How Yoga Can Improve Your Self Esteem
Posted on July 28 2018
In our modern world of social network bullying, unrealistic body images in the media, and a publicity system which seems to elevate narcissists to ridiculous heights, the idea of an average person maintaining a healthy self-esteem may seem a fool’s errand.
However, building a solid self-esteem is critical for nearly every aspect of life. Luckily, yoga provides a solid foundation for this effort which can benefit you for your entire lifetime.
What Is Self-Esteem?
Self-Esteem is your ability to see the value in your efforts.
It relates to your sense that you are worthy of a reasonable amount of respect. It is self-esteem which helps you realize you can earn a decent grade in a class if you put in the effort.
Self-esteem encourages you to apply for that job. It strengthens you to break up with the partner who is mistreating you. It bolsters you to speak out about causes which matter to you.
Many of us grow up with both mentors who encourage our self-esteem and detractors who find ways to squash it down.
It’s human nature to pay attention to and remember the words of the nay-sayers. Just one harsh phrase can resonate in the mind for years afterwards, acting like a virus, infecting everything we try to do as we move on with our lives.
This could be long after the speaker completely forgot they even said that hurtful phrase.
How Can Yoga Help?
Yoga provides a wealth of benefits to the body and mind.
Key amongst these is the release of stress. By releasing tension in muscles, and training the mind to let go of circulating thoughts, yoga teaches us that life will go on.
The things we might cling to as all-important really don’t have that much power over us. As part of this, we realize that those around us are also struggling with their own challenges and burdens.
The parent who snapped at us and called us “worthless” might have been worried about being fired from their job and not making the rent. They let their own stress bubble over and express itself in an unhealthy way. It wasn’t about you – it was about them.
Yoga also teaches us to be more accepting of our own flaws. None of us is perfect. None of us has an ideal air-brushed body or maintains a perfect weigh throughout our life.
We are all simply humans finding our way. Rather than obsess that we cannot hold pose X perfectly for ten minutes straight, we need to find peace that we are at a certain stage in our journey right now and that is OK.
Yoga Poses to Strengthen Self-Esteem
Warrior I, also known as Virabhadrasana I, is a great pose for building your self-esteem.
Studies show that raising your hands high over your head in a “power pose” triggers built-in systems in our brain to help us feel stronger and more secure. Warrior I takes advantage of this. The pose has you balance forward and back, left and right. You reach up to the sky for guidance and strength. You hold the pose, releasing all negativity. Your inner strength will see you through your challenges.
Tree Pose, or Vrksasana, is another good pose to practice for self-esteem. It can seem so simple. Just balance on one leg. But in practical terms, tree pose often reveals the turmoil going on beneath our surface.
When one is feeling stressed, it can be nearly impossible to maintain the balance of tree pose. It reminds us to slow down. To take deep breaths. To realize that this, too, whatever it is, shall pass. Life will go on.
Self-esteem is an important part of every person’s life. It is the underlying river of strength which powers everything else we do – in relationships, in careers, in education, and in life.
It’s important to nurture that strength and to find ways to help it flow at full power. For it is our own life – and the lives of those around us – which are brought to fruition.
The yogatwist team :)