Want a core of steel? Be prepared to be strong AF inside and out.

Sh*t your yoga teacher says, “Time for core.”

I know, I know… you probably have a physical reaction reading that. Don’t worry, I’m not making you do crunches.


I’ve been teaching yoga for about 10 years, and for those of you who take my classes now, I need you to know I’ve evolved. (Ha, you’re like…sure) No seriously, a lot of it had to do with my teacher and being a new teacher myself. 


Originally when I was taught how to teach, I always thought it was best to teach the hardest class possible, to push the boundaries of what it means to be challenged in class physically and emotionally. I don’t teach that way anymore - at least I don’t think so. Please for the love of god email me if you think otherwise. 


It was always a minimum of about 50 crunches or bicycles, and in the style of yoga I taught, we were taught we needed to have each of our students do 6 (six) wheels - back, to back, to back, to back, to back, to back …


What do I say to that now? “F*ck that sh*t!” Now, if a teacher did that to me I would be PISSED. I don’t even do wheel anymore, my body f*cking hates it and so does my shoulder. It’s not necessary TBH. 


A lot has changed in my personal practice, but especially in my teaching - just overall becoming more confident plus a lot of additional education on the nervous system and anatomy…plus 2 other things:


  • The Core of Who I am
  • Learning Functional Core Anatomy

  • Whether you know me personally, professionally, or just by reading these emails you know that I try my best to live and practice living intentionally. I have a set of core beliefs and standards that I live by and I hope that shines through in everything I do. You hear them a lot: I AM COURAGEOUSE. I AM CAPABLE. I AM STRONG. Each year I try to take a look at what I consider my “core values” and give them a little workout. I realized I hadn’t done it this year, so I figured we could do it together…but first


    Let’s talk about your core, yes, the one you are actually thinking of: your abs. Wanna know a secret… your core is NOT just your abdominal muscles, nor is having a strong core equal to six pack abs. How do I know, because I don’t have a six-pack and my core is strong AF. 


    Your core (AKA your trunk) is actually comprised of: all your abdominal muscles, your mid & lower back muscles, your upper inner thighs, your glutes, your hips, and your pelvic floor. Think of it like a box, but don’t get it twisted…you are not Sponge Bob (as I say to myself because my anatomy does not include a Sophia Vergara-shaped waist, and that’s okay and I’m okay and we are all going to be okay.) It’s a mix of stabilizer muscles and movers. They help you sit upright, they help you walk, they help you lay down, they help you go up the stairs, they help you turn around and tell the guy behind you standing in line that he’s too close and when you do that scoot back with your arms, they help with that too.


    When I teach, I tend to focus a lot more on the core stabilizers than just the superficial 6-pack and I say superficial because that is the actual scientific term….. It’s science.


    You’re core helps you with EVERYTHING, and honestly any pose in yoga can help you strengthen or stabilize your core depending on your intention and muscular engagement. Pretty cool yeah? 


    The other type of core that can help you with everything? Your core values. Your core values are like a compass, they can guide you in any direction. They help you stand up straight with confidence, walk with purpose, and be courageous enough to tell the guy behind you that you feel uncomfortable and to back the f*ck up, but with like compassion and stuff.


    If you aren’t familiar with creating core values, don’t worry I have an actual cheat sheet. Shout out to Brene Brown for doing the research to figure all this stuff out. Becoming committed and comfortable with your core values gives you the freedom to not dwell on decisions, but know exactly where you’re going. 


    Each year my values change a little bit, they become clearer and fit a little better - kinda like my favorite shoes. Using the instructions below from Brene Brown, and you can become more clear about your values too.



    1. Click here for Brene Brown’s “Dare to Lead List of Values”
    2. Circle, highlight, or mark the first 15 core values that you feel like you could try on. 
    3. Once you see your list, you can either make a new list if other words feel distracting or keep using your same sheet. From there you’ll narrow your list down to 5 (five.)
    4. Notice how your body feels when you think about each five of those core values. Think of it like trying on shoes. Does it feel comfortable, too tight, not big enough, will they hurt your feet, rub a blister, be a lil’ stinky, or they are an instant fit? You want that moment of like “wow, those are some great shoes.”
    5. The last step: Now pick 2 (two!) OMG I KNOW SO HARD RIGHT, but you got this. Take your time with this. Wear these two values for a week and see how it goes - they made need a rework or they may be perfect. 


    My FIVE are: Authenticity, Fun, Knowledge, Personal Fulfillment, and Contribution


    My TWO: Authenticity and Contribution


    How did I narrow those down? Here’s my quick thought process….


    I really resonate with “Authenticity” and it’s always a value of mine, and I try to not be biased when picking each year’s values, but this year it’s about staying true to what I need and who I am. I like to consider myself fun, which ties into authenticity - so I crossed off fun. Knowing that in my authenticity I also try to do things with purpose and fulfillment I was also able to cross off personal fulfillment


    Lastly, with going back to school this past year it was important to represent that in my values this year. However, with knowledge, I realized that the classes I’m taking it’s important for me to not only learn but also contribute my learnings to others when asked. So, I decided contribution was a better choice. Even now I hope to be contributing to your life through these emails, and clearly, I write them in an authentic way. 


    Hopefully sharing my thought process helps you with yours. I’d love to hear what two values you have come up with. Be sure to reply to this email and let me know. 


    Remember, your core is not just about crunches and six-pack abs; it's about strength, stability, and resilience in every aspect of your life. Whether you're navigating a challenging yoga pose or facing a tough decision, your core – both physical and values-driven – is there to guide you.


    Whether you're holding a plank or standing firm in your beliefs, know that you are strong, capable, and worthy of all the greatness life has to offer.


    As we continue on this journey of self-discovery and growth, may we always remember to stay true to our core values, to live authentically, and to contribute positively to the world around us. 


    Don’t forget: You are courageous. You are capable. You are strong. 


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