The Yoga Addiction

2: Why the Transverse Abdominis is One Badass Muscle and How to Use It

The Yoga Addiction
2: Why the Transverse Abdominis is One Badass Muscle and How to Use It

For the last few years, the transversus abdominis has been a buzz word among health and fitness professionals. In this podcast, we reveal why it's so talked about, how we can use it in yoga classes and its relationship to other areas of our health.


  • How to find the TVA on your body (1:30)
  • What the TVA does; its shape gives us a clue (2:30)
  • How the TVA is not a spinal mover (3:25)
  • How the TVA is a movement-independent muscle; does the TVA activate during an abdominal crunch? (4:12)
  • What muscles does the TVA connect to (7:25)
  • Why you should exhale to feel TVA; but not breath dependent either (8:40)
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to engage and isolate the TVA in the context of a yoga class (9:00)
  • What is the functional relevance of the TVA; we cover some poses where it's relevant (13:45)
  • How Sandy creates TVA engagement even just walking around (15:17)
  • How Nat teaches transitions with TVA awareness (17:28)
  • What Sandy likes to do to build TVA awareness (20:30)
  • How do we go about naming functional movement / functional poses that don't have formal names (25:35)
  • What Stuart McGill's work has taught us about TVA (36:26)
  • How Nat's experience an immense difference in hiking Mount Olympus with her newfound TVA stability (37:00)
  • How to use pranayama for TVA activation (41:45)
  • 30 day Agnisara pranayama challenge (43:59)
  • Is there a link between constipation or abdominal inflammation, lower back pain and depression (45:01)
  • Why the TVA is "The Great Stabilizer" (51:46)


Stuart McGill - Abdominal bracing

Nauli pranayama

Agnisara pranayama

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Brought to you by Natalie Senger and Sandy Huen of The Yoga Addiction