Core strength is simply essential. Not only does a strong core help you maintain good posture and support your overall health and vitality, there is power in moving from your physical core center. When you feel strong on the inside, you can start to lean on and trust your inner wisdom—your body’s inherent intelligence. When you feel good in your body, your confidence will soar both on and off the mat, and stress and discomfort will start to melt away, igniting your personal power.
Confidence Building Yoga Poses
In this sequence, we’ll focus on working from the center of your body and developing your core strength. Amplify the benefits by linking your movements with your breath and using its pathway to step into more energy and ease. Hold all poses for 5–10 breaths the first time through. Once you feel confident with the flow, try moving through it again at a pace of 1 breath per movement. I suggest starting with 3 rounds each of Sun Salutation A and B as a warm-up. Note: Have a yoga block handy.
Come into Boat Pose by balancing on your seat, reach your hands behind your knees and lift your heels up to knee level. Activate your feet, pressing the inner arches together and spreading your toes. Extend your hands forward and spread your fingers open. (To modify, keep your hands behind your knees.) Draw your upper arm bones back and broaden across your chest.Engage your low belly and lift your heart high. Cross your ankles, roll over your feet, and step back to Plank Pose.
2. Plank Pose
Stack your shoulders over your wrists and extend your heels to the back of your mat in Plank Pose. Ground your knuckles into your mat, soften your thoracic spine (upper and middle back), and hug your thumbs toward the center of your mat. Press your outer shins in, and firm your leg muscles to the bones. Extend your crown forward and reach your heels back. Lengthen your tailbone toward your heels and zip up your low belly. Hold for 5 breaths. Light up your whole body, feeling everything working together as one powerful vessel. (For variations, try lifting one leg and hovering or crossing your ankles.)
Cross your ankles (if they aren’t already), spin both heels to the left, and lift your right arm high into a variation of Side Plank. Press down into your left hand, broaden across your chest, and reach your right arm higher. Lift your gaze and spread the fingers of your top hand. Draw your legs together and arc your hips high. Hold for 5 breaths, then return to Plank and recenter for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
4. Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
From Plank, press your hips up and back for Downward-Facing Dog. With your inhale, lift your right leg high. Keep both hip bones squared to the earth and lift from your inner right thigh. Move from core strength rather than from the periphery.
5. Plank Pose + Right Knee to Right Tricep
Ride your exhale forward and touch your right knee to your right tricep. Engage your low belly and lift your knee high up toward your armpit. Then on your inhalation, press your right leg up and back to return to a Downward-Facing Dog Split. Lengthen from your right wrist through your right heel.