Your morning asana might be the key to higher self-esteem and confidence. Studies have shown a daily yoga practice brings a multitude of health benefits, including better cardiovascular health and bone strength. A commitment of just 12 minutes a day can even raise bone-mineral density and reverse osteoporosis.
As amazing as the physical benefits are, nothing compares to the internal transformative effects of a regular yoga routine. Consistent practice can lower stress, improve sleep, boost self-awareness, and address a myriad of other aspects that plague our daily lives. Each of these benefits can help build your confidence back up.
1. Relieves Stress
Stress relief is one of the most well-known benefits of yoga. Anxiety and stress are invasive emotions. They tend to take over all other thoughts and send your mind reeling. Practicing yoga with deep breathing and meditation will help clear your cluttered mind and bring a sense of peace.
Using yoga to let go of built-up stress will leave room for positive thoughts. You can once again focus on your goals and aspirations without the cloud of negativity. Daily practice will help you consistently let go of tension and allow you to move forward with confidence.
2. Fosters a Sense of Accomplishment
With yoga, there’s always a new challenge. As your old poses become too easy, you move on to something more complicated. When you start a new flow, it may feel unlikely that you’ll ever master it, but a day will come when you complete it without a second thought.
Each time you find yourself in that situation, take a moment to revel in everything you’ve accomplished. That sense of pride in your achievements will do wonders for your confidence. Then you can begin the cycle again with a more complicated routine.
3. Activates Essential Brain Functions
Frequent meditation can change the structure of your brain. The parts of your brain that control self-awareness and attention can increase with persistent practice. Body awareness also increases with time, which helps yogis respond better to stressful situations.
Treatment and recovery centers across the nation have tapped into the potential of yoga by adding it as part of a holistic approach to patient care. The meditation and mindfulness practices of yoga can help people with substance-use disorders improve their withdrawal symptoms. Confidence will grow in a mind that is self-aware and calm.
4. Promotes Better Sleep Quality
In the U.S., 50-70 million adults have a sleep disorder, with insomnia being the most common. Sleep disorders affect your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. When you’re getting insufficient sleep, your brain doesn’t function properly and your mood, along with your confidence and self-esteem, will plummet.
Including yoga into your nighttime routine could drastically improve your ability to fall asleep and your sleep quality. Restorative yoga lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, releases melatonin, and lowers stress levels – all helping you to get a better night’s sleep.
5. Improves Posture and Body Tone
A significant aspect of self-esteem is body confidence. As a nation constantly hunched over our computers, we need something to help improve our posture, relieve pain, and restore our confidence.
Yoga can improve posture, body tone, and strength, which correlate with body confidence. If you maintain a regular practice, you’ll also see gains in mobility and flexibility over time, allowing your body to move easier and with less pain. Also, with better posture, you’ll literally hold your head higher!
6. Boosts Self-Awareness
The world melts away when you practice yoga. You release everything outside of yourself and your control and turn inwards. As you meditate and control your breathing, you’ll learn things about yourself and your body you might otherwise have missed.
Spending extended periods connecting with yourself will encourage self-love, accepting that who you are right now is enough. Knowing and loving yourself builds an unshakable confidence as you live in your own skin.
A Little Bit Every Day
Most of these benefits take a long-term commitment. The best way to achieve these results and boost your confidence is to practice yoga daily. That may be difficult at first if physical activity isn’t part of your daily routine.
Try starting small, which will look different for every yogi. Add in one more day each week until you’ve built the habit, or practice every day for just a few minutes and increase the amount of time each week.