Increase your self love and self confidence with these basic yoga poses
Yoga is a powerful tool when we use it with intention and concentration. These poses (called asanas in sanskrit) have been hand selected to give you an instant boost in self esteem and that’s just the start of it. When you are feeling like your best self that energy radiates into all that you do and everyone you interact with. Take care of others by taking time to care for yourself with these esteem enhancing exercises.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose is the base pose from which all other standing poses are built. Finding your center and grounding in this position, you will notice that your self confidence is immediately elevated. This pose is good on almost any level surface but for added benefit practice on a natural surface like a grassy patch in your favorite park.
Stand with the feet together, heels slightly apart. Lift all ten toes off your mat and intentionally place them down one at a time or as slowly as possible. Slowly lift the kneecap into the thighs engaging your quadriceps and bring the pubic bone toward the navel calling the energy of your abdomen and glutes to attention. Take a deep breath as you spread wide across the chest and bring the shoulder blades toward one another, pressing them into the back of your body. Roll the shoulders up and back and lift the crown of the head toward the sky, aligning the spine from tail to crown, spread your fingers wide bringing life into the palms. Take 5 full breaths here filling the chest and tapping into your inner strength, as you exhale feel any part of you that does not serve your highest self fall away.
Reclined Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)
This gentle twist will help you to stimulate your third chakra, which is the center for mental power and expression of will. With your will in tune with your breath and body, you will be on your way to accomplishing anything you put your mind to.
Lay flat on your mat and bring your arms out wide into a ‘T’ shape opening across the chest. Bend the knees and bring the feet flat on the floor, inhale deeply and as you exhale allow your knees to fall toward the right. Remember that this is a gentle twist, breathe fully with each round of breath keeping the shoulders in contact with the mat. Use a block or a blanket underneath your right knee for support if there is any strain in the back or hip. Bring the knees back to center and repeat for an additional 5 breaths on the left side.
Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
Your self esteem will be soaring after this extended stretch. Puppy Pose opens the chest and heart creating new possibilities and connecting the heart and mind. Allow yourself to extend and create space for the truest version of you.
Begin in an all fours position, toes pointing toward the back of the mat. Inhale deeply, aligning the tailbone with the crown of the head, and as you exhale walk the hands gradually forward eventually bringing the forehead to the mat. If the forehead does not comfortably make contact with the mat use a block or blanket to release any tension in the neck. Feel the sensation of a gentle stretch in the chest and create space between the shoulders and ears. With the hips high, allow your chest to melt towards the mat, the thoracic spine to extend and engage the low ribs to protect the lower back.
Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III)
Confidence is in the name of this pose! Warrior 3 is named for a fierce warrior in Hindu mythology and this pose will have you flying high in your own right. Allow the benefits of this balancing posture to take you to your highest limit, and through it!
From Mountain pose step the left foot back into a runners lunge, be careful to make sure the bent knee does not move past the ankle below it to protect the ankle from injury. Bring the palms together at the center of the chest and set your gaze at a single point in front of you. Inhale deeply here, filling the lungs all the way up to the collar bones and as you exhale begin to lift the back leg as you straighten your right knee. Shine the chest forward and breathe in the sense of accomplishment and self confidence. Keep the gaze steady and find stillness and balance for 5 rounds of breath. Repeat on the opposite side.
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Headstand builds strength and livens up your self esteem, bringing it into alignment with the fresh flow of energy in the body. This inversion will provide you with new perspective and increased stamina towards the greatest version of you.
Begin on the floor sitting on your heels with the knees bent. Grasp opposite elbows and place the forearms on the floor in contact with the knees and the mat. Use this as the measure for the distance between your elbows. Interlace the fingers and tuck the bottom pinky inside the palms. Place the crown of the head on the mat just inside the palms and press the elbows and forearms into the mat lifting the shoulders and forming a stable tripod base. Begin to straighten the knees and lift the hips over the head by pressing the tops of the feet into the mat. Stay here or lift the legs until your body is inverted and erect, engaging the core and pressing into the forearms to protect the neck and spine. Steady the breath and focus the gaze on a single point. When you are ready to come down, relax in childs pose stacking your fists and resting the head for another 10 rounds of breath. Practice Headstand against the wall for added confidence and stability.
Enjoy the immediate effects of these self esteem enhancing asanas. Breathe deeply and remember wherever you go, you have everything you need inside of you. Simply by setting your intention and focusing your awareness it is already done!
These poses are intended to be practiced by healthy individuals. Please respect any physical limitations or injuries and consult your physician regarding any medical conditions prior to practicing asanas.