Increase Your Confidence With These 6 Yoga Poses
This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.
Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” dives deeply into the idea that we have two major forms of body language—high power poses and low power poses.
High power poses are those where you are stretched out, confidently taking up the space around you. High power poses leave you feeling empowered, confident, and comfortable in your environment. However, low power poses (where you take up as little space as possible) spike your stress levels, and leave you feeling uncomfortable in your own skin.
In this experiment, participants stayed in each pose for two minutes, and what happened was shocking. People who spent two minutes in high power poses were left feeling radically more confident, and those who were in low power poses felt drastically anxious. So how can we use this information to empower our yoga practice? Get into high power poses during those times in life where you’re feeling a little low—it will flip your mental switch from sad to happy and glad.
6 Poses to Increase Your Confidence
As you crawl into your upward facing dog, allow your breath to flow down from the top of your head, down your neck, and down your shoulders. As your breath continues to flow, start to focus your breathing into your upper abdomen. As you stay in this high-power pose, you’re opening up your solar plexus, the area of your body associated with personal power. Staying here for a few more breaths will help you unlock your confidence and charisma.
Is your lower back stiff? Modify by sliding into sphinx pose.
2. High Lunge
Get those powerful juices flowing by getting into high lunge. This pose will help stretch out your back and your hips, while simultaneously balancing your energetic body. Get extra-powerful in this position by cactus-ing your arms, or placing hands behind head (resting your head into the back of the palms).
3. Warrior III
As you stretch into Warrior III, stretch your arms out like an airplane. Breathe into every inch of your limbs. Feel how much space you are taking up, and how supportive your breath is in stabilizing your body. Keep breathing, and keep stretching out in all directions.
If you have trouble balancing, don’t worry about getting your core parallel to the floor, just focus on lifting the chest up, and making sure your back leg is lifted a few inches off of the floor.
Half moon is an amazing confidence booster, not just because it looks cool, but mainly because you get to stretch out in all directions, and open up all sides of your body. When you master this pose, you truly feel powerful when you come out of it!
If this pose is hard for you—use a block (or stack of books) below your hand, and send your leg back to a wall to support your balance. Stay here for two minutes or less.
Enliven your spinal energy and shift your weight into your front body with full wheel. This pose will work to get your body energized and activated. The movement in the back will help stress move out of your back body, and the stretching will help open up your heart and your front body.
If this pose is too much for you, modify it by moving into supported bridge pose.
Handstand is another fun way to stretch your body out into a powerful pose. To get the most out of this pose, you may want to move next to a wall, and stretch your legs out so that you are making a giant X-shape.
You will receive the confidence boosting benefits, and you will also send blood back into your brain (giving you a fresh whoosh of mental clarity).