With the expectations of modern life, it’s not unusual to feel under-confident. Sometimes it can seem like everybody else is doing better than you, whether that’s in terms of their job, relationship, or physical appearance. Thankfully, yoga can be used to build up your confidence and leave you feeling empowered. All you need to get started is a quiet space and a comfortable yoga mat. In this article, we explore yoga empowerment in more detail.
Many of us experience low self-esteem. Every day, the media is bombarding us with manipulated images of the ‘perfect body’. Although the way these people look isn’t actually real, this can quickly leave us feeling unhappy with how we look. Thankfully, yoga can be used to combat this. Showing you that everybody is different, yoga encourages us to celebrate those differences and be proud of our natural body. Attending a class with people of all shapes, ages, and sizes shows us that in reality, nobody looks the way that the superimposed models do – not even the models themselves.
If you’re still feeling unhappy with your body, yoga can help you to alter your physique if you so wish. Unlike fad diets, the practice allows you to lose weight in a natural and healthy manner. Additionally, yoga can help us to tone the muscles. Over time, you can achieve a flatter stomach, get rid of that cellulite and tone your glutes for a firmer bottom.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘empowered women empower women’. Although it sounds cheesy, it’s completely true. If you want to feel empowered, it’s important to surround yourself with the right sort of people. The key to happiness is ridding your life of negative energy, and this includes the people that create it. Yoga is a great way to meet likeminded individuals who are trying to meet their own personal goals, just like you. Attending a weekly class allows you to build strong friendships that will only blossom with time. Not only will good friends celebrate your successes with you, they will also be there to fall back on in times of struggle.
The first step to empowerment is building your self-confidence. As yoga is great for both the body and mind, practising it regularly is ideal for those hoping to increase their self-confidence. Pranayama is a great way to keep your body calm and improve your overall well-being, while asana practice helps to tone your muscles for a stronger, leaner physique. As well as improving your physical strength, strong poses teach you about physical authority which can help you to feel more confident in yourself. Deep breathing exercises can be used to reduce stress and anxiety; in moments of fear, try taking a couple of deep breathes to regain balance and feel more in control.
Another great thing about yoga is that it teaches you how to self-soothe. In life, bad days are inevitable. Although it’s nice to have support in times of struggle, the ability to get through them on your own can leave you feeling empowered. In yoga, asanas known as ‘Safe Poses’ are great for self-soothing. Typically performed calmly and quietly, the postures encourage you to concentrate on your breathing and connect with your body on a deeper level.
Examples of safe poses are Child’s Pose and Pigeon Pose, which are practised with the body in a protected position. As well as possessing physical benefits, these poses can leave you feeling safe and secure. Learning how to use safe poses can help you to self-soothe and take a moment to focus on yourself. Once you are able to do this, you can use them in times of stress, anxiety, and even sadness.
To feel empowered, it’s important to make sensible decisions. When we have a million things on our mind, we often make a rash decision that we later regret. Thankfully, yoga can help us to avoid this. Through yoga, we can learn how to clear the mind before jumping into anything. This then allows us to make a sensible, informed decision when the moment is right. One of the best ways to clear the mind is through mindful breathing, or Pranayama as it’s officially known as. While there is a range of different breathing exercises, simply taking a few deep breathes can help to relieve stress and focus the mind.
For some people, the positive effects that yoga has on the body are merely a bonus. Some practitioners practice yoga purely because they enjoy it. Like any hobby, a weekly yoga class can provide some much needed ‘me time’ away from the stresses of work and family life. Even if you’re busy, it’s important to take some time for yourself each week. As yoga teaches us how to relax and revitalise the mind, it’s likely that you will feel more productive after your session than you did going into it! Additionally, attending a local class gives you the chance to develop a new skill. Having a hidden talent makes most people feel happy, confident, and empowered.
Whether you’re an experienced practitioner or you’re just starting out, yoga can be used as a tool of empowerment by everybody. Better still, yoga has a range of other great benefits, too. If you’re hoping to lower your stress levels, improve your blood circulation, or even lose weight, yoga could help you to achieve your goal. All you need to get started is a comfy mat and a good-quality pair of yoga pants. If you’re a beginner, it might be worth attending a local class rather than practising independently. There, an experienced instructor can advise you on the best way to practice.