared yoga lesson plan. (you can edit and download all the 3000+ shared yoga lesson plans here).

Theme
Core yoga

Lesson Plan Title 
Core Yoga Challenge: 12 Weeks To Sculpt A 6 Pack (No Crunches!)

Time 
90 minute class

Level 
Intermediate to advanced

The Reason Why
I created this “Core Yoga Challenge” lesson plan after reading a news article about a 45 year old guy (I’m 42) who went from being overweight to having a 6 pack every 20 year old would envy. He hit the gym 5 days a week for 12 weeds.

I can’t stand gyms!

Hate ’em with a passion. To me they are cold, mysterious places that I run from.

So, instead of the gym, I’m gonna unfurl my yoga mat 5 days a week for 12 weeks practicing my core yoga lesson plan. For all experienced yoga teachers, I apologise for calling my lesson plan a “core yoga lesson plan”, because you are probably saying in your yoga teacher brain right now….”Aren’t all yoga poses core strengtheners if the core is engaged during the pose?”

Yes. Yes. That is correct.

So, you can ignore the silly title of my lesson plan.

I think I know what you’re thinking? Hold on. Yep. It’s coming to me. You’re thinking, “Is this George fellow ashamed of his 42 year old belly?

Nope!

I understand that I said that way too quickly and having added an exclamation mark, I have given you your answer. Though, it’s not a definitive yes. It’s a grey area. I’ve never given my belly much thought until I saw the 6 pack of that 45 year old staring accusingly at me; and each one of his 6 fine bulging belly lumps was saying: “George, George, George. Have you seen your flat, white, middle-aged belly recently? I mean…have you?

And I reply. “Yes. Yes, I have. It was flat, white and middle aged looking.”

This 12 week journey that I’m embarking upon to sculpt my core is woefully unyogic. There are an inexhaustible amount of global issues that deserve my attention more than my flat unimpressive belly. To name just a few, there is: global warming, genocide of 100 billion farm animals every year, high suicide rates of teenagers with too much pressure and too few inner tools to manage that pressure, an ageing world population, 795 million undernourished people, millions of people (most of them children) dying each year from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, and cyber bullying.

I’m interested in and concerned about all these global issues…and more.

But…

Maybe it is yogic to focus on the core?

After all, there isn’t a yoga teacher on this fair planet who doesn’t harp on (in a good way) about the importance of engaging the core during their classes.

Why such devotion to such a small area of the body?

Well, because a strong rectus abdominis has a myriad of glorious benefits such as:

  • improved balance and stability
  • prevention of back problems
  • strengthened diaphragm which plays an essential role in deep breathing
  • improved digestion
  • improved heart health (excess fat around the belly is dangerous)
  • better posture (a strong core keeps your back stable which improves posture)

So, it is yogic to embark on a 12 week core challenge.

And it will be a fun experiment to see if the humble £20 yoga mat can match the might of a gym with £20,000 pounds worth of metalled, glinting, shiny equipment.

I must, however, profess to envisioning a day, 12 weeks hence, of oiling myself down in whatever muscle glinting oil bodybuilders glaze themselves in when competing (hopefully not lard as I’m vegan), and then hearing a girlish shriek of approval from my better half as she lays eyes on my “six” well grooved belly segments (which I’ve been reliably informed are called a 6 pack) as I peel off the way too small t-shirt (that fitted me perfectly 12 weeks ago) from my desirable, hairless, 6 packed, bronzed chest.

The Cunning Lesson Plan
My cunning plan is to follow a yoga lesson plan that is both “flexible” and “simple”.

The “flexible” part involves using the core yoga lesson plan as a guide. Most of the time I will be holding the poses (yin yoga). Occasionally I’ll throw in a bit of yang (flow yoga). And off the yoga mat, I’ll be sneaking in Uddiyana Bandha while waiting in lines, walking the dog, etc…all while visualising my core being magnificently sculpted.  I’ve also diversified the lesson plan to keep my interest levels nice and high by adding “Chair”, “Strap” and “Ashtanga” yoga.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the lesson plan (see below) and join me an epic 12 week core yoga challenge.

Free Downloads (2 of 3) 

Click Here To Download Core Yoga Lesson Plan: Long Version

The long version has everything you need to practice the lesson plan before getting to class. You can take it to class with you (but you may prefer to take the short version). The long version is a great handout to give to your students, especially your one-to-one students. It immediately shows your professionalism and increases your expertise in the eyes of the student(s).

Click Here To Download Core Yoga Lesson Plan: Short Version

The short version is perfect for taking into class with you. It’s short and sweet.

Click Here To Download Downward Facing Dog Handout

Downward facing dog is a great pose to build a strong core.

Free Downloads (parts 1 & 3) 

You can download part 1 here and part 3 here.

Q & A

Below are common questions about core yoga…


“Can abdominal strength improve every pose?” 

Yes. Core abdominal strength improves nearly every pose, offering a sense of balance and ease.

“What is the number one benefit of core yoga?” 

Weakness in the core can result in lower back pain (a whopping 1 in 4 people experience regular lower back pain).

“Can a weak core lead to degenerative disk disease and arthritis?” 

Yes. Weakness in the core can result in over rotations in the vertebrae of the lower back, which can lead to degenerative disk disease and arthritis.

“Can weakness in the core can result in your digestive fires being weak?”

Yes. Weakness in the core can result in your digestive fires being weak. This can cause chronic exhaustion because you’re not absorbing nutrients properly.

“Could I become a door mat if I don’t get on my yoga mat?” 

OK. You might not get this question. But I thought I’d throw it in because…well, two mats are involved. If you don’t know how to get centred in your core, you can easily turn into a doormat for anyone with a strong personality. With a week core you can become easy pickings for anyone who wants to push you off balance, whether it’s a controlling family member or an advert on the TV trying to get to you buy something that harms your body (cough…did I just say McDonalds). Don’t become a door mat. Get on your yoga mat!

“I’ve been told that every asana helps strengthen the core?

The good news is that every asana is potentially a core-strengthening exercise, if you engage your core (pull abs toward spine).

“Is meditation good for the core?” 

Yes. But you may not be able to stay in Easy Pose (legs crossed) for very long if you have a weak core. To begin with you may only be able to sit for a minute or two. That’s fine. Yoga isn’t a race.

“What are the best yoga asanas to build a strong core yoga?

There really isn’t a set of best core yoga poses. If you engage your core (pull abs toward spine) almost all asanas will help build a strong core. I can’t think of a single asana (even Savasana) that wouldn’t help strengthen your core if you engaged your core. Though, if I had to pick some of my favourite core yoga asanas they’d be: any prone poses (e.g. locust), easy pose (during meditation), any yogic breathing exercise, downward facing dog, boat, root lock, staff, and knees to chest.

Yoga Genie Lesson Planner
1000+ Yoga Poses In 15 Categories

Ashtanga Yoga

Supta Padangusthasana A

All the Ashtanga Primary Series poses are included in the Planner including: 

  • Surya Namaskar A poses
  • Surya Namaskar B poses
  • Padangusthasana
  • Pada Hastasana
  • Trikonasana
  • Parivritta Trikonasana
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • Parivritta Parsvakonasana
  • Prasarita Padottanasana
  • Parsvottonasana
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana
  • Ardha Baddha Padma Uttanasana
  • Utkatasana
  • Virabhadrasana I
  • Virabhadrasana II
  • Dandasana
  • Paschimottanasana
    Purvottasana
  • Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
  • Trianga Mukaikapada Paschimottanasana
  • Janu Sirsasana
  • Marichyasana
  • Paripurna Navasana
  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana
  • Bhujapidasana
  • Kurmasana
  • Supta Kurmasana
  • Garbha Pindasana
  • Kukkutasana
  • Baddha Konasana
  • Upavista Konasana
  • Supta Konasana
  • Supta Padangustasana
  • Ubhaya Padangustasana
  • Urdvha Mukha Paschimottanasana
  • Setu Bandhasana
  • Urdvha Dhanurasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Savasana
  • Salamba Sarvangasana
  • Halasana
  • Karnapidasana
  • Urdvha Padmasana
  • Pindasana in Sarvangasana
  • Matsyasana
  • Uttana Padasana
  • Sirsasana
  • Balasana
  • Baddha Padmasana
  • Yogimudrasana
  • Padmasana
  • Tolasana
  • Savasana
Bandhas

Bandas

Bandhas Include: 

  • Chin Lock (dynamic)
  • Chin Lock (passive)
  • Root Lock
  • Upward Abdominal Lock
Bolster Yoga

Bolster Yoga

Bolster Yoga Poses Include: 

  • Bike Ride
  • Bolster Chat
  • Bolster Creation
  • Bound Angle
  • Bound Angle (strap)
  • Bridge 1
  • Bridge 2
  • Bridge 3
  • Child
  • Easy Pose
  • Fish 1-6
  • Hero
  • Knee To Chest
  • Leg Lift
  • Legs Up
  • Legs Up Wall
  • Pigeon 1-3
  • And many more!
Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga Poses Include: 

  • Ab Breath
  • Ankle Curl
  • Arm Circles
  • Arm Lift
  • Arm Stretch
  • Arms Out
  • Arms Up
  • Backbend
  • Big Toe Hold
  • Bow
  • Breathwork
  • Bridge
  • Calf Raise
  • Centering
  • Chest Opener
  • Clam
  • Desk Posture
  • Down Dog
  • Flying Crane
  • Forward Bend
  • Grounding
  • Half Fold
  • Ham Lift
  • And many more!
Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga Poses Include: 

  • Anjal Crown Chakra
  • Body Drops
  • Jnana Energy Focus
  • Lotus Arm Stretches
  • Neck Rolls
  • Ong Namo Guru Dev Name
  • Sat Nam 3rd Eye
  • Sat Nam Heart Chakra
  • See Saw Breath
  • And many more!
Laugher Yoga

Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga Games Include: 

  • Alien
  • Association
  • Ball Throw
  • Balloons
  • Clap Focus
  • Count To 20
  • Credit Card
  • Filleting
  • Freeze
  • Greetings
  • Ha
  • Halloween Monster
  • Heart Circle
  • Hello
  • High Fives
  • And many more!
Mantras

Mantras

Mantras Include: 

  • Aham Brahma Asmi
  • Aham Premal
  • Ang Sang Wahl
  • Cosmic
  • Gayatri
  • Jat Paahaaraa
  • Lord Shiva
  • Mahamrityunjay
  • Mangalam
  • Moola
  • Namaste
  • Om
  • Om Aim Hrim
  • Om Dum Durgayei
  • Om Gum Ganapateyie
  • And many more!
Xtras

Xtras

The Xtras category include for want of a better word, "extras" that make lesson planning that little bit easier. For example there is a X2 icon that you can use if you want to repeat the pose or sequence twice, there are breathe in and out icons, there are Sun Salutations A, B & C icons. There are lots more time saving icons.

Meditations

Meditations

Meditations Include: 

  • Awareness Of Your Gifts
  • Blue Force Field
  • Caged Bird
  • Celtic Seer
  • Crying Child
  • Destiny
  • Empty Cup
  • Follow Your Path
  • Golden Birds
  • Karmic Laws
  • Lao Tzu
  • Little Actions
  • Mandala
  • Mandala Talk
  • Mind Massage
  • And many more!
Mudras

Mudras

Mudras Include: 

  • Aakash
  • Adhi
  • Anjali
  • Apan Vayu
  • Apana
  • Asthma
  • Atmanjali
  • Bhairav
  • Bhramara
  • Bodhisattva
  • Brahma
  • Bronchial
  • Chin
  • Dhamachakra
  • Dhyani
  • Figa
  • Ganesha
  • Garuda
  • Gyan
  • Hakini
  • And many more!
Partner Yoga

Partner Yoga

Partner Yoga Include: 

  • Boat
  • Bow
  • Bridge
  • Camel
  • Child
  • Cobra
  • Confidence
  • Dead Bug
  • Downward Facing Dog 1
  • Downward Facing Dog 2
  • Engage Core
  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Knee To Chest
  • Lunge
  • Lying Twist
  • Plank
  • And many more!
Pranayama

Pranayama

Pranayama Exercises Include: 

  • Abdominal Breath
  • Alternate Nose Breath
  • Alternate Nose & Ujjayi Breath
  • Bellows Breath
  • Breath Counting
  • Breath Of Joy
  • Compassion Breath
  • Complete Breath
  • Dolphin Breath
  • Extended Exhale
  • Fire Breath
  • Humming Bee Breath
  • And many more!
Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation Exercises

Relaxation Exercises Include: 

  • Blue Bubble
  • Breathe In Positive
  • Counting Down
  • Dolphin
  • Glass Of Water
  • Palming
  • Pavlov
  • Peace Room
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Savasana 1-3
  • And many more!
Seated & Floor Poses

Seated Yoga

Seated & Floor Poses Include: 

  • Ankle Rotation
  • Archer
  • Bananasana
  • Bharadajasana Twist
  • Boat
  • Bound Angle
  • Bow
  • Bridge
  • Bridge Wall
  • Bridge Block
  • Butterfly
  • Butterfly Twist
  • Camel 1-4
  • Cat
  • Cat Pulling Tail
  • Child 1-2
  • Cobra 1-4
  • Confidence
  • Cow 1-3
  • Cow Face 1-3
  • Cradle Baby
  • And many more!
Standing Poses

Standing Poses

Standing Poses Include: 

  • Bird Of Paradise
  • Bound Extended Side Angle
  • Bound Triangle
  • Chair 1-3
  • Crescent Lunge
  • Crescent Moon
  • Dancer 1-2
  • Dolphin
  • Downward Facing Dog 1-8
  • Eagle
  • Extended Hand To Big Toe 1-2
  • Extended Side Angle 1-3
  • Extended Triangle
  • Fig Tree
  • Figure Four
  • Five Pointed Star
  • Forward Bend
  • Goddess 1-6
  • Half Moon Bound Revolved
  • Half Moon Bow
  • Half Splits
  • And many more!

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George Watts

BWY Yoga Teacher at George Watts Yoga
This post was lovingly morphed into reality by BWY yoga teacher, George Watts. If you're looking for a treasure trove of yoga lesson planning goodness, take a quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

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