Every new year, millions of Americans try to start a new habit to improve their lives. New Year’s resolutions are the most common, but new habits can be just as important to our health and wellness. Resolutions are meant to be a promise to change something, but habits are meant to be a lifestyle. Along with new year’s resolutions, there are a few yogic poses that are meant to bring us into a positive frame of mind. When we practice yoga, we want to have a strong alignment and stability throughout our body. It also helps to have a calm and positive mind as the poses are meant to be used in a meditative manner. Yoga works not only on the physical level, but also on the energetic one.
Yoga is a great way to start off your day and can really help energize you. It can also help you clear your head and stop you from overthinking. It also helps you find inner peace and find strength to make the right decisions, especially when you are stressed out.
Confident people are great. They radiate a warm and magnetic energy, which makes people feel very comfortable in their presence. Self-confidence has to do with having confidence in your own decisions, believing in your own abilities and being humble about your own limitations. You love who you are, and that makes others feel good about themselves.
And of course yoga can help! Just taking a yoga class can increase our self-esteem and self-confidence. It sends such a positive message into our hearts and minds that we pay attention. This alone can improve our opinion of ourselves.
As we begin to build physical strength and take on more challenging poses, we feel stronger inside. And the yoga postures become easier as we practice them, showing us that we are capable of change and growth.
1. Forearm Support (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose is great for developing core strength. It ignites your fire center, and you’ll likely feel a warm feeling on a physical level after a few breaths.
Resist the tendency to give up on the pose after only 10 seconds and instead focus on your ability to overcome the challenges. And the good thing is that it activates the solar plexus chakra, the energy center connected to your will and determination, and also to your self-esteem.
Tips: Make sure your shoulders are just above your elbows and that your body forms a nice long line from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Pull your belly button in and up and the sides of your waist in to activate your core and prevent your lower back from sagging.
2. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
When you combine balance with core and leg strength, you have a recipe for stunning beauty! Keep your mind concentrated, focus your gaze on the drishti (the focal point) and try to keep your breathing even and regular. This will help you feel stronger in your posture.
Tips: Both legs should be equally strong; if you let your top leg weaken, the whole pose can become awkward.
It is strongest when your arms are stretched forward (as if your body is shaped like a T). So, if you do want to strengthen your legs and torso, I recommend a lighter version with your hands praying in the center of your heart or your arms pointing backwards along your body.
3. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Warrior II is accessible to most people, and while it is relatively easy, it can make you feel really strong, stable, and confident.
Tips: Approach this position from a position of strength to embody the qualities of a warrior and gain self-confidence. Hold your space, and that starts with your feet. Press it to the ground with intention and determination, and you will feel the flow spread throughout your body.
4. Chair pose (Utkatasana)
This position is also known as the thunderbird position. That’s a good title, don’t you think?
Tips: As with the Warrior II pose, it is important to hold space well when using this pose to increase your confidence.
Of course your legs will let you know they are working, and yes, it may be a little uncomfortable, but if you enjoy the feeling, smile and breathe, you will come out of this pose in a good mood!
5. Laying down the crescent moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
This posture can be difficult for a self-doubting mind. But on the other hand, it can help build trust quickly and be a lot of fun too!
I like to do the Crescent right after the Warrior III because it uses the same principle of powerful work on both legs in conjunction with the Core. With a warm heart and warm legs, feel the power in your body and discover a sense of ease in your posture!
Tips: If you’re a little shaky in this pose, I recommend using a yoga block under your arm for extra stability. Your upper leg should be strong, so actively push your foot as if you were trying to lean against an imaginary wall behind you.
I know it’s hard to feel confident when you’re feeling very shaky, so explore your boundaries in a fun and appropriate way. It may take some time to reach the final expression of the crescent moon, so challenge yourself to enjoy the success.
For you, this could be a transition to lifting your upper hand to heaven. Or, it could be a shift of your gaze to your upper hand once you’ve determined the shape of the pose. Or maybe it’s confidence in your ability to balance by lifting your fingertips off the ground.
Feeling strong from within
When we feel strong inside, we stop doubting everything we do and we stop worrying about what others think of us.
I know that when my self-confidence is high, my stress level is very low. I have more energy and am much more able to make a difference in the lives of others. And it feels great!