Many health and fitness enthusiasts relate core strength and core muscles with abdominal muscles. Consequently, most of them do core yoga exercises and core yoga poses to enhance core strength.
If you can relate to this, you can find tons of yoga poses that work intensively on your hip flexor muscles and abdominal muscles. They include Three-Legged Down Dog, Downward Facing Dog or Downward Dog, Plank Position, Dolphin Pose, Dolphin Plank, Cobra Pose, Crow Pose, Dog Split, Side Plank Pose, Plank Pose, Boat Pose, and more.
However, you can do another yoga pose to strengthen your core. This pose is often overlooked but can be more effective and easier than Boat Pose.
If you have tried doing Boat Pose, you know how hard it is. Some people find it more challenging than a Plank Pose and other yoga poses.
With the Boat Pose, you have to be mindful of whether you’ll use one leg or two, legs bent or not, foot forward or at the back, left side or right side, legs extended or not, arms parallel or overlapping, straight line or otherwise. You will likely think about them as well in other yoga poses, including keeping your legs straight or bent, arms straight or not, knees bent or straight, and many more.
So what is this underrated yoga pose that can help strengthen your core? This article will introduce you to a yoga pose that will work on your entire core system, called Pendant Pose (Lolasana).
What is Lolasana?
Lolasana or Pendant Pose got its name from how a human body dangles between the arms and swings. To do this yoga practice, you can start in a seated position with your ankles crossed.
Gradually kneel on the may and put your hands underneath your shoulders. As you put your weight in your arms, spread your fingers and lift your feet and knees toward your chest.
This is among the yoga poses considered great, especially in strengthening the shoulder, hip flexor, and abdominal muscles. It also works extra time on the sides of the waist by exercising the outer oblique abdominals.
Like other yoga poses that build your abdominal and hip flexor strength, Lolasana enhances the stability of your chest, back, and abdomen. This is achieved as you stretch and move your arms and legs into various asana positions. Finding stability and avoiding back discomfort depends a lot on this stability.
But compared to Boat Pose and sit-ups, Lolasana has a few extra benefits. Additionally, it develops the strength in your arms, shoulders, and neural system necessary to boost abdominal and hip flexor actions.
As a result, it gives you the groundwork to propel yourself forward with your arms and legs. This exercise can come in handy when you’re often doing activities involving your arms and lifting, like moving objects or playing tennis.
Lolasana prepares your body for doing more challenging yoga poses and making transitions. It allows you to quickly move from Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) to Dandasana. It then prepares you to perform complex arm balances (Staff Pose).
Certainly, to experience these advantages, you must make it a point to incorporate Lolasana into your routine and do it right regularly.
The Anatomy of Lolasana
The most crucial aspect of Lolasana is that you must use all of your abdominal muscles to draw your pelvis as closely as possible to your rib cage. You must keep the pose while curling your trunk and hips tightly. Simultaneously, you must use your hip flexors to pull your thighs to your chest.
In doing Lolasana, you have to make three sets of your abs work together, so it will be easy for you to lift. These muscles include the following:
The rectus abdominis gives off the well-known “six-pack abs” image. It is made up of multiple segments encased in a thick connective tissue sheath that runs from the middle of the lower front pelvis to the base of the sternum.
You’ll find the external obliques next to the rectus abdominis. They cover a part of the rear waist, the sides of the waist, and the remaining portion of the front waist.
The muscle fibers link to the sides of the lower rib cage, then connect at the rectus sheath in front or the top of the pelvis.
You’ll find the internal obliques beneath the external obliques. Their fibers attach to the sides and front of the pelvic rim while positioned perpendicular to the external obliques’ fibers.
When learning Lolasana, it is better to relax your hips and tummy. You can do this by hanging your pelvis and legs so the weight is transferred to your arms, shoulders, and chest. As you do, observe how your elbows straighten when the muscles on your upper arm tighten.
How To Practice Lolasana
The easiest way to master Lolasana is, to begin with, a simpler variation of this core yoga practice. Then, as you become better at it, you can progressively challenge by making the movements more difficult or longer.
In order to prepare your body and mind for Lolasana, you should first focus on your core workout. You have to work on your arm balance, side plank, upper body, left hand, right hand, left arm, right arm, and spine to keep your entire core engaged.
How to Begin the Practice
Here are the steps to learn this core strengthening practice and eventually achieve a strong core and develop strong shoulder blades and flat abs.
Sit in a stable chair, and place your hands on the seat on either side of your hips. Slowly lean forward around 45 degrees, and press down your sit bones forcefully to remove most of your weight from your pelvis.
Now, exhale and draw your thighs toward the ceiling as you press your hands harder. You’ll feel your abs contract when you attempt to elevate your pelvis and ribs since they are the muscles connecting your rib cage to your pelvis.
Whether you slowly lift your left foot, right foot, or both feet off the mat, you will feel your front hip muscles contract because they connect your pelvis and spine to your thighs.
Transitioning to Lolasana Pose
It can take a lot of repetition to develop the strength necessary to lift into Lolasana. You can use yoga blocks in the beginning, to make the pose easier to achieve but challenging at the same time.
Fold one or two yoga blankets into a rectangle one to two inches high and wider than your shoulders. On the lowest level, place two yoga blocks hands shoulder-width apart, with one of their short ends resting on a folded blanket edge and the other on the mat.
Place your left knee and then your right knee on the blanket in the space between the blocks. Elevate your pelvis off the ground. Put your hands on the blocks, so your heels are directly above the edge of the blanket.
Make sure that you perform enough deep stretches but not too much. You can only extend your hands so far, or else the blocks may flip. Keep your left toe on top of your right toe while performing the step.
Exhale and then lean forward. As you do, press down forcefully with your hands while attempting to lift both feet off the ground.
In order to lift your body as high as you can, spread your shoulder blades. At the same time, pull your heels up, curve your trunk, and bring your thighs close to your rib cage. Exhale while keeping your abs tight.
Do a Cat Pose
If you can, remain in the previous pose while bending your entire spine into a Cat Pose. Push your belly upward while lifting your midsection off the floor.
You might need to look down at the ground at first, but once you’re balanced, slowly lift your head and stare straight ahead without straining or furrowing your forehead.
Breathe deeply, and then gently swing your body forward and back. Slowly lower yourself to the ground. Alternate how you cross your ankles three to five more times.
Keep your feet flat on the mat
Pressing the tops of your feet into the ground and slightly bending your knees will help lift your torso higher as you lower your arms.
Draw your thighs up to your chest by applying pressure from your feet to the floor. As you would in the standard position variation, curl your trunk.
This way, your arms, abs, and hip flexors can support you more. As you last in the pose, the pressure on your feet gradually decreases.
Get as close to lifting your feet off the ground as possible to test your strength’s limits. Make the final swinging motion.
Benefits of the Lolasana Pose
Similar to many yoga poses, such as Plank Pose, Boat Pose, Forearm Plank, Side Plank Pose, any Plank position, Dolphin Pose, Dog Split, Tabletop Position, and more, Lolasana works to give you stronger muscles, a stronger core, and better posture.
It works in every part of you and engages most body parts, including your left leg, right leg, left foot, right foot, left knee, right knee, left hand, right hand, left arm, right arm, left toes, right toes, left elbow, right elbow, lumbar spine, back body, back muscles, and more.
The movements keep your legs activated (right leg and left leg), with your fingers spread as you lift your body toward the ceiling, then slowly lower it to the mat.
Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of doing Lolasana:
- Better spinal health
- Excellent core workout
- Stronger arms, shoulders, and wrists
- Stronger stomach muscles
- Improved balance and control
- Better concentration
However, this yoga pose comes with contra-indications. It’s a challenging pose that is not recommended for people with the following conditions:
- Back pain
- High blood pressure
As much as Lolasana Pose is effective in strengthening your core, it is a difficult yoga pose that requires the guidance of a trained expert. At Sweatbox Yoga, we will provide you with the right yoga teachers to guide you on how to do Lolasana efficiently and safely.
With several years in the industry and numerous praises from those who have tried our services, rest assured that with us, you will get quality training more than your money’s worth.