Thursday, January 23, 2020

Boost your confidence with practice...a yoga practice

Lack of self-confidence affects most of us, if not all of us, at some point in our lives. Self-confidence issues come in all shapes and sizes; we are unsure of many things, unsure of ourselves, unsure about where our life is going, and we often feel we are not enough. Without self-confidence we let fear take control and can end up in unpleasant situations. True confidence comes from an authentic connection to our true self. A yoga practice can provide a pathway towards this self-realization, improving well-being and boosting self-confidence. 

Yoga teaches us to self-soothe. In the quiet stillness of a posture the mind slowly relaxes. We concentrate on the breath and notice the effects on the body. The body then naturally follows the mind into relaxation. We come to realize we can breathe through tough situations and the quiet stillness that follows allows us to reassess. This ability to self-soothe restores our self-confidence. 

Yoga allows us to be at ease in our body and mind. As we practice we become aware of our limitations, as we as our potential and as we become aware of our potential we become aware of the limiting thoughts that get in our way. We learn to appreciate the amazing things we can do rather than focus on what we can't do. This helps to re-focus the mind and confidence grows. 

A lack of self-confidence often manifests as poor posture, our shoulders become rounded and our gaze shifts downward. Our body language governs how others perceive us. However, it also defines how we perceive our self, if you stand tall you send a message of confidence to your mind. BKS Iyengar once said, "Yoga does not change the way we see things, it changes the person who sees." A yoga practice can transform you, boosting your self-confidence. 

This month we practiced Camel Pose. Camel pose opens the shoulders and lifts the heart. It is an intermediate back-bend that stretches the front of the body, particularly the chest, abdomen, quadriceps, and hip flexors. It improves spinal flexibility and stimulates the kidneys. Take caution if you have a low back or neck injury otherwise give it a try, it's quite empowering!

Our story this month; I am confident. 

Camel prep; Kneel on the floor, knees hip width apart, toes curled under, thighs pressing forward, chest lifted, place the hands on the lower back, fingers pointing downward, lean back slightly letting the head fall gently back. 

Camel Pose; begin kneeling, knees slightly apart, tops of the feet flat on the floor or toes curled under, inhale as you lengthen the spine and circle the left arm overhead reaching for the left heel, exhale as the hand touches down, inhale and circle the right arm overhead reaching for the right heel, exhale as the hand touches down, press the thighs forward while lifting the chest and lift the chin. Release on arm at a time and sit back for a complete breath. Repeat the pose and lift the right arm first, then sit back and feel the powerful energy of confidence flowing through you. 

Option; Toes curled under makes it easier to reach the heels, you can also use two blocks alongside the feet to place the palms of the hands on. 

Be confident,