“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.”
~ Dalai Lama
At times we all could use a little boosting of our inner strength. It’s impossible to get through life without at least a few ups and downs.
Sometimes, for one reason or another, our tanks are running low and for me yoga has always been a practical way to fill it up…with premium gasoline.
I’ve designed this yoga practice to help you both recognize and develop a feeling of inner strength, a strength that is NOT reliant on others approval, work validation, accomplishments, or apparent successes.
Remember, like everything, yoga is not one size fits all, please adapt this practice to serve your individual needs!
1. Yes! Pose – Come to standing and reach your arms high overhead as if you’ve just won a race. Your fingers could be spread wide or in fists, whichever you prefer. Soak in this feeling of celebration, exhilaration, confidence, and groundedness. Pick a word or two that describes the mood of this pose and repeat it to yourself a few times.
Listen to Amy Cuddy’s beautiful TED talk on why this works!
2. Warrior 1 – Feel your feet grounded into the floor with the support of the earth underneath you. Open and expand the chest and arms as a physical expression of bravery and courage like a warrior. Focus your attention on the manipura chakra above the navel and below the front of the rib cage. This is your solar center, your charging station. As you take deep breaths into this area imagine a bright yellow light grower stronger and brighter.
3. Table or Plank Pose – Come down to your hands and knees or plank position. As you inhale, lift your right arm and left leg. As you exhale, lower them back down. Take a few pairs of both sides feeling into the strength and support of your core muscles. As we strengthen the core we often have a greater feeling of confidence in the core of our being.
Vulnerability is an often overlooked form of inner strength. Accept and embrace any wobbly or shaky feelings while you are practicing this movement.
4. Focused Breathing – Sit comfortably in a chair or on a pillow. Bring your hands to Vajra Mudra(Diamond Gesture) in front of the manipura chakra. You can use this gesture to cultivate a feeling of inner strength radiating outward from the solar plexus. An example affirmation would be, “I allow my inner strength to radiate outward”.
Breath in to a count of 2, gently retain the breath for 1 count, and exhale for 4. If this is comfortable you can begin to shift to a higher breath count keeping the same ratio. For example: breath in for 4, hold for 2, exhale for 8.
After a couple minutes breathe naturally and notice a part of your body where you feel a sense of strength. Practice coming back to that feeling a few times a day as needed.
Let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or through email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe that when we tap into our strengths and power, our most beautiful, uninhibited selves can fully shine through resulting in heightened confidence, visibility and allowing us to serve the greater good on a much larger scale. – Ashley Burnett
By Jennifer Meek
Jennifer Meek is a Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT 500) specializing in Yoga Therapy for common conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and back pain. Utilizing her 25 years of movement experience as a dancer in combination with the tools of yoga and mindfulness she teaches people how to tap into their innate potential for health and happiness. Read More from Jennifer at jennifermeek.com