Connect with us

Life

Boost Your Self-Confidence to New Levels With the Practice of These 6 Yoga Poses

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they feel knocked down and their self-confidence disappears. It becomes difficult to go through your daily routine and it often affects both your personal and professional life. It does not stop here but low self-confidence can lead to stress which will in turn lead to other physical and mental issues.

You can easily differentiate between a confident and a under confident person by the way they speak, their body posture and energy levels. Confident people give a warm and high energy that makes other people feel comfortable in their presence. Being confident is when you trust your decisions, believe in your abilities, and are aware of your limitations.

Yoga is the answer to improving your self-confidence. Practicing yoga, can increase your self-esteem and self-confidence. It sends a positive message to your heart and mind which means you care about yourself. By building the physical strength and moving up to more challenging poses, you feel stronger on the inside.

The following yoga poses are helpful in boosting self-confidence:

1. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

This pose helps in stretching your spine and tones your back and core muscles. It also helps in toning your buttocks, upper and inner thighs. Apart from these benefits, it also helps in improving digestion and relieves stress. Ardha Chandrasana teaches about the importance of the journey about self-awareness and self-acceptance rather than achieving the perfect pose.

Steps to perform the asana:

  • Stand on the mat and bring your feet together. 
  • Raise your hands above your head and try to extend the stretch. 
  • Exhale and bend sideways from your hips by keeping your hands together.
  • Keep your elbows straight and do not bend forward. 
  • Hold this pose for a few seconds, inhale and come back to the standing position.
  • Repeat this pose with the other side. 

2. Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)

Uttanasana is an important yoga pose that has many therapeutic advantages. It helps in the flow of fresh oxygen-rich blood to your brain.

Steps to perform the asana:

  • Your feet should be together while standing. Bend your knees slightly. Now, fold the torso over your legs, moving from the hips, not the lower back.
  • Your hands should be next to your feet or on the ground in front of you.
  • Inhale and extend your chest to stretch your spine. 
  • Exhale and gently press both legs. Keep your legs straight. 
  • When you exhale, extend your torso down without rounding your back. Draw your shoulders down your back.

A flexible body reduces the chances of physical injuries by developing strength so that you are able to take more stress on your body without harming it. Stretching releases stiffness and tension which build up in your joints and make your body more flexible.

3. Cobra Pose Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana has many benefits like strengthening the lower back, increasing its flexibility, massage of the digestive organs and relief in menstrual pain. It is helpful in relieving stiffness from your neck and shoulders.

Steps to perform the asana:

  • You have to lie down on your belly and your chin should touch the ground. 
  • Keep your hands close, your palms should touch the ground and your legs should be kept straight. 
  • Inhale followed by straightening your arms and lifting your chest and upper back. 
  • Hold this position for some time and release.

4. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Utkatasana is also called the ‘Chair pose’. Every part of the body is involved in this asana which makes it very powerful.

Steps to perform the asana:

  • Stand straight and keep your arms at your side.
  • Keep some distance between your feet.
  • Stretch your hands forward so that they are parallel to the ground. 
  • Bend your knees and bring your pelvis down like you sit on a chair.
  • Bring your thighs parallel to the ground.
  • Hold this position for one minute and keep breathing normally. 
  • Now release your pose and repeat it for 3-4 times.

5. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Vrksasana is also called the ‘Tree pose’. It strengthens the spine and improves poise and balance. It will help in your neuromuscular coordination and aligns the body. With practice, your flexibility and immunity are improved. It strengthens the spine and improves the balance of your body. It also tones your leg muscles and makes your knees stronger and hip joints are flexed.

Steps to perform the asana:

  • Stand straight and make sure you keep some distance between your feet.
  • While you exhale, bend the right leg and bring the foot on the inside of the left thigh.
  • Inhale and extend the arms upwards and join your palms. 
  • Continue deep breathing in this position.
  • Stay in this position as long as you can focus. 
  • Slowly exhale and bring your arms down and bring the right foot down.
  • Repeat the same with the other foot.

6. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

This asana is the base for various asanas, therefore, it is important to get the pose right. It works on your muscles by correcting your posture and makes your body more flexible. It helps in aligning your skeleton and improves your nervous, digestive and respiratory systems by strengthening your immunity.

Steps to perform the asana:

  • Keep some distance between your feet while you stand straight.
  • While you inhale deeply, raise your arms upwards and interlock your fingers.
  • Raise your heels and stand on your toes. You will feel the stretch in your body. 
  • Hold this position and breathe for a few seconds.
  • While you exhale, release your pose to come to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same for 10 times.

Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organizes 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in Nepal. Bipin Baloni conducts Ayurveda Courses in India. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature, Himalayas and Trekking in India.

Life

Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

Continue Reading

Life

The Problem Is Not Actually the Problem: Here’s Why

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

With my understanding of the Three Principles, which is deepening month-by-month, I’m becoming more curious about whether the ‘problem’ that we think we have, is really a problem. Not for one second am I dismissing a persons’ experience; I’m human after all and I encounter challenges and what I think are ‘problems’ just like the next person. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

5 Things You Can Do to Fend off Boredom and Stay Focused

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Curiosity is human nature and it’s only natural that humans will lose interest in a topic after a while. This has been a topic that has been extensively explored among children, teenagers and adults by a psychologist with similar results being reported from each of the categories. Human’s minds are therefore prone to boredom, making it important for each professional to spend some time to understand the factors that drive boredom and strategies the individuals needs to use to overcome boredom and focus on their profession and development. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

Decision and Failure: Deciding That Failure is Not an Option

Published

on

why failure is important
Image Credit: Unsplash

Nobody likes wasting time, money or opportunities by making a bad business decision. We can certainly identify what “bad” looks and feels like, however we should be identifying what the “win” looks like too. Too often we focus on the bad, which puts us in victim mode that perpetuates a scarcity mindset which leads us directly into becoming frozen or stuck. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending