Is there anything more appealing than someone who simply exudes quiet confidence?
Not in-your-face shouting arrogance, the kind that makes people baulk, and perhaps reluctantly conform. Think of the irresistible appeal of a person that is capable, assured and charming.
Yoga makes us strong
Whether you’re deadlifting a few times a week or sliding into your first yoga class with no muscle tone, the surprise most people get when they hit the mat is that yoga is much harder than you think.
There’s a perception that yoga is all about stretching and relaxing. We come to our yoga mats to stretch our bodies and calm our minds. In order to fully relax and release, however, we first need to trust it is safe to let go, and we can only do that when we feel secure and supported. That’s where the strength comes in.
Yoga gives us a strong back. When we have a strong back we stand taller with better posture. We don’t even have to think about this, it comes naturally with time and practice. Yoga creates long, toned, smooth muscle fibres.
Science has proven body language affects how others perceive us. When we stand taller we emit an aura of capability because we are confident.
Yoga teaches us the ability to relax at will
On our mats, we practice becoming aware of our breath as a tool to calm and focus the body and the mind. In yoga, we do this while we move. We return to the breath in the face of wobbles, uncertainty, challenges and instability. This strengthens our ability to choose calm at any moment.
People who practice yoga have taught themselves how to hit a little pause button at any time in life to simply relax, regardless of the external circumstances. When we cultivate the ability to relax at will we function better in life. Yoga enhances our powers of concentration, lowers our stress levels and trains us to stay focused in the face of challenges.
Yoga brings us flexibility
As we stretch our bodies beyond our perceived limitations, our minds also expand. What once seemed impossible, maybe just simply touching our toes, with a little patience, time and effort, becomes possible.
Yoga can be frustrating because no matter how good you are, some poses may not be accessible. In those moments we learn to let go of our harsh expectations for ourselves and we give ourselves a break. We learn acceptance and patience. We learn to be less judgemental. We learn to adapt and to re-set expectations and to remain open and responsive, even when things aren’t going exactly as we would like them to.
In learning how to accept all of ourselves with compassion, we learn how to extend that acceptance and compassion to others. When we advance with strength and flexibility, we become better leaders.
Yoga makes us healthier
With all that fluid movement our digestion improves, our skin benefits and we radiate good health and wellbeing.
Every cell in our bodies is boosted with a surge of extra oxygen as a result of all of the improved breathing we practice on our yoga mats. We engage with the world with greater ease. Physically we tone up.
Yoga gives us the confidence to stride bravely forward in life with grace and conviction.
Sylvia Ferguson is a DCU and a Yoga Therapy Ireland graduate. Sylvia teaches yoga and corporate meditation in Dublin; RTE and Facebook are among her weekly clients. She also provides online tuition with yoga and meditation classes to follow at home.
Whether she’s leading teacher training with Yoga Hub or hosting retreats worldwide with Exotic Yoga Retreats, Sylvia’s style of teaching encourages strength and resilience with a deep sense of lasting calm.