Ep 147: Core Strength Myths & Cues with Lauren Ohayon

At some point, either as a student or teacher, we have heard the phrase “engage your core”. Some people are even conditioned to think that they should do this all the time! In actual fact, doing this is not as beneficial as we think it is, and it can be limiting to function and movement. Lauren Ohayon is an expert on the topic of core and pelvic floor issues, and in this episode, she busts through some of the common myths about core strength.

Lauren Ohayon is the founder of Restore Your Core, an online program addressing pelvic floor and core dysfunction, and helps thousands of women globally through her online programs, and Facebook groups. Lauren is internationally recognized for specializing in core and pelvic floor issues, and has 20 years of experience teaching yoga, pilates, and functional movement. With her comprehensive exercise programs that are designed to be effective, safe and sustainable, Lauren focuses on helping people exercise well and move efficiently to gain core strength and ideal pelvic floor function. 

When it comes to the core, many people assume that all core exercises are created equal, but this isn’t the case. Lauren reveals the differences between different core exercises, and busts through some other myths around building core strength. She also explains what the core really should be doing and when, and dives into the issue of intra-abdominal pressure, and conditions like prolapse and diastasis.

This is a hot topic that will benefit all yoga teachers, both in your own practice and in cueing certain poses, so be sure to tune in.

Key Takeaways:

[5:53] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Lauren Ohayon.

[7:22] What does Lauren do and who does she do it for?

“Your core is really the integrated function of your whole body.” ~ Lauren Ohayon

[8:42] When did Lauren start focusing on pelvic health and the core?

[10:58] What is the core, and what is the core not?

[13:08] Shannon and Lauren discuss their interpretations of the Core Four.

[19:46] It is not always important to name muscles or dive into the anatomy to help people.

“If your core is not kicking in, …whatever it’s not doing, … tightening it is not going to teach it to get there.” ~ Lauren Ohayon

[21:45] We often hear the phrase “engage your core”. Lauren explains why this is not always helpful, and sometimes it can even be limiting to function.

[25:10] Lauren explains the specific type of breath that engages the core, and why it engages the core.

“To me, “engage your core” means to do a very specific type of breath. Your core will naturally pull in with that.” ~ Lauren Ohayon

[27:57] Lauren highlights the difference between engaging your core and bracing your core.

[30:54] Why have we gone so off track with our breath and how the core is working?

[34:41] Lauren shares an analogy that she has learned.

[36:46] What are some of Lauren’s favorite core strengthening movements and poses?

[40:04] Lauren shares some of her variations for boat pose

[44:24] What are the three Bs that Lauren brings attention to?

[47:22] What is something Lauren wishes yoga teachers would know about the core?

“We don’t want excessive tone anywhere in our body. … More tone is not always better.” ~ Lauren Ohayon

[51:27] Connect with Laura on her websites or her Facebook groups to learn more.

[52:21] What was something you picked up from this interview? Shannon would love to know.


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