Learn How Yoga Can Improve Your Life!
By Guest Author, Nancy Wile
Do you often think negative about yourself? Are you more self-conscious?
Are you extremely critical of yourself? Are you not aware of your positive qualities? Are you surrounded by pessimism? Above all—do you doubt your abilities?
If most of the answers are YES, it simply means that you might have low self-esteem. You are not alone.
There are 85% of people in the world who suffer from some degree of lacking self-confidence. From an unhappy childhood, poor academic performance, stressful life, to mental illness, there are many factors that erode one’s self-esteem.
And persistent negative feelings lead them to sadness, anxiety, anger, shame or guilt. It also triggers relationship problems. The person has a fear of trying. Many people with this concern avoid activities and social interactions as they are afraid they will be negatively judged. They find it challenging to cope with stressful life events as they believe themselves to be hopeless. Even worse, low self-esteem makes the person vulnerable to self-harming behaviors like drug abuse and suicide.
However, there are many things you can try to build your self-esteem, from feeling positive, appreciating yourself to loving yourself.
Besides, you can try yoga. Yeah, yoga is a holistic approach to the overall wellbeing of a person. It not only helps you stay physically healthy but also improves your emotional health.
Here’s how yoga infuses positive energy in you…
1. Yoga Improves Focus:
Yoga is an effective tool for improving personal focus. It works over your breathing as you practice concentration based yoga poses like Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, Camel Pose, and Crane Pose. Besides, yoga poses clear your mind of any doubts or discomforts. With an improved focus there comes improved self-confidence. How? Well, you are clear about what you want and how to achieve it. Staying focused on your future and belief helps you to be strong against disruptions.
Simply put, concentrating on the present moment and being aware of your breath, the movement and difficult poses will, in turn, boost your concentration.
2. Yoga Relieves Stress:
Stress and anxiety are everywhere.
Stress is a physical and emotional sign of being worried or unhappy about something. And it directly influences your self-confidence. For example, it is totally normal to have cold feet before important or mission-critical tasks. You are worried about its outcome. However, not all have nerves of steel. This way, they fall to the self-doubt. And it’s a huge blow to their self-confidence. Yoga is a great remedy to ease your stress. Besides, it elevates your mind and overall sense of well-being.
Breathing deeply during some yoga poses delivers extra oxygen to your brain and improves your ability to stay calm. Besides, it involves stretching of the body to make it more relaxed and energized.
3. Yoga Helps You Feel Amazing:
We all have bad days. From poor makeup, losing a job, bullying to a broken relationship, there are many events when we lose our calm. In fact, such events may lead to an inferiority complex.
Yoga encourages you to love yourself. It just lets you be comfortable in your mind and body again. Besides, it allows us to enter a state of deep reflection and calmness, otherwise not found in this world full of mad rush and din. It promotes mindfulness meditation, a concept that encourages people to live in the present moment instead of involving in the modern-day practice of getting stuck with thousands of purposes at once.
4. Yoga Promotes Empowerment:
Yoga also makes you aware of your inner strength. It teaches you to use your body to achieve things that you may have once thought beyond the reach, whether it is being able to touch your toes, or staying in the posture for longer. This way, yoga teaches you how to be the strongest and compassionate form of yourself, while helping you get inner peace and calmness.
5. Yoga Promotes Clarity of Mind:
Sometimes, you must have felt that you have almost taken a decision, but then, you start to doubt yourself. And you just find yourself on the fence as you are not able to make up your mind what to do.
Intense emotions, disturbing thoughts, and distractions hinder the positive energy within you. This is why mental clarity is important. With mental clarity, your awareness increases. You have a better sense of what’s going in your life. You can see the concern and their causes as well. This way, a strong and clear mind minimizes anxiety, stress, and vagueness. Moreover, a clear mind promotes focus, physical health, memory, and emotional stability.
And yoga helps you achieve that crystal clear state of mind. For example, its inverted poses and forward bends make the body utilizes gravity to deliver blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which leads to mental efficiency and fosters mental clarity as well. Balancing yoga poses challenges the mind and body to remain centered while the internal equilibrium is tested. Then, we have seated yoga poses that calm the mind and soothe the nervous system.
6. Yoga Improves Posture:
Standing up straight isn’t just good for your posture; it also gives you more confidence in your own thoughts. Many studies conducted by top universities, including Columbia and Harvard universities, have proved that there is a link between a posture and the brain. These studies have concluded that improving posture can improve the brain’s function, and thereby your mood and memory levels.
For example, they found that when people stand or sit up taller, and don’t slouch, their brain gets a signal that it’s the confident, assertive person in charge in his thinking, and, in turn, you are likely to feel more confident. According to a 2003 study by Ohio State University, slumping and slouching can lead to negative memories, perceptions, and thoughts, causing stress hormones in the brain. Moreover, body posture impacts the alignment of the spine, which is the central part of the nervous system. If the spine is healthy, your nervous system will stay strong and clear, leading to well-being and vitality as well.
And it’s no secret that yoga improves the body posture. In fact, several yoga poses can fix hyperkyphosis, common posture issues among the elders. It stretches the muscles; elevates flexibility and boosts your strength.
For example, Mountain Pose engages the whole body as you get into a standing position. You learn to stand tall and balanced in Tree Pose while Downward Facing Dog pose stretches your spine and opens your shoulders as well. Cobra pose does the same.
With daily practice, your body is strengthened and stretched, and thus, your spine straightens itself, your shoulders look squared as they should be, your belly goes in and your chest is out.
So you must have understood that yoga improves your focus; boosts your mood; promotes clarity of mind and helps you feel better. All these positives translate into improved confidence and elevated self-esteem.
As a beginner, you should start practicing yoga under experienced and professional yoga teacher. One more thing—stay happy and stay bright. All the best!
What do you think? Do you agree with my points? Please let me know by commenting below.