How Yoga Can Help Improve Your Self-Esteem

How Yoga Can Help Improve Your Self-Esteem

Discover How Yoga Transforms Self-Talk, Confidence, and Mental Well-being - By Beth Rush

Reading time: 3 minutes

Yoga forces you to focus on how majestic your body, mind, and soul are. How does yoga improve self-esteem? Let’s find out.

1. Build Your Positive Self-Talk

A major tenet of yoga is Ahimsa (non-violence). Yoga has this incredible way of directing our minds away from the external. Instead of comparing or putting yourself down, you will engage in all the good things your body can do. 

Deep, rhythmic breathing helps you become aware of the negative language that has been tearing you down. Your body is amazing and your mind is powerful. Inhale and cultivate Shanti (Peace). Exhale and let go of any negative energy. 

Using positive affirmations during yoga can solidify positive self-talk. Yoga is more than just a physical exercise. It increases self-awareness and mindfulness, fostering deep gratitude and self-reflection. 

2. Foster Your Self-Confidence

Confidence starts from within. When you’re on the mat, moving your body, you’re showing gratitude for all it does. You’re allowing yourself to just be — and that is beautiful. 

Yoga is a way of telling yourself, “I am strong. I am capable. I am loved.”. You are Sundara (beautiful and divine). 

As you stretch your arms out, admire their strength. Even when you’re lying in Savasana (corpse pose), you can feel the sensual movement of your breath. Yoga allows you to see the beauty and power you possess, building a type of confidence that cannot be destroyed. 

3. Find Your Community

Having a community is a significant part of building self-confidence. Yoga helps you form connections with like-minded women who are also working on their inner voices. A sisterhood of women you can share your love with or turn to when you need guidance is a type of nourishment for your soul that you won’t find anywhere else. 

The mat creates a space where women can feel free in their bodies. There is no comparison or toxic beauty standards, just women building each other up and getting in touch with their true selves.

4. Relieve Your Stress

Yoga is rooted in Dhyana (meditation), which focuses on a clear, still mind. The mantras and positions help you clear your mind and stay in the present. This mindfulness can even reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, resulting in improved well-being.

Breathwork and movement are carefully timed to allow you to release anything stressing you out. You are free to drop all of your worries on the mat and let your body and mind rest. Yoga can also relieve the symptoms of burnout by improving interoceptive awareness, which helps you become more in tune with your body’s signals. 

5. Improve Your Mental Health 

During a yoga session, you are allowing yourself the time and space to be mindful. Every breath and pose takes you one step closer to mental clarity. After a yoga session, your brain releases endorphins, which send feel-good sensations throughout your body. You feel calmer and more focused. 

Yoga is like weightlifting for your brain. It helps you release stress and, in doing so, it actually makes your brain work better. In fact, it may help your brain cells form new connections and improve cognitive skills like memory. 

6. Connect With Your Body

With the busyness of daily life, it’s rare to find the time to be still and breathe. Regular yoga practice creates a space for you to do just that — connect with your body. 

How are you feeling? Are you holding any tension in your back or feet? Take a moment of Dhyana on the mat to truly communicate with your body. The best way to build your self-esteem is to create this stream of consciousness between your mind and body. 

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your mat and Nama-slay like the confident, fierce woman you are with the empowering practice of yoga.

Beth Rush

Beth is the mental health editor at Body+Mind. She has 5+ years of experience writing about behavioral health, specifically mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.