Have you ever noticed how yogis seem to be so comfortable in their bodies, even in crazy, fan-dangled shapes? Have you ever wondered how they tend to walk with more confidence, live with more courage, and generally seem more abundant? This is not a trick of the light, and it in no way happens overnight- but it IS real! And you can get there too!
To achieve lasting happiness, it is important to develop a strong self-love. Ahimsa is the foundation of yoga. Compassion and non-judgment for oneself and others.
Yoga teaches you to appreciate what you already have. To be aware of our abundance and to not judge ourselves when we fall. Get up and press on with the strength we have.
Break down what you want (on the mat or in your daily life) into small steps. You may already be able to do some of the steps. You can be confident about this strength. There is abundance in you. You are abundant there.
Are you still unsure of what we mean? Here are some ways to incorporate all of this into your practice by using specific shapes that will help you gain a greater sense of confidence.
Recognize and value your assets
Recognizing your strengths is an excellent way to launch yourself into a positive attitude at work, at home, and in relationships. Peace comes from recognizing where your body is in the moment.
Crescent Lunge & Pyramid Pose
We are all unique. Some of us have more flexibility, while others are stronger. It doesn’t really matter. Own it. Utilize the assets that you have.
If you’re more flexible, you can tuck in the stretch. If you have a lot of strength, you should go to that part. Yoga is for you. Not your neighbor or cousin or the Instagram picture you saw.
Still not sure which one is better for you? How to tell the difference between Crescent Lunge Pose and Pyramid Pose
To acknowledge your strength: Press your feet and legs towards each other when you lunge. Watch your hips rise and square. Exhale and place your navel in your spine. Feel your ribs lifting your entire torso without back bending. In a Pyramid, you maintain length while bowing forward with straight legs. In Crescent Lunge, you keep your front knee bent as you lift your arms and torso to the sky.
To show flexibility: Allow the split in your legs to grow deeper. You might get caught on the legs when you fold into a pyramid. In either shape, keep your torso as long as possible.
You can then focus on the feeling that your body enjoys most. Balance is important for your health and well-being, so don’t forget the opposite action. Allow yourself to indulge in all shapes to feel more confident.
Confidence grows as you grow
Slow down the voice inside your head and instead focus on a practice that is led by your heart rather than one that is guided by your head. You are perfect, just as you are. You can start to distinguish between your intuition and the cricket on your shoulder that is telling you lies. It’s the same as when we listen to our bodies for impending injuries while we practice. We can also mean the difference between a strengthening or stretching sensation in a particular shape. Listen to the body’s ability and build on solid foundations. This will encourage self-confidence, which is the foundation of all confidence.
Nothing can develop your confidence like a warrior’s body shape. Warrior One, which is a perfect example of this method, is a great way to build a solid foundation. To square your hips, it all begins with the placement of the feet. You’ll likely be hips-width apart when you lift your arms and ribs high if you raise your hands from Down Dog.
When first attempting to balance the shape, it is common to lose control of the flexed leg when lifting the rear foot to avoid tilting the hips. Listening attentively during this transition will help you gain confidence as you lift, hold, and exit the shape. The ribs can be knitted inwards towards the navel to support the hips and give you a feeling of strength when you open your chest and dive forward (but slowly).
Look for the exact sensation you feel when you tip forward from plank to Chaturanga. Also, identify the phenomenon that occurs when your elbows cross your wrists. The elbows should be pressed firmly against your ribs but without touching. Before lowering yourself, you should be aware of where your feet and shoulders are. In Crow Pose, with the floor under your nose and all, moving forward can be frightening. Transitions become less daunting with a strong foundation and an improved sense of listening.
Instead of focusing on raising the leg or being extravagant, control the side body muscles and leg muscles in order to align the hips. Listen to the ribs pushing forward and your shoulder blades pulling back without compromising hip-over-hip alignment or turning your face upward. You can use your forearm or knee on the floor to feel how the hip alignment, oblique involvement, and their interaction with each other. Before you step up and lift your forearm or knee, feel the shape. When you lift your leg or your forearm, you may notice that your alignment changes.
Listen to abundance and appreciation
This shape opens the heart and hips. The feet and hands are ground to allow the body to hang as a hammock. It is soft and open, and your chest will press upwards. This shape feels like basking under the sun. Every time you enter Up Dog, take a moment to appreciate what you have.
It’s basically an upside-down version of the last shape! In Wild Thing, allowing your body to invert is liberating. When you reach this position, inhale deeply and enjoy the strength and openness that it brings to you.
Yoga can help you discover your strengths, gain self-confidence, and feel grateful for all that your body already can do, have, and achieve.
It only takes a little bit less judgment and a whole lot more love.