Yoga for self-esteem is yoga that focuses on building confidence and reminds you that the physical practice of yoga is a reflection for life off of the mat too. By repeating to practice the same poses and breaking them down or adding on you begin practicing what’s needed to create more self-esteem in your life. The most you practice, the more you repeat, the more you’ll feel confident. That’s really the key.
Self-Esteem Yoga Flow
Join me in a vinyasa flow that builds onto poses so you can practice building your self-esteem on the mat.
Recommended Props & Gear
A few props that I recommend for this yoga practice!
- Yoga mat (my personal fav and what I use)
- Yoga blocks
- Yoga bra: Yinside Yoga Embrace Bralet (use code TAYLORSTRACKS for 15% off!)
- Yoga pants: Lululemon Align (my personal fav!)
Best Yoga Poses for Self-Esteem
Warrior II is a classic yoga pose that builds heat, energy, confidence, and thus self-esteem. As simple as the pose may seem, it’s when you stay in it for multiple breaths that you begin to notice how tough it really is and begin to appreciate all of the things your body does for you at the same time.
From mountain pose standing at the top of your mat, take a big step back with your left foot so that it lands parallel to the back of your mat and your right knee bends generously. Aim to have your right front heel in line with the arch of your left back foot, if that’s comfortable. Stack your right knee over your foot so that you can see your right big toe.
Extend your arms long in opposite directions, pointing to the front and back of your mat, at shoulder height. Inhale, roll your shoulders up, exhale, allow them to relax back and down, moving them away from your ears. Aim to have your hips open to the lefthand side of your mat and even (meaning you may need to drop your right hip slightly). Stand tall and push evenly into both of your feet, gazing over the tips of your right hand. Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Variations: Remember that if being in a deep lunge feels too intense for you today you can always shorten your stance, you’ll still be doing warrior II.
Extended Side Angle Pose
Extended side angle is a great pose to build self-esteem as there are so many variations that can test yourself to see how you’re doing in your yoga practice and learn when to listen to your body, both of which are essential for self-esteem and confidence.
From warrior II with your right foot forward, lightly place your right forearm on your right thigh. This is not a moment to rest all of your weight on your leg, just a gentle reminder that it’s there to help you if need be. Inhale, extend your left arm so that it’s right beside your ear. The aim here is to create a long line from the edge of your left foot, all the way to the tips of your left fingertips. Allow your shoulders to move away from your ears and your left shoulder to fall back so that your chest opens. Use your obliques to hold your upper body strong.
Variation 1: For a variation that engages your core the most, extend your right arm so that no arm is resting on your leg. Pretend you’re holding a large beachball between your hands, keeping your upper body and legs in the same position.
Variation 2: For a deeper variation, place your right hand on the mat or a prop such as a block. Extend your left arm straight up to the sky, your gaze follows.
Variation 3: For a bind, reach your left arm behind you towards your right upper thigh. Reach your right arm under your right thigh and allow your fingertips to touch or hold onto each other. Continue to pull your left shoulder back, keeping your chest open. If your fingers don’t touch yet, try using a strap or a towel to assist you.
Half Moon Pose
Another pose that is great for building on, half moon pose adds in a mix of balance that can truly test our self-esteem and build it.
From warrior II with your right foot forward, reach your right hand forward and to the ground and place your left hand on your hip, as you push off your left back foot so that it comes to hover. If the ground is far (or you have short arms like me) you can grab a prop such as a block to place your right hand on, directly under your right shoulder.
Flex your left foot and push into an imaginary wall for balance. Have a slight bend in your right knee for stability as you push into your right big toe. Stack your hips so that your left is on top of your right, and do the same with your shoulders. Look at the ground for balance. When you feel solid, reach your left hand up to the sky. If this feels good, allow your gaze to look straight in front of you or turn your head left to look up. Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Candy cane variation: For a heart-opening variation, reach your left hand back as you bend your left knee. Grab your left foot and then gently push the top of your foot into your hand and away from your bum, allowing your chest to open.
I think that heart openers are a great way to build self-esteem and this one, in particular, can be challenging. Puppy pose can teach us when to continue pushing and when to back off, both of which are important for confidence.
From your hands and knees, keep your hips over your knees as you walk your hands out in front of you as far as you can. Your chest and forehead, or perhaps your chin, will come to the mat. If this is too intense of a backbend, just place your forehead on the ground with your arms extended forward.
Hold for 3-5 breaths. Remember to breathe in this pose into the area(s) you feel it the most and most importantly, remember to relax!
Seated Forward Fold Pose
While this may seem too simple of a pose for building confidence, I beg to differ. This pose is often challenging because most people always want to go further and deeper. By choosing to be okay with where you are in the pose though is essential for self-confidence.
Sit on your bum with your legs extended out in front of you, feet flexed. Your legs and feet can be touching or you can choose to have your feet about hip-width distance. Inhale, reach the crown of your head to the sky as you sit tall. Reach your arms up high, shoulders dropped away from your ears. Exhale, keeping your spine straight, fold forward, reaching for your shins or your outer feet. Inhale, allow your spine to lengthen, exhale, fold a little deeper with a straight spine. Repeat this 2-3 more times, feeling yourself move deeper each time, but never forcing yourself to.
Variation: If you’re quite flexible or have long arms, place a block at the bottom of your feet and hold onto the block.
More yoga for confidence
- Yoga for Self-Confidence
- 5-Minute Confidence Boost Yoga
- Yoga for Inner Strength
- Body Image Yoga
- More yoga classes by Taylor
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