Yoga for Self Acceptance: 5 Best Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem with Yoga

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Article by Suman Kannan

October 8th, 2021

A woman sitting in sukhasana and a man sitting with hands wide open.

Our brain is a reflex organ. It shows us all possible outcomes to consciously make the right decisions in order to overcome difficult situations with a matured mindset. But due to a lack of realization of being self capable, people often do not understand their infinite capability and portray themselves as weak and powerless individuals. Yoga for self-acceptance directs us towards experiencing our true self by going through various yogic lifestyle changes. By incorporating Yogic disciplines with regular practice of Asana (for purification of the body), Pranayama (Purification of Energy) and Meditation(Purification and clarity of thoughts), one walks the path of self-acceptance, understands how self capable he is and thereby learns self-help, self-improvement ways.

To start with yoga for self-acceptance, you can practise asanas to open your heart with good heart-opening posture and postures to relax the mind and establish warmth and calmness through relaxation postures. These postures channel the energy of “Anahata chakra” also known as Heart Chakra, responsible for self-love, self-care, self-affection and self-acceptance. Practise yoga for self-acceptance in a sacred space to connect with the self, deeply without distraction.

Parsvottasana - Intense Stretch Pose

The first pose in yoga for self-acceptance is a good heart opener. It also improves flexibility in the legs and directs blood circulation to the brain. A perfect posture to overcome self-doubt, negative thoughts and struggle of overcoming perfectionism.

Parsvottasana - Intense Stretch Pose

Steps:

  1. From Tadasana, spread your legs wide four feet apart.
  2. Inhale, take the hands by the side and bend from the elbow to join the hands in Namaskara mudra behind your back, touching the palms and fingers of both hands to feel a good stretch in the chest.
  3. If you are not able to join the hands behind, touch the elbow with the opposite hand from behind.
  4. Turn towards the right leg and hips square to the right leg.
  5. Deep Inhale and exhale, bend forward with your head facing the knee and gaze at the big toe.
  6. Hold the posture for 12 seconds.
  7. Inhale, raise up and relax.
  8. Repeat the practice on the other side.

Contraindications:

  • Avoid, if you’ve had a recent injury or surgery in the shoulder, leg, hip, knee and ankle joint
  • Patients with high or low blood pressure avoid this posture

Gomukhasana- Cow face pose

This posture resembles the face of the cow, thus justifying the name. It helps open the body and is very good for the heart and lungs, thereby helping you take that step towards self-acceptance.

Gomukhasana- Cow face pose

Steps:

  1. Sit in Dandasana.
  2. Bend the left leg and place it under the left hip, right leg above the left and right heel touching the left hip similar to a cow’s face.
  3. Inhale, interlock the hands from behind by raising the right hand from above and the left hand from below with a bend at the elbow on both the hands.
  4. If not able to join the palms, use a yoga belt or towel to assist the stretch.
  5. Exhale, release from the posture and repeat on the other side.

Contraindications:

  • Avoid, if you’ve had recent injury or surgery in the neck, shoulder, hip, hamstring and calf muscle tear
  • Patients with varicose veins avoid this posture
  • Be cautious in practice if you are suffering from frozen shoulders and sciatica

Rocking in Pavanamuktasana- Rocking with knee hug

Yoga for self-acceptance includes this pose that is like self-help for your nerves, it releases stress and fatigue from the body and establishes happiness in the mind from inside out.

Rocking in Pavanamuktasana- Rocking with knee hug

Steps:

  1. Lay down on your spine.
  2. Exhale, bring the knee closer to your chest, and hug both the knees tight and bring your head in between the knees.
  3. Now inhale and exhale while rocking forward and back with a humming sound.
  4. Feel the massage of spinal muscles and the relation with the humming sound. This posture resembles the position you were in the womb of your mother.
  5. Do it for a few seconds or as long as you feel comfortable.
  6. Release and relax in Savasana for 2 minutes.

Contraindications:

  • Avoid doing this pose if you are pregnant or menstruating
  • Men with testicular disorder should avoid this pose
  • Patients with high blood pressure, slip disc and hernia should avoid this pose

Anandha Balasana - Happy baby pose

While practising yoga for self-acceptance, let’s remember the carefree self-loving kid in you and all the naughty moves you did just for your own happiness and love. This posture is a similar movement that helps you to revisit the same you who was self capable of creating happiness whenever and wherever you wanted. Yes, we want you to visit the child in you, who was truly connected with the self and lost his path in the journey of life.

Anandha Balasana - Happy baby pose

Steps:

  1. Lay down in the supine posture.
  2. Bend the knee and bring the thighs close to the chest, hold the feet from inside of the knee to the outer edge of the feet and bend at the elbow.
  3. Open the knee wide and pull the leg towards the mat.
  4. Deep inhale and exhale pulling one leg at a time towards a mat creating a rocking action to massage the muscles of the shoulder, upper spine and neck muscles.
  5. Repeat for a minute.

Contraindications:

  • Avoid, if recent injury or surgery in ankle, knee and hip
  • Avoid this posture during pregnancy or if menstruating

Bhramari Pranayama

One of the important practices in yoga for self-acceptance is the Bhramari pranayama. It relaxes your mind instantly because the humming sound vibrations have a natural calming effect. It is an effective pranayama to bring clarity to the mind to fight against problems like frustration, anger, and stress. It also helps in improving brain function and memory.

Bhramari pranayama

Steps:

  1. Place the thumbs on the ear lobes and gently close it, forefinger on the eyebrow, middle finger on the side of eyes, ring finger on the side of the nose and the little finger on the side of the lips
  2. Do 6 rounds of breathing with a deep exhale making a humming sound.
  3. Observe the calmness and relaxation after the practice of pranayama.

Contraindications:

  • Avoid this posture while pregnancy and menstrual cycle
  • Patients with high blood pressure, epilepsy, ear infection and chest pain should avoid this asana

Do try this simple and effective yoga for self-acceptance and see how your life takes a positive turn towards self-love.