We all know that yoga has incredible benefits for the body but did you know that it has amazing effects on the mind as well? One of those effects is a major boost in self-confidence. Through the many facets of its practice, yoga can help you feel more energized and prepared to face your fears. This is how yoga helps boost your confidence.
- It improves mental health and has been shown to help reduce markers of depression and anxiety.1
- It has been shown to be beneficial in reducing stress levels2 making you more prepared to face challenges
- It greatly improves posture, not only making you seem more confident but also feel more confident.
Here are the 5 poses to boost self-confidence.
1. Tadasana/Palm Tree Pose
This is a variation of the traditional tadasana pose, called the palm tree pose. It allows you to breathe deeply, improving circulation to the entire body including your brain. This wakes you up, makes you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. It also strengthens your spine, arms, and legs, which may help correct your posture. This can help you feel more confident.
How To Perform Tadasana/Palm Tree Pose
- Ground yourself firmly by standing straight with your feet slightly apart.
- Inhale and raise both your arms above your head
- Keep them in that position and interlock your fingers
- Now raise your heels and slowly rise up onto your toes.
- Hold this position and feel the stretch in your entire body
- Keep breathing as you hold this position until you can’t do so any longer.
- Come back down onto your heels and relax with some deep breaths
- Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable doing.
2. Vrikshasana/Tree Pose
This is an invigorating pose, leaving you rejuvenated and refreshed. It allows you to concentrate more and brings balance to your body. It is a pose that will help open your hips and strengthen your legs, making you stand firmer and taller.
How To Perform Vrikshasana/Tree Pose
- Stand straight with your arms by your side.
- Bend your right knee and bring your foot to rest on your left thigh.
- Make sure the sole is firmly resting against the root of your thigh.
- Keep your eyes open and keep your gaze focused on one object in the distance.
- Once you have found your balance breathe and slowly raise your arms above your head
- Bring your hands together in the ‘namaste’ position.
- Keep your body stretched out and taut.
- Continue to breathe deeply, relaxing the body every time you exhale.
- Gently bring your arms and leg down and return to the starting position.
- Repeat with the left leg on the right thigh.
3. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana/Upward Dog Pose
Downward dog helps to open up the chest. It also helps align the spine and helps improve kidney functioning and helps awaken the nervous system.
How To Perform Urdhva Mukha Svanasana/Upward Dog Pose
- Start by lying face down on the floor or mat.
- The top of your feet and your palms should be facing downwards.
- Lift your forearms perpendicular to the ground.
- Push your palms into the ground and lift your torso.
- Drop your shoulders back and raise your head towards the ceiling.
- Slightly lift your thighs and legs off the floor by pushing your feet into the ground.
- Breathe deeply and hold the position for 1-3 breaths.
4. Virabhadrasana I/ Warrior I
This pose gets its name from Virabhadra, an incarnation of Shiva as a fierce warrior. Remember this as you practice this pose. By channeling this persona, you can be confident in your inner warrior as well.
How To Perform Virabhadrasana I/ Warrior I
- Begin in Tadasana, standing on the mat.
- Start by turning to the left.
- Step your feet apart about 3–4 feet.
- Turn your right foot out and point it towards the top of the mat.
- Pivot your left foot towards the side of the mat at a 45-degree angle.
- Align your right heel with the arch of the left foot while keeping your pelvis facing the front.
- Reach up with your arms and stretch them.
- Keep your fingers active and reaching.
- Tilt your head back and gaze at your hands.
- Hold this pose for up to one minute, continuing to breathe deeply.
5. Virabhadrasana II/ Warrior II
Another of the warrior poses, this pose helps you stretch your hips and groin, while also giving you balance and clarity.
- Begin in Tadasana and bring your hands to the front of your chest in namaste position.
- Take deep breaths before spreading your arms out to the side, parallel to the floor, drawing your shoulder blades apart.
- Turn your left foot slightly to the right so your two feet are at right angles. Make sure that your heels are still in line.
- Turn your right thigh outward and bend your right knee so that it is directly above your right ankle.
- Keep your left leg straight, and stabilize your lower body.
- Now turn your head to the right, looking over your fingers. Avoid leaning on your right thigh
- Hold this position for several breaths.
- Inhale, lower your arms, and straighten your right leg.
- Reverse positions and hold for another few breaths.
If you are in a stressful situation at work or a public event, you can energize yourself a little more subtly, with this pranayama/deep breathing exercise. It may help you feel more composed in stressful situations
Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
This pranayama boosts metabolism, and helps clear your respiratory system, strengthening your lung capacity. It will make you feel energized as well.
How to perform this pranayama
- Sit up straight and keep your chin up so as to align your head and your spine.
- Close your eyes and place your hands on your knees.
- Relax your stomach muscles.
- Now breathe as forcefully through your nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation
- Use as much force as is comfortable for you
- Use a pace of about 1 second for both inhalation and exhalation
- Do round of 10 repetitions and then inhale completely
- Hold this breath for 1–5 seconds and exhale
Regular practice of these yoga poses will help you feel more confident, energized and ready to face the world head on.
|↑1||Woolery, Alison, Hector Myers, Beth Sternlieb, and Lonnie Zeltzer. “A yoga intervention for young adults with elevated symptoms of depression.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 10, no. 2 (2004): 60.|
|↑2||Michalsen, Andreas, Paul Grossman, Ayhan Acil, Jost Langhorst, Rainer Lüdtke, Tobias Esch, George Stefano, and Gustav Dobos. “Rapid stress reduction and anxiolysis among distressed women as a consequence of a three-month intensive yoga program.” Medical Science Monitor 11, no. 12 (2005): CR555-CR561.|