Have you ever tried something new only to find that you’re not an expert right away? Do you get discouraged and give up right away? Or do you keep at it until you achieve your goals? The key to achieving your goals is having the confidence to keep moving forward and a great way to practice that is with these 5 confidence boosting yoga poses.
If you’re anything like me, you’re starting this year off with some pretty great health and fitness goals.
Two of my goals for this year are to do a 30 day yoga challenge and to be able to do a headstand by the end of the year. So far I’m a day behind on my yoga challenge and I’ve got a giant self-inflicted knot in my shoulder from working towards my headstand.
There’s been so many times that I’ve wanted to call it quits. The negative self-talk starts coming in as I think “What’s doing yoga for 30 days really going to do for me?” and “Do you really need to do a headstand? You’re just not meant to do one.”
Of course I can do a headstand if I work at it!
But I bet you can all relate to that moment of trying to talk yourself out of doing something that might take extra effort and dedication or that doesn’t provide you with instant gratification.
For me, yoga was definitely one of those things! I tried to talk myself into quitting during my first ever practice when I couldn’t do a perfect downwards dog.
Are you serious?
Imagine the kind of world we lived in if everyone quit after their first try at something because it was hard for them or because they weren’t experts!
5 Confidence Boosting Yoga Poses
Through my practice with yoga I’ve learnt a couple different poses that have helped boost my confidence. Some of them improved my posture and pushed me to sit up straighter and walk with my head up while others made me feel on top of the world, like a true yogi, when I finally nailed the pose.
Above all else, yoga is such a perfect form of exercise for those of us with limited time to work out and who spend most of our day sitting. None of these poses include any fancy equipment or a pricey membership. The only commitment is the one you make to yourself to give it your all and to not give up when things get tough.
Make a commitment to yourself and your body to take care of it.
SIDDHASANA – Accomplished Pose
Let’s start off with a very simple pose. Have a seat on the floor cross-legged, preferably on something soft and comfortable like a yoga mat or a rug. Shift around until you find a position that’s comfortable on your booty, then bring the bottom of one foot to the opposite thigh. From here you might want to just bring the bottom of your other foot to the shin of the opposite leg or maybe you want to bring that foot up onto the opposite leg. Do what feels best for you.
From here you’re going to want to bring your hands to your knees in whatever way feels comfortable. Root into the ground from your base and sit up tall. Pull your shoulders back and reach your heart up to the sky.
Stay in this pose for a couple minutes and while you do, think about all of the reasons you’re on the path you are. Think about your why and your yes and really let those thoughts sink into every corner of your body. Maybe take this time to do a little manifesting and repeat some affirmations in your head. As you inhale, imagine your body filling up with confidence and energy and then exhale that same energy back into your space.
This may seem like a super simple pose but it can actually be challenging to sit up straight for so long if you aren’t used to it.
BHUJANGASANA – Cobra
This next pose is one of my favourites and if you’re someone who spends most of your day sitting, this pose is your new best friend!
Start off by laying on your stomach. Maybe you want to preface this pose with a nice full body stretch by stretching your arms out in front of you and your toes to the back of the room. Bring your arms in and place your palms on the ground, right under your shoulders. Make sure your toes are pointed and the tops of your feet are down against the mat.
Ground down through the tops of your feet and push up to straighten your arms. Your arms should be straight with your elbows and wrists stacked under your shoulders. You should feel a super yummy stretch in your back. Once again, stay proud through the chest and give your neck some love by reaching your gaze up to the sky.
Not only is this pose going to improve your posture and keep your walking with your head held high but it’s going to give your back some extra love to keep your spine nice and healthy.
UTTANASANA – Forward Fold
This is another pose that may seem super simple but can actually be challenging for beginners.
Simply enough you’re going to start by standing night and tall with your feet aligned with your hips. Hinge at the hips and bend your knees to touch the ground. Don’t worry if you can’t reach the ground or if your knees are super bent – practice will get you there. Focus on reaching the top of your spine forward and the bottom of your spine and your hips in the other direction. Hold it here for a couple breaths before returning to a standing position.
Although this is a very basic pose, it’s the foundation of many other poses. Just like my approach to self-care, it’s important to take care of your foundation in order to shine through everything else. I know for me I get a confidence boost every time I get on my mat and my forward fold is a little bit straighter or a little bit deeper.
TADASANA – Mountain Pose
This is (another) one of my favourite poses! Mostly because it is incredibly empowering and grounding. Also a little bit because it’s incredibly easy and it’s a pose I could master right away.
In a standing position, you can bring your feet together or keep them at hip-distance apart. From there bring your hands out to the side with your palms facing forward. Keep your knees soft, not locked, and straighten out through your back-body. Lift your chest to the sky and radiate energy from your heart.
While you’re in this pose imagine you’re a literal mountain. Mountains are strong and sturdy. They never worry about what other mountains think of them or what other mountains are doing.
Imagine roots growing from the bottom of your feet into the ground and stretching across miles. Reach your hands up to the sky and your palms to face each other. Relax your shoulders away from your ears and stand strong in this pose for a couple breaths.
I love doing this pose right before I have to do something that makes me nervous or stressed. I remind myself I am a strong, sturdy mountain and I can do anything!
VRIKSHASANA – Tree Pose
Ok this pose likely wont be one you master right away but I wanted to include it in here as a pose to work to so when you do master it you feel strong and confident.
Tree pose is another great pose for grounding and feeling tall and proud.
Start in mountain pose, with your hands by your side and your feet together. Ground down through the bottoms of your feet and imagine those roots again (like a tree… get it??). We’re going to be balancing on one leg so go ahead and pick a spot on the wall in front of you to focus on to help you keep balance. Keep one foot rooted down and turn the other leg out so your knee is facing the wall beside you.
From here you might start off by lifting your leg to rest your heel on your opposite ankle, keeping your toes on the ground. Maybe you’ll bring your foot up to your knee or to your inner thigh. Honour wherever you are in your practice. Do what is comfortable for you but also try to challenge yourself.
If you can, maybe you’ll bring your hands together over your chest or lift them up over your head. Maybe you’re holding on to the wall or your arms are flailing out to the side. Wherever they are, honour that and know that with practice you’ll nail the pose. When you do you’ll feel so proud and amazing!
Next time you’re feeling a bit discouraged and you need a kick in the butt, try one of these poses. Feel that confident energy flow through your body. If at first you’re not a pro DON’T QUIT and one day you will achieve your goal!