Yoga is renowned for its ability to grow our confidence. Unraveling the muscles of the chest and opening the solar plexus can have a delicious effect on this aspect of the practice. Yin Yoga is a great way to take this even deeper. The long, heavy holds release emotional tension and restore self-confidence by nourishing our self-trust. It becomes a layer cake of heart-opening warmth.

Self-confidence and grooming

Confidence comes mainly from trusting yourself. Often, trust is thought to reside in the solar plexus or heart area. It grows in part based on how well we listen to our bodies and do what’s necessary to support ourselves. We develop a deeper trust in ourselves when we actively support our own needs. The heart and solar-plexus area become calmer and more open. We can then cultivate the ability to listen to ourselves and support our own needs.

What are we listening to?

We feel the stress in our body, either as a contraction or as a tension in the chest, shoulders, and neck, or a heart palpitation. This sensation is the body’s way of telling you “NO”; it does not like this stressor. The body may contract if we continue to repeat the stressor, leading to injuries, illnesses, or general pain. The result of not listening to the body’s “NO” is pain, disease, or injury.

We can prevent injuries by paying more attention to the “NO” signals. In addition, we can increase our self-sufficiency. This will help us to trust ourselves and gain more self-esteem.

The practice

As you relax in these Yin Yoga positions, consider the exercise assigned to each.

Soft Butterfly 3 Minutes

Sit with your feet touching the blanket and your knees bent out to the side, resting on the blocks. You can then rest your head over a bolster propped up by bending forward.

If you feel yourself getting agitated, take a deep breath and try to stay still. You will feel more confident in your ability to do what is right for you, both on and off of the mat.

Fish Pose, Four Minutes

Place a block at shoulder level and another one lower under your head. Imagine you are a silky piece draped over your blocks. Roll to one side, pause for a few seconds, and then move on.

Allow yourself to feel the emotion. You may laugh, yell, cry a lot, or just grin. Feelings can change quickly, but only when they are experienced. Letting these emotions bubble without judging them can help your body release things it has been holding on to. This helps to balance the solar plexus and calms down your emotional heart space.

Twisted Roots, 3 Minutes Each Side

Bend your knees inward and let them fall to one side on a blanket or block. Let your gaze drift to the other side as you open your arms.

Distinguish between “PAIN” (the word) and different levels of sensation. Listen to the body when it tells you “NO.” Sit for a few minutes if you feel a dull pain or a stretching sense. This creates an amazing layer of self-trust.

Child’s Pose with Blocks, 4 minutes

You can do the Child’s Pose with your arms at your sides or your upper arms on a block and your forehead resting on a thickly folded blanket.

Send love and compassion to your heart by focusing on anything you saw in the previous shapes. This is a time for reflection and intimacy.

Seated meditation, 5 minutes

Sit comfortably on a blanket or block with your hands on your stomach and your heart.

Inhale and exhale smoothly, feeling the breath fill you. Visit each part of your body one by one. Be very specific. Listen to the messages that your body sends to your brain without judging.

You might even fall asleep the first time. Be patient with yourself. It takes practice to build self-confidence and trust. Every day is different.

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