Confident people are awesome. They give off a warm, magnetic energy that makes people feel really comfortable in their presence. Confidence is trusting in your decisions, believing in your abilities, and being okay with your limitations. It’s liking who you are—and this makes others feel good.
And of course, yoga can help! Just the act of going to a yoga class can boost our self-esteem and self-confidence. It sends such a positive message to our hearts and minds that shows we care about ourselves. This alone can elevate our opinion of ourselves.
As we start to build our physical strength and work our way into more challenging poses, we feel stronger on the inside. And balancing yoga poses become easier the more we practice, showing us that we’re capable of changing and growing.
1. Forearm Plank (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This is an amazing pose for building strength in the core. It ignites your fire centre, so you’ll probably feel the heat on a physical level after only a few breaths.
Resist the urge to pull out of the pose after only 10 seconds and instead tune into your ability to rise to a challenge. And it’s good to know it’s activating your solar plexus chakra, which is the energy centre relating to your will power and determination, as well as your self-esteem.
Tips: Make sure the shoulders are directly over the elbows, and the body is in a beautiful long line from crown to the base of the feet. Draw the navel in and up, and the sides of the waist in, to activate the core and prevent sagging in the lower back.
2. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
When you combine balance with core and leg strength, you’ve got a recipe for awesomeness! Keep your mind focused by fixing your gaze on a drishti (focal point), and try to keep your breath smooth and even. This should help you feel more powerful in the pose.
Tips: Both of your legs need to be just as strong as each other; if you let that top leg go limp, the whole pose can become floppy.
It’s stronger to have the arms out in front (like your body is in a T-shape), so if you’re still building up the legs and core, I recommend taking an easier variation with either the hands in prayer at the heart centre, or the arms pointing back alongside the body.
3. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Warrior II is accessible for most people, and even though it’s relatively uncomplicated, it can still make you feel really strong, steady, and confident.
Tips: Approach this pose from a place of strength so you can embody the qualities of a warrior and reap confidence. Really hold your space, which starts from the feet. Press them into the earth with intent and purpose, and you’ll feet that flow up through your whole body.
4. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
It’s also known as Thunderbolt Pose. Aptly named, don’t you think?
Tips: Like Warrior II, it’s important to really hold your space if you’re using this pose to increase your confidence.
Sure, the legs will let you know they’re working, and yep it might feel a little awkward, but if you enjoy those sensations, and smile and breathe, you’ll come out the other side of this pose feeling great about yourself!
5. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
This pose can be challenging for a mind full of self-doubt. But on the flip side, it can quickly help to build self-confidence—and it can also be a lot of fun!
I like to practice Half Moon straight after Warrior III, as you’ve got the same principle of both legs working powerfully in combination with the core. With the core and legs fired up, feel the strength in your body and explore finding a sense of lightness in your attitude!
Tips: If you’re a bit wobbly in this pose, I recommend you use a yoga block under your hand for stability. That top leg needs to be strong, so press the foot actively, as though you’re trying to stand on an imaginary wall behind you.
I know it’s challenging to feel confident if you’re feeling really wobbly, so playfully and appropriately explore your edge. It can take time to reach the final expression of Half Moon, so challenge yourself in some way that allows you to enjoy success.
For you, that might be progressing to raising the top arm towards the sky. Or it might be taking your gaze to the top hand, once you’ve set the shape of the pose. Or it might be trusting your ability to balance as you lift your fingertips off the floor.
Feeling Strong from the Inside Out
When we feel strong on the inside, we stop second-guessing our every move, and we stop fretting so much about what people think of us.
I know that when my confidence is high, my stress levels are really low. I have more energy, and I’m much more capable of making a positive difference in the lives of others. And that feels pretty incredible!