Regularly practicing yoga helps us in many ways. Physically, it increases flexibility and improves posture, which can help us emotionally too. Yoga helps relieve stress and anxiety. A regular yoga practice helps improve focus and instills clarity of mind. All these benefits compound to give us a greater sense of empowerment, which naturally increases our self-confidence.
Self-confidence grows in yoga!
A lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem can hold us back from many things in life, but yoga can help. Yoga and meditation are two ways that build confidence, boost self-esteem, and help combat issues that arise from low self-worth.
Practicing mindfulness and focusing on the present moment are key components of yoga and they encourage us to tune into how we are feeling – both physically and emotionally. This focused awareness helps us feel more comfortable and confident even after stepping off our yoga mats. Yoga is a practice that enhances our self-image and self-worth the longer we stick with it.
Empowerment is a key aspect of yoga that gives us the confidence to keep trying.
It’s hard to master certain poses (I’m looking at you Ardha Chandrasana!) but when we continue trying, we improve. We have to work hard to achieve our goals in yoga. They don’t happen overnight but that’s what gives us that feeling of control and ultimately power. Knowing that we are in control of our physical growth on our mats, increases self-confidence. One tiny step, one tiny improvement, at a time.
Yoga helps us appreciate our bodies.
Yoga creates an appreciation for the way we move. Appreciating how our bodies move, ultimately can improve what we think about our bodies and how we look at them.
One of the beautiful things about yoga is that there is no winning or losing. We either show up or we don’t. Really just showing up should be looked at as a triumph because showing up and doing the work is how we improve and how we feel better. Every time we try a new pose, breathe through discomfort, or take child’s pose when we need it, we’re taking time to notice our bodies and how we move. Then confidence grows!
What does your self-talk sound like?
You know that saying change starts at home? It also begins inside your home – in your mind and with your awareness.
As you notice your body, also notice the thoughts that come up. What does your self-talk sound like in each pose? Poses we find easy are often the ones when our minds wander away but when we’re able to stay in the moment, it’s common to notice neutral self-talk. (This is easy, or I don’t feel much right now.) What if it is a pose that seems unattainable right now? Self-talk can go negative quickly. (This is impossible! I’ll never be able to do that.) Typically, a pose that is right at our edge is when we notice positive self-talk. (Oh, I’m so close! Let me reach just a little bit further.)
Stay in the present moment.
What if we just paid attention to what comes up? Then we can look for our edge (the Goldilocks zone) in each pose. Bring more awareness to the easy ones and more of a growth mindset to the ones that seem impossible. Just work where we are each day. Let go of last year or next week. Stay in the present moment. That builds self-confidence.
Next time you’re on your mat, really pay attention. Pay attention to any thoughts that come up. Pay attention to how your body moves. Take time to genuinely appreciate how amazing your body is. Awareness builds appreciation. Appreciation builds confidence, body image, and self-esteem.
Try these poses and mantras to build self-confidence.
Balasana (Child’s pose)
This pose allows us to surrender into the moment and into our bodies. As you’re here, remember: There is only one thing in the universe, and we are all it.
Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge pose)
By opening up the hips in this pose, we can release built-up tension and stress. Remind yourself: I release this tension so I can balance in my center.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
This pose builds strength and flexibility. Let your self-talk be: I am strong and steady with flexibility in my thinking and physical body.
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Two pose)
This pose stretches the muscles across the top of your chest. As you open up the space around your heart, say: I am a spiritual warrior who fights self-doubt with confidence.
Vrksansana (Tree pose)
This balancing pose requires focus so remember: When I focus on the present moment, I can do hard things.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
As you stretch the shoulders, chest, and abdomen in this pose, confidently repeat: As I let my heart shine, I light up the world around me.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Mastering the art of relaxation can be a real confidence booster. As you surrender and relax all the muscles of your body simultaneously, tell yourself: I am safe and confident in this very moment.
And remember to really pay attention.
Simply staying in the present moment builds confidence. Pay attention to your thoughts. (Is what I’m thinking true?) Pay attention to how your body moves. (Wow! The human body truly is remarkable.) Take time to genuinely appreciate how amazing your body is. (I have done so many fun things in this body.)
Awareness builds appreciation and that appreciation builds confidence, body image, and self-esteem.