For Americans, getting to a Julie Montagu yoga class requires a little more than simply hopping on the Tube. Since most of us aren't consistently jetting across the pond, the Flexi Foodie is bringing the zen to the States by sharing her best yoga poses to help everyone achieve confidence. Grab your mat and check out what she has to say! - Mary Paige Nesfeder
Finding ways to boost your confidence is a great way to embrace the change of season with a positive attitude. If you do not regularly engage in yoga then you might not be aware of just how amazing this activity can be for your mood, as well as your general health and wellbeing.
The following yoga poses are simple to learn but will help to increase your confidence, especially as you work to hold them for longer and stretch into them deeper!
1. Downward Dog
This is one of the first poses you will learn when you start doing yoga and it is often used as a midpoint between going into and out of other poses.
To get into this pose you must first begin on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. You can then walk your hands forwards as you press them into the mat. You should also slightly curl your toes inwards to the mat and push your hips up towards the sky. Your body will naturally make a V shape once you are successfully in this pose. Hold yourself in Downward Dog for five, deep long breaths before moving back into a neutral position.
2. Warrior Pose
This pose is great for making your presence feel larger and thereby naturally growing your confidence. It is also good for strengthening your legs, chest, shoulders and arms!
To get into this pose you must first begin by standing with your legs roughly three feet apart, with your right foot at a 90 degree angle and your left foot turned slightly inwards. You can then move your hands to your hips as you relax your shoulders. Your arms must then reach out straight to either side, with your palms facing down. Next, bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, ensuring that this knee remains above your ankle, and hold your gaze straight ahead over your right hand. Remain in this position for one minute as you breathe deeply in and out before returning to the start position. You can then repeat on the other side.
3. Bridge Pose
This pose is perfect for naturally expelling anxiety from the body, increasing feelings of confidence and also for improving flexibility in the hips.
To get into this pose you must first lie on the floor with your knees bent directly above your heels. Lay your arms at your sides, palms down, and exhale as you push your feet into the mat and lift your hips up until your thighs are parallel to the floor. You can now clasp your hands together underneath your back as you gently push your arms down into your mat and your chest towards your chin. Hold this pose for five deep breaths, in and out, before returning to your start position.
These are just a few easy yoga poses to get you started on your journey to a more confident, happy, and healthy you!