In addition to my yin/restorative yoga routine that I do every evening, I’ve added a couple of sets of reverse crunches (started at 15 reps, now up to 25) between my extended stretches. Because I am a professional chair sitter, constantly seated in front of a keyboard and monitor, my lower abdomen gets a minimal workout during the day. If I don’t catch myself, I am constantly leaning back into the back support and rounding my lower spin. I’ve noticed that my abs have become progressively weaker, despite my yoga practice. Most classes don’t include navasana (Boat pose) or similar poses enough to make a difference. When you’re over 60, the tendency is for the gut to start spilling out over the pubic and hip bones. In fact, I probably had lost the ability to contract those muscles fully, which was why it was so hard to reach into forward folds.
It’s an effort to regain contact with the lower chakras, both to energize the supporting muscles and relax them. In order to make a noticeable difference, I need to practice crunches every day. I remember that the Forrest Yoga classes at Thrive a couple of years ago used to include a lot of variations on crunches, and I used to hate them.