Confidence is all about believing in yourself, having trust in your capabilities, and embracing your perfectly imperfect self. And while some days are easier than other to immerse yourself in self-assurance and esteem, yoga can help a lot during those instances where you're doubting the fact that you're completely bad*ss beyond belief. You might not always have time for a full out flow, though, and during those times a single yoga pose for confidence will go a long way in making you feel like the superwoman you truly are.
As a yoga teacher and dedicated yogi, in my own practice, I've always found that poses focused heavily on the core muscles have boosted my confidence like no other. According to Yoga Journal, I wasn't too far off; core-centered poses help you feel strong on the inside, so that you can begin to trust and lean on your innate power and wisdom. Strengthening your core within your practice helps discomfort caused by self-doubt to dissolve from your being and the physical strength that you're building translates to an aura of self-esteem off the mat.
If you're short on time, the most ideal pose to being honing in on your core strength is plank pose — or Kumbhakasana, in Sanskrit.
Plank pose ignites your fire center and builds core strength immensely, when done correctly. This asana focuses on your solar plexus chakra (a chakra is a center of energy in your body, BTW) which is located between your navel and your sternum. Hello, abdominal muscles!
Kumbhakasana doesn't just strengthen your literal muscles, it also balances the solar plexus chakra, which is heavily associated with confidence and self-assurance.
When this chakra is in harmony, you might find yourself drawn to stepping outside of your comfort zone in amazing ways or feeling compelled to speak up for yourself in difficult situations. Basically, the solar plexus helps you live out your truth, innermost purpose, and connect to your sense of self.
So, since plank pose hones in on the chakra governing self-esteem, you'll be able to begin unveiling your personal power and beautiful sense of confidence if you add it into your routine on the reg.
To be safe in the pose, remember to warm up your wrists before practicing and then distribute your weight evenly throughout your spread palms while you're actually in plank. Really engage your core by keeping your thighs lifted and making sure that your hips don't sink too low. Keep your shoulders stacked directly above your wrists and check that your booty isn't sticking up in the air.
Keep in mind, there are many variations of plank pose that will all cater to your deepest confidence-boosting desires.
If you'd like to modify your plank, you can come down onto your forearms or your knees. Adding the support of your knees is a great building block until you feel ready to straighten your legs, so remember never to rush into anything that doesn't feel good for your body. Dropping down to your forearms is a good way to relieve any wrist discomfort you might be experiencing — listen to your body and the signals it's sending you.
On the other hand, if you want to make the pose more advanced, shifting your weight onto one palm for a side plank will challenge your core strength and help instill a sense of inner self assurance that'll stay with you wherever you go. If you're very confident in side plank, you can even experiment with lifting one of your legs and trying a side-plank split variation. That's some wild sh*t, my friends.
No matter what type of plank you choose to do, remember to always speak kindly and compassionately towards yourself while you're breathing through these poses. There's no amount of confidence-instilling yoga poses in the world that can compare with the power of kind thoughts and positive affirmations.