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I approach therapy with a simple question: 

"What do you want out of life, and what is holding you back from that?" 

This question, and your answers, is where we begin the journey. I look forward to hearing from you.

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March 19, 2020

How to experience self-confidence

The search for self-confidence

We all want to feel more self-confident.  We do our best to face scary situations bravely whether we feel brave or not.   We try to be true to ourselves and trust our intuition.

I want to give you a way to open up, face life, and feel less afraid.  I want you to feel strong, to feel safe, and to face life with arms wide open.  We need times of retreat and comfort, but we also need times of reaching out to embrace all  life has to offer.

Today I am offering you a way to experience self-confidence on a bodily level.  A way to tune in to yourself.  A way to open your heart.

I first experienced the power of embodied confidence through a yoga class I attended years ago designed around the theme of heart-openers.  Just like our thoughts and beliefs affect our feelings and actions, our bodies also affect our feelings and actions.  It is the place we hold stress and trauma.  Trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has written about this in his book The Body Keeps the Score.  He talks about how body practices like yoga can release the trauma that's stored in the body.  You can listen to him talk more about this here.

Yoga is one tool for living more embodied lives.  And it is the tool we are using today to make confidence feel more real and alive to you.  Try them all out.  Then you can create your own sequence of your favorite poses or pick one favorite one to do each morning.  I hope you are able to experience an increased sense of confidence just as I did when I discovered these resources.

Some mantras you can think about while you do these poses include:

  • I am strong
  • I am whole
  • I am enough
  • I am loved
  • I am confident
  • I am brave

Heart-opener Poses for Self-Confidence

Thank you to therapist, yoga instructor, and wellness speaker, Melissa Garner, LMHC, RYT, at Self-Haven for collaborating with me on this post.  See is the one you will see in all the photographs below demonstrating the heart-opening poses.  Reminder before you try these poses: Only do poses that feel comfortable for your body and positive for you emotionally.  Let's get started.

Seated Poses

Spinal twist (do both sides)

Seated back bend

Reverse plank

Table-top

Kneeling Poses

Camel pose - variation

Camel pose

Gate pose

Standing Poses

Mountain Pose

Back bend

Low lunge with back bend - arms up

Low lunge with back bend - arms back

Humble warrior

Reverse warrior

Extended side angle

Extended side angle variation

Wild thing (From downward dog, lift one leg into 1-legged dog, then "flip your dog" by allowing that foot to open up and find the floor. Extended your free hand over your head.)

Dancer

Goddess

Child's pose

Child's pose

Child's pose - variation

Laying Poses

Cobra

Sphinx

Locust

Bow

Fish

Fish - legs raised

Bridge

Resting pose (with bolster perpendicular to body)

Resting pose (with bolster parallel with body)

Seated goddess

Seated Meditation

Mudra of unshakable trust (This mudra represents unshakeable self-confidence, inner strength, and faith in something greater.) Take a few minutes to be still, focus on your breath, and reflect on your inner strength. Thank yourself for taking the time to do this practice.

How do you feel?  What was this experience like for you?  Which poses were your favorite?  Choose some to do on a regular basis.  Also identify ones that you can use throughout the day to reset and tune in to your strength.  I'd love to hear your favorites and how they helped you.  You can reach me at catherine@cqcounseling.com.

If this was helpful and you want more options for yoga poses, you can access yoga poses for depression here.

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