The next time you’ve got a big job interview or a special date you’re nervous about, and all everyone keeps saying is “just breathe,” double down on stress relief by using your breathand your body to give you the extra boost you need.
Here are 5 yoga poses to improve your confidence, each with a role model to inspire you.
Inspiration: Mount Rainier. On a clear day in in Seattle, everyone stops to take in the splendor of snow-capped Mount Rainier standing tall and proud on the horizon.
How to: Stand with your feet together and your legs straight. Rotate your thighs inward and draw up through your legs, core, and spine to the top of your head. Place your hands at your sides, palms facing forward and fingers active. It may look simple but this pose helps keep you calm and is said to help clear your nervous system. The best part is that you can do it pretty much anywhere.
Inspiration: The Ents. These trees from Lord of the Rings only broke tree pose to save the world.
How to: This pose is all about finding your balance. Beginners can rest their foot in the shin area, but if you feel comfortable you can rest your foot above your knee (never put your foot on your knee). Pick a point in front of you, hold your focus and breathe, and for an extra challenge, raise your hands up to the sky. This pose benefits concentration, poise, and posture.
Inspiration: Joan of Arc. Before going into the heat of battle, this brave warrior knew how to calm any nerves.
How to: Take a big step forward and set your legs up like you did for Warrior I. Instead of lifting your up arms, open them so one faces the front of the room and the other faces the back, with your palms down. Look straight ahead over your front-facing arm and breathe slowly. Hold this pose 30 seconds.
Inspiration: The Golden Gate Bridge. Its bold color calls attention to itself. It’s the most photographed bridge in the world.
How to: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and put your feet flat on the ground, hip-distance apart. Lift your hips up to the sky and let your arms rest by your sides. Hold the pose for at least five breaths.
Inspiration: The Captain’s chair in Star Trek. The captain’s biggest decisions were always made sitting down, so command your chair pose…also known as the thunderbolt.
How to: Stand with your feet together and raise your arms up over your head. Sit back into your thighs while keeping your heart as open to the sky as possible. Make sure your thighs stay parallel to each other and sit down as low as you can without bending forward. Breathe while you feel lightning pulsing through your veins.