What is it about core work that so many of us love to hate? I get it. When we cannot use our arms or our legs and must rely instead on the deep muscles of our belly and pelvic floor to create movement, we often encounter disheartening feelings of weakness at first. Or there can be a complete disconnect between our mind and our body if these pathways have been dormant for awhile. The inability to initiate movement with these muscles even when we are concentrating on it and trying our best can make us feel helpless or powerless. It is not a good feeling to have to face weakness head-on in this soft, tender, and vulnerable part of us. I am no different than anyone else. When I have been absent from my practice due to injury or rest, I grunt and groan through the core work when I first come back. But on the flip side, if we can stick with it through the initial sensations of burning (tapas), we have the opportunity to connect to a wellspring of deep internal strength - physically, mentally and spiritually. A vital connection to our center allows us to make conscious choices about our lives and the direction we wish to head in. Especially for trauma survivors, for anyone haunted by shame, for those who suffer from anxiety or paralyzingly fear, developing core strength can be empowering and liberating. This is 3rd chakra stuff - our ability to act in the world, to build self-esteem by taking risks, and to free up trapped energy simply because we are no longer scared all the time. #manipurachakra