“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Photo Courtesy of The River Tree)
Last week, I challenged you (as well as myself) to work on using your voice for good, both with others and with yourself. How did you do? I did pretty good when it came to other people, but not so good with myself. I didn’t realize how much I constantly put myself down until I started to pay attention…and I didn’t like that one bit!
So, this week, my focus is to work on establishing and building self-confidence. After all, how can we expect to be nice to ourselves and keep the positive attitude if we have zero self-confidence? The trick is to have the right amount of self-confidence, because if we have too much, then that is perceived as having too much ego. We don’t want to suppress the ego, as it’s important to have a strong sense of who we are and to have confidence in our abilities. Finding the balance is where the challenge is…we want “just enough” ego, and that’s not always easy to achieve.
In yoga, we can work on developing that balance by working on poses that ground us and help build self-esteem. Some poses that are good for grounding are most standing poses, such as Mountain Pose and Warrior 1. Practicing them in a dynamic and fluid manner can help build your confidence. A nice vinyasa to try is what I call “Flowing Chair”, which works as follows:
- Start from Mountain Pose
- Inhale and raise arms overhead
- Exhale into Chair Pose
- Inhale and straighten legs, raising arms overhead
- Exhale Mountain Pose
- Repeat steps 1-5 as many times as you wish.
Balancing Half Moon, Triangle Pose and Camel Pose are great poses as well, as they help to not only ground you, but they open the chest and improve breathing. Breathing well helps to improve the energy moving through the entire body, which is helpful for building confidence and self-esteem. So work in these poses on breathing fully, finding spaciousness and relaxation.
Most of all, just be yourself. God made you who you are for a reason. Reconnect with yourself this week, really listening to what you have to say. When we can do that, we will be better able to find the things we need to help us feel grounded, rooted, and balanced.