In celebration of International Yoga Day on June 21, we teamed up with yogi + self-confidence coach Marlena MacArthur to bring you 5 yoga postures that instantly boost your self-esteem. Check out Marlena's poses below, and learn more about her at www.marlenamacarthur.com.
Do you ever wish you had more self-confidence? Do you ever wish you believed in yourself so much that you lived your life being YOU all the time? Most people do, yet very few people actually utilize their inner strength to the fullest. So why is it so challenging for many of us to appreciate ourselves and live life being excited about who we are?
Self-confidence is a learned trait. It is a trait that is shaped as we get older. Typically we learn to have low self-esteem based on our past experiences. Fortunately, just as we have learned to not believe in ourselves, we can learn to believe in ourselves. Just like a muscle that you need to strengthen to grow, you can strengthen your self-confidence by working on it on a daily basis.
There are quite a few ways to increase your self-confidence. One way that is extremely beneficial is through the practice of yoga. Yoga allows you to build strength physically and mentally, let go of anything that isn’t serving you, and dig deep into what is holding you back. If you are tired of playing small and are ready to step out of your comfort zone + fully believe in yourself, here are 5 yoga postures to increase your self-confidence and start living authentically + powerfully.
1. Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
Why: Boat pose focuses on strength, specifically core strength. Core strength is related to your 3rd chakra, your solar plexus chakra, which is your center of self-confidence + self-worth. By strengthening your solar plexus chakra, you are stimulating the fire inside you to take control of your life + increase your belief in yourself.
How to: Come to a seated position with your knees bent and your chest lifted towards your thighs. Start by lifting your legs off the ground as you stay rooted on your sit bones. Lengthen your spine and engage your core as you straighten your legs. If you have the flexibility and core strength, grab for your big toes and lift your chest towards your thighs.
2. Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)
Why: Goddess pose allows you to take up space and be in a powerful stance. This posture is great for leg and core strength. Finding your strength alone will increase your self-confidence. Plus, the name of this pose itself is one that is powerful, courageous + determined.
How to: From 5-Pointed Star, turn your feet out and sit your hips low. Keep your knees in alignment with your feet and lift your chest so your shoulders stack over your hips. Lift your arms and bend your elbows so your fingers are pointed towards the ceiling. Take a few deep breaths and really feel the goddess inside you.
3. Revolved Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
Why: This posture is great for ringing out anything that is holding you back. Spinal twists really help remove the “junk” and allow you to let go of fear and insecurity. Revolved Crescent Lunge is a physically strenuous posture, but it builds strength internally as well.
How to: From crescent lunge, bring your hands to heart center and twist towards your front leg. Work to get your elbow outside of your thigh and twist your heart towards the side of the room. Engage your back leg and press your back heal towards the back of the room. If this is too much for you, take this posture with your back knee on the ground. You will still receive all the benefits!
4. Crow (Bakasana)
Why: Arm balances are always a fun way to increase self-confidence. Crow pose is a great way to increase strength, but it is also a great way to let go of fear. Since the posture is focused on being on your hands, you build self-awareness and self-trust while taking small risks.
How to: Place your hands on the ground shoulder distance apart. Bring your knees onto your triceps as you send your weight onto your hands. Try to lift one foot off of the ground at a time. If you feel comfortable, lift both feet off of the ground and bring your big toes together to touch. Continue to engage your core and roll your triceps in.
5. Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Why: Wheel is one of the biggest heart openers in yoga. When you open your heart, you have no place to hide. This posture is wonderful for opening your heart to your true self and letting it shine. It is also a very difficult posture, so you need full trust in yourself to get into the pose.
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Bring your hands by your shoulders with your fingers pointing towards your shoulders. Press into your hands and feet as you lift your hips. Send your chest towards the back of the room and draw your shoulder blades onto your spine. As you come out of this posture, ensure you tuck your chin towards your chest so your neck is safe.
Self-confidence is something that is learned by external factors, but it is also very important to work on yourself internally. I am a Professional Self-Confidence coach and work with people who are completely ready to peal back the layers of self-doubt and self-loathing so they can let their true light shine. I walk my clients through a journey of self-awareness and self-discovery, which leads to self-confidence. I’ve been in a place where I didn’t believe in myself or believe I was good enough. And it is my mission to help all people see how wonderful they are so they can share their gifts with the world. You have been hiding for far too long. It’s time to embrace your greatness and find self-confidence like never before.