Accessing Whole Inner Unit: Powerhouse

During Non-movement Phase/Static

From Supine

  • Feeling a drawing together between the hips like someone is tightening a belt to keep your jeans up (Elaine Rasher)
  • On your exhale draw your navel toward your spine simultaneously drawing your spine up to meet your navel.
  • Imagine your torso holds a precious object inside of it. With your exhale draw your belly, back, and side muscles around it, hugging it like bubble wrap, but with out crushing it.
  • Think of your waist as a girdle. To engage your entire core unit, draw your girdle tight, but not so tight that you can’t breath fully.
  • When you exhale try to draw your entire waist, all dimensions, inward as if being tugged by a strong magnet toward a center axis.
  • Think of your core as having a liquid center that reaches infinitely along a vertical line. To engage your entire core feel your back, sides and front draw around this liquid center as close as it can get without disrupting it.
  • Narrow your waist from your hip bones to deep under your ribs, keeping the ribs relaxed and the chest and shoulders at ease.

From Prone

  • Using your breath to help maintain length through the spine, begin to deeply draw from just inside your hip points (just at 10 and 2 o’clock). From that energy and contraction continue to draw your strength and the tone of your center up through the ribs and out the sternum. (Marie Jose-Bloom variation.)

From Sitting or Standing

  • Imagine a cord that attaches from behind your belly button and is being pulled up diagonally through the space just below the tip of your shoulder blades. To engage your entire core feel this strong connect from front to back, top to bottom. (Maria Jose-Bloom variation.)
  • Keeping head, neck and shoulders at ease, feel as if you could draw your spine upward toward the ceiling by gathering everything inward toward your center including your thighs, hips and waist.
  • Firmly press down and root through your legs and feet feeling a natural rebounding upward through your inner thighs, low belly, waist and the crown of your head. Keep this strong opposition running through your center as you soften all of your outer edges including your face.
  • With each inhale feel the spine grow taller, more space between every bone and every joint. With each exhale hug the muscles around your center and sustain that wonderful light space.
  • Feel as if there were clouds of space between every vertebra.
  • Imagine a 100 helium balloons attached to the top of your head. Feel them lift your spine upward as you engage around your entire center, including upper inner thighs, to stay attached to the ground.

Accessing Whole Inner Unit: Powerhouse

During Movement Phase/Active

From Supine - (as in foot work)

  • Feel your waist hug inward toward your spine consistently as you move, but allow the breath to be full and wide in the back so as to support the natural contract and release that has to happen in all of the core muscles. (Chantill Lopez)
  • As you inhale and push out feel the sit bones narrow slightly and the pelvic floor engage just a little more. As you exhale and pull in the sit bones will widen and the top of the hips will narrow drawing you even deeper into your waist (TA). (Taken from bony rhythms – Eric Franklin.)
  • As you move focus on bearing equal weight both on the base of the sacrum and the width of the ribs. Allow the breath to move freely three dimensionally and feel the hugging of your deep core to keep the balance.
  • Imagine your entire waist like a bellows. No matter where you are in the movement your bellows is strong and active. Whether it’s opening to take air in and contracting or closing to push air out and contracting there is a natural flow of effort and strength through the entire waist as you move. (Chantill Lopez)

From Prone - (as in swimming)

  • Stay constantly in touch with your breath. If you begin to hold your breath your core cannot work to support you. Inhale feel the inflation of your back and the wide wrapping of the back of your waist. As you exhale imagine you could pull that strength around toward your front as if it were Saran Wrap.  (Chantill Lopez)
  • Keep lengthening out of your waist as if you could grow longer through your ribs.
  • Keep the lower hip bones knit together.

From Sitting and Standing - While Flexing The Spine

  • Never shorten the space between ribs and hips as you curl the spine forward.
  • Think of lifting your waist in and up along the vertebra as you move the spine into a curl.
  • Think of yourself as one half of a canoe, always reaching further away from your center even as you curl up on the ends.
  • Imagine your spine on a upward arching conveyor belt. Feel greater length between each vertebra as you curl.

From Sitting or Standing - While Extending the Spine

  • You’ve got suspenders from rib to hip in the front and back of your body. As you move into extension feel a gentle pulling or lengthening on both sets of suspenders.

From Sitting or Standing - While Side Bending

  • First feel the top of the waist narrow from a lift in the low belly. Once you feel like you are light in the low back begin to draw one set up ribs straight up through the ceiling while maintaining as much length on the opposite side as you can. Be mindful of the shoulders helping.

From Sitting or Standing - While Rotating the Spine

  • Instead of focusing on the bones initiating the movement, draw up from below your belly button and spiral from deep inside your right hip upward toward the inside of your left ribs.
  • Wring yourself out like a wet towel.
  • Draw yourself around equally from the back and front of the body in order to feel a three dimensional connection to your core.

Accessing Whole Inner Unit: Powerhouse

General Activation During Any Phase of Movement


  • Your back brace is there to protect you… like it’s armor. (Carrie Stillman)
  • Treat your core with the gift of length and strength. (Carrie Stillman)