Yoga For Confidence

Whatever you do to your body affects your mind, so when you practise yoga, the movements combined with yogic breathing techniques automatically induce that sense of expansion and the by-product of that is a natural and easy confidence. Keep in mind the words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: “With yoga comes confidence that never withers away, a smile that never wanes and the inner strength to endure any situation.”

Ujjayi breathing

You may have noticed that when you’re anxious your breathing pattern changes — it becomes shallower and more constricted. The pattern of your breath automatically changes with whatever emotion or mental state you’re experiencing. When you’re at ease, your breathing pattern will automatically also be easier, longer and smoother. When we imitate this way of breathing it induces a state of confidence, which is one of the reasons why ujjayi breathing is so beneficial.

How to do ujjayi breathing

Ujjayi means “victorious”. Through the practice of ujjayi breathing you gain victory over your mind. What that means is that the mind becomes a more beautiful place to be and you don’t have to be victim to a noisy, disturbed mind.

In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali suggests that the breath should be both dirga (long) and suksma (smooth). Practise ujjayi breathing with your eyes closed, sitting in a comfortable position. Without much effort, gently constrict the muscles at the back of your throat and take long, smooth breaths in and out. This constriction in your throat will create some resistance to the passage of air and will make a soothing sound similar to that of a baby snoring or the sound of the ocean.

Use your breath as your guide. If, while practising a pose, your breath becomes strained, you may be pushing yourself too hard and it might be time to back out of a pose and rest. The key to ujjayi breathing is effortlessness. Once you’ve mastered ujjayi breathing, you can use it while practising the following poses.

Do you practise yoga? Has it improved your confidence?

Read the full article at Wellbeing Magazine.