The Core Practice with Nikki Costello

So core – again šŸ˜‰ After I went to Tiffany’s (yesterday) and Nicole’s (today morning) core classes at byc, finally today in the afternoon I took Nikki’s. Maybe I just like it? But one who does know Nikki’s definition of core can tell that her “core area” is really almost everything: It includes not only the abdominals and the lower back but also the lungs, the heart – and the arms and legs as extensions of the core. So core movements need the whole body engaged.

With that in mind here comes the time and weather setting: It was hot… soooo hot when Nikkis class started this afternoon. But we started super smooth: Nikki told us about her love of studying yoga with a yoga book as a company for a longer period of time. For now in her practice it is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. So if in your (self-) studies in yoga there comes up any question, you will try to find the answer in the book you’ve chosen. So the Hatha Yoga Pradipika means literally “Light on Hatha Yoga”. Which B.K.S. Iyengar took as an reference to call his book “Light on Yoga”.

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Nikki let us sit in a very Iyengar upright sitting position, building up super consciously a straight and free spine. I’m alway wondering how some of these Iyengar teachers like Nikki can have this quality of bringing you into that stillness sitting in a cross legged position just by arranging your legs and arms a little bit other than usual and suddenly: whoohoooo – you can feel yourself not only in a comfortable sitting position but also feeling instantly your mind being focused.

We kept on working from our middle, laying down and twisting and extending our legs. Nikki wanted us to really have our legs extended in the positions and that felt with all the heat around me just easy and great. So easy, that even the following sun salutations didn’t seem like work but more like opening.

We went on, going back into sitting positions – as we started – and combining forward bends with hip openers and twists. Nikki wanted us to stay with a long spine and not just letting every strength go but moving more forward elongating the abdomen area. We closed with a short pranayama in maha mudra (sitting upright with one leg bend and one leg stretched forward, catching the big toe of the extended leg with both hands). It’s a pose described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

It’s inspiring when a class can get you to read again old yoga texts and give you a good reason to do so. To see how these texts and poses can fit in your/mine (daily) practice. I’ll make a plan of reading it again when I come home to Cologne.

PS: I think no more core classes tomorrow though šŸ˜‰

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