Confidence is something many of us struggle with. No matter how hard we try, sometimes we just can’t break away from that inner voice telling us we’re not good enough.
That voice is a liar.
One of the greatest benefits of yoga is how it teaches us to love our bodies and ourselves unconditionally. Confidence is in the mind, and the mind can be trained. While the physical benefits of yoga can help you to feel more confident, unless you cultivate this confidence in your mind you will not be complete.
A great place to start building this inner confidence is during your yoga practice. Yoga is a very personal and spiritual experience that can at times feel like a self-growth journey. Make one of your goals while on this journey the attainment of deeper confidence in yourself and your abilities. Here are a few poses that can help you on your way.
Planks are great exercises anyway, but besides strengthening your core they also strengthen resolve. Planks test your ability to hold strong as you build up from 10 to 20, to 30 second long sets. The keys to a great plank are to keep your shoulders over your elbows and your back straight. This pose also activates your solar plexus chakra, which is where your self-esteem resides.
Warrior II & Warrior III
What invokes more confidence than posing like a warrior? Both variations are named after Virabhadra, a great warrior in Hindu mythology. Virabhadra was created by Shiva in a fit of rage, and his image reflects it. With a thousand arms, three eyes, and a garland of skulls around his neck, he looks positively fierce. Virabhadrasana II and III (the Sanskrit translation of warrior II and III) represent our battle with weakness, and through these poses, we build up our inner spiritual warrior.
Many backbends in yoga stimulate the solar plexus chakra, which is where your self-confidence resides. Activating this chakra helps you open up and recognize your personal power and place in this world.
A few backbends that will help you discover this power are upward facing the dog, bow pose, bridge, and wild thing.
This is a far more advanced yoga posture, but its benefits are real even to practiced yogis. Performing a forearm stand absolutely erases any self-doubt. After all, if you can hold your body in the air using the strength of your arms and core, what could there be that you can’t do?
It is recommended that you build up strength and master easier balancing poses before you try a forearm stand. Once you are ready to try, do it with a yoga instructor present so they can guide you and make sure your alignment is correct to avoid injury.
Self-confidence comes from believing in yourself. Yoga teaches you how to do this by shows you that anyone is capable of the seemingly impossible and that in our minds reside our talents and abilities. If you can dream it, you can do it. The only thing standing in your way is you. So, move!