Yoga has a lot of benefits, from the physical to the mental. But did you know it can also boost your self confidence?
Body confidence is something everyone should have. It helps you to be happy in life and with yourself, and be proud of yourself and the body you inhabit. Body confidence is believing in yourself, and not having self-doubt about your image. Yoga is one of the best ways to boost your body confidence.
Here’s the ways in which it can improve how confident you feel in your body. Some may surprise you.
Yoga Boosts Your Focus
When you concentrate on your breathing while attempting challenging yoga poses in your practice, you’re increasing your focus and honing your attention on one thing. When you do this, you’re also clearing your mind of self-doubt or negative thoughts about yourself - and you just think about breathing, balance and posture. Working on your focus boosts your body confidence, stripping away all the bad thoughts and letting you be single minded in your goal - and helps you push your body further in what it can do.
Yoga Relieves Stress
Working through your yoga practice is a great way to relax and release stress and tension. Deep breathing, and concentrating on your breath (as well as imroving your focus!) can bring more oxygen to your brain, keeping you calm and fighting those pesky stress hormones. When you’re calm, you’re more likely to feel confident about yourself and your body!
Yoga Makes You Feel Empowered
Working hard to achieve and master difficult yoga poses can be hard work, but when you reach your goal on the mat, you’ll feel empowered and strong. Through strong movements and practice, you can trigger feelings of power and control within your body, helping to increase your self confidence. Knowing what your body can do and seeing improvements week after week will make you feel like you can do anything!
Yoga Increases Self-Awareness
Practicing yoga facilities a deeper connection with your inner self. This can help you feel more at peace with yourself, and also increases your self-awareness. Having a connection with your inner self can help you realize your full potential, of what you and your body can do. This self-awareness is a huge step on the way to complete self-acceptance - which is crucial in feeling confident.
Confidence comes from that deep understanding of who you are, what you want, and what you need, and accepting this! During yoga practice, you’re focused on yourself, and there’s rarely time for comparison - to either other people or other versions of yourself. Yoga helps to shake off your ego and any comparison, and helps you to understand and appreciate all you’re capable of.
Yoga Increases Mindfulness
Taking the time to practice yoga means taking the time to be in control of your headspace and help to quieten your mind. During our busy day to day lives we can have so many thoughts racing through our heads, and it can be hard to listen to them all - this can cause us to be stressed and lose confidence in ourselves.
Yoga can help to give you the space and time to clear your head of all those unnecessary thoughts and just focus on the things that are important, or even to clear your head completely. Practicing this kind of mindfulness consists of acknowledging each thought as it pops up, and just as easily letting it go, allowing your mind to be clear. This can help you feel calmer, less stressed, and can also help to quieten any of those negative thoughts that can be sabotaging your body confidence.
Yoga Improves Your Posture
Standing up straight and having great posture has an immediate positive effect on yourself and body confidence. And yoga is perhaps the best exercise to improve your posture. When you hold yourself higher, you feel more confident in your daily life. Yoga does wonders for your alignment, through stretching, twisting and bending - and also can improve your strength and flexibility. This will help you feel confident and comfortable in your skin.
Yoga Improves Self-Love
Yoga is a way of taking care of yourself and your body, it’s an act of self care and promotes that nurturing feeling towards yourself. Practicing yoga can help you to recognise everything that your body is capable of, and helps you to feel proud of it and thank it for everything it does in your day to day life. Yoga also helps you to recognise your growth, and how much you've improved as you move through your yoga journey. It requires self improvement almost constantly, and when you finally reach a hard pose you’ve been working towards, it’s hard to feel anything but admiration towards yourself. This type of growth needs self-acceptance and self-pride to achieve, so you’ll feel more confident the more you progress.
Yoga Improves Your Physique
Let’s not forget, yoga is a type of exercise, and with all exercise - it will help to tone and improve your physique, helping you look and feel better. Yoga is unique in the way it focuses on your breathing, which helps more oxygen to go to your muscles - giving them more energy to boost your exercise benefits! Why not try our yoga for weight loss programme, to help you reach your fitness and body goals - and feel great about yourself at the same time?
We hope we’ve given you some motivation here to get on the mat and start feeling great about yourself! Body confidence is something everyone should have, so by taking some small steps to do something great for yourself and your body, you’ll be on your way to confidence in no time!
By Amy Cavill
Want to feel confident in your skin? Practice the Body Positivity Yoga Program with Dana Smith, author of Yes Yoga Has Curves!
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