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I’ve been thinking about Core a lot lately, SassyPants. Therefore, I wanted to write about Core. But I thought to myself, “Theresa, you always write about Core. And yeah, it’s important and all, but come on. The masses are tired of hearing about Core.” Turns out, I’ve written about Core twice. Once on January 3rd of last year, I wrote about my favorite Core muscle, the psoas.  And almost two years ago, I wrote about your energetic core, or your golden midline. So I’m going to write about Core again, since I don’t actually always write about Core. I just always think about Core, and I always want to write about Core.

So, ‘the Core’ is something Rolfers are always going on about. A whopping 4 sessions of the 10-series are devoted just to the Core. We’re always rambling about movement being initiated from the Core, and lengthening the Core, and accessing the Core. And while it all logically makes sense, I didn’t know what any of that felt like in my body until I was halfway through my second 10-series in the middle of my training to become a Rolfer. I got up off the table, and could feel my Core. It was lovely! So strong and stable! So long and tall! I felt like I could stand forever without getting tired. My Core could support me and my ‘sleeve,’ on the other hand, could just rest. Physically, I finally knew what Core meant.

In the last few years as I went through my Saturn Return, I had a very real sense of my non-physical Core. This was the essence of who I was as a human being. It felt as though my Core was a ceramic vase, and was being smashed to smithereens. Not exactly a pleasant experience. But among the shards and dust, I felt like a new core, this one made from un-smashable steel, was emerging. As painful as it was, it turns out I’d rather have a steel pipe than a ceramic vase as my Core, and I’m grateful for that brutal smashing. I now have a very clear sense of this indestructible mental, emotional, and spiritual core, to go with that physical core I found back in Rolfing school. Huzzah!

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga. Well…a lot by my standards, which means 2 to 4 classes a week. And those yoga teachers, man, they just won’t stop talking about Core. Engage your Core! Use your Core! And they’re so right. Each pose, each movement feels better and stronger and more stable when my Core is engaged and active. It’s when I forget about my Core that I fall over or tweak something in a weird way.

So, yeah, Core is important. It’s a big deal. I might go as far as to say Core (and your ability to access it) is critical to a happy, healthy life. But learning to relate to your Core can be challenging. In my case, it took 15 Rolfing sessions before I could feel it. It took years of soul searching, and a fair number of tears, before I could emotionally access it in a moment. It took a lot of journal entries and long walks with friends before I felt confident in my Core. So if you’re there…if you know your Core and how to access it on all levels, good on ya! I’m so impressed. And if you don’t, if Core is still a bit of a mysterious concept to you, don’t fret. Little by little you will learn, if you want to learn, how to relate to your Core. And more importantly, how to make sure every movement you make, every word you speak, every spell you invoke, and every thought you think comes from your Core. And that will be a beautiful day, indeed.

Okay, so today we’re veering away from the philosophical mumbo jumbo and getting on the practical-tip train.  Are you ready?  Are ya? This may be the quickest, most effective tip I’ve ever learned.  So I hope you’re excited, because I’ve learned a lot of tips in my day.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you, Super Brain Yoga!

It’s so exciting, I made a video.  But first, let me tell you why Super Brain Yoga is so damn exciting.

We know, from research and science and lovely things like research and science, that the brain works better when the two halves of it are communicating well.  For this reason, activities that involve contra-lateral movement are super good for the brain.  Contra-lateral means both sides of the body are being used in opposition, like when we walk, and our right arm swings forward as our left one swings back, but it’s balanced by our right leg swinging back, and our left leg swinging forward.  Get it?  So activities like walking, crawling, cross country skiing, and freestyle swimming, while super great for the body, are also super great for the brain, because they demand that the two halves of the brain work together.  Super Brain Yoga is like a condensed version of going for a half hour walk.  You won’t get all the physical benefits, but you will get the mental ones.  And the mental benefits of your brain halves talking to each other include improved memory, greater focus, and even getting smarter.

I was originally shown Super Brain Yoga as something I might want to teach a client who suffered from ADD and a general inability to focus.  But it seemed so easy (it takes 3 minutes and you don’t work up a sweat!) that I tried it myself.  I would do it in the mornings while I waited for the water in the shower to heat up.  And you know what? I noticed a difference.  More importantly, my boyfriend, who always made fun of me for my poor memory, noticed a difference.  Which was all the proof I needed.  Less teasing?  More remembering?  Done and done.  So, for a few months, I did Super Brain Yoga pretty much every morning.

Then I moved somewhere where it only took a few seconds for the water in the shower to heat up, and I couldn’t justify letting all that hot water just pour down the drain.  But even though I stopped doing Super Brain Yoga, my improved memory stuck around.  Now, I do Super Brain Yoga whenever I think about it.  Which, honestly, is probably about once a month.  But I should do it more.  ‘Cause it’s awesome.  And easy.  And effective.  And I like being smart.  Right now I do it when I’m tired, or feeling fuzzy, or unfocused, or ungrounded.  But really, doing it every day would be swell.  If you do it every day I’ll be so proud.  Also, I’ll be blown away by your superior intelligence.  So there’s that.

So, are you ready to learn how to do Super Brain Yoga?  Yeah, I bet you are!  Click on the picture to watch the video.  It’s just a minute long, so you have no excuse not to watch it.



Did you watch it?  See?  Isn’t it easy?  I told you it was great.  Just don’t do it right before you go to bed ’cause it’ll wake you up and then you won’t get a good night’s sleep and that’ll make you feel dumb, which is the opposite of what we’re trying to do here.

Oh, and Super Brain Yoga was on the news!!  Four years ago, but still.  It’s an interesting clip, I promise.

Now go, impress me with your super brain!  I can’t wait to be wowed by your intellect!