I am a fan of Sadie Nardini’s Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga on Facebook and she has been posting core tips which I am integrating into my practice. I am posting some of her tips here which I have compiled to share with you all.
Core Tip 1:
When transitioning from Upward Dog to Downward Dog and while lowering into Chaturanga or pushing back up into Plank, strongly move the sides of your hips and waist back. You will appear to still be in a straight torso alignment, as in Plank, but now you're engaging your Spiral Line, specifically the obliques and serratus muscles that can help to take the weight off your shoulder joints.
Core Tip 2:
In your Handstand preparation, think of exhaling and pulling the sides of your hips and waist straight back towards the wall, strongly, as you hop. This will engage the obliques and give you far more core power than using the back or front of the body only.
The above tips teach us how to engage the obliques and serratus muscles which provide us with more core power for a better practice.
Core Tip 3:
In Downward Dog, lift the sides of your waist towards the ceiling and forward, until you feel your armpits hollow and shoulder joints lighten. It's farther than you might think. Make sure your elbows are facing diagonally forward to allow an external rotation of upper arms balanced with the inner rotation of the lower arms.
Core Tip 4:
In Downward Dog, resist your hands towards one another, as if the thumbs would come to touch (though your hands don't actually move from their shoulder-distance placement on the mat) and you'll get a corresponding widening in the shoulder joints and collarbones.
The above tips help to instantly decompress your shoulders, neck and upper back.
Below is a video where Sadie Nardini talks about Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga and how it can transform your yoga practice.