The Four Best Yoga Poses to Energize and Empower

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Yoga to Empower | 0 comments

You may hear yoga and think… relaxation, calm, quiet, or peaceful. And while, yes, all of that is true, did you know that yoga can also be energizing and empowering?

The word empower means to “give someone authority or power to do something; to make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.” Practicing yoga can empower you with physical strength, mindfulness, confidence, and the ability to pause before reacting. Want to learn how? Keep reading…

Yoga offers skills that empower

Picture yourself in mountain pose (standing with feet hip-distance apart, crown of head reaching toward sky). Notice how the pose feels in your body (perhaps stable, balanced, & grounded). Now, observe your thoughts. Are they focused and supportive, just like the body? If the thoughts are bouncing around in your head, take a breath in, pause, and slowly exhale.

While it may not seem like a demanding shape, mountain pose, and many other yoga postures, can offer us tools to help us feel strong, inspired, and empowered. Sure, holding a plank pose will build physical strength, but breathing through challenging poses can also aid in developing confidence (I can stay present when things get demanding), thus, empowering us to believe we can handle whatever life throws at us.

Yoga helps us connect with what we’re feeling in the physical body, moment-by-moment (maybe a pose is demanding or calming; perhaps we notice tension in the shoulders or gripping in the face). It also encourages us to notice our thoughts without judgment. When we’re on the yoga mat, we take time to pause and reflect, making choices that support what we need at this moment (do I need to do another chaturanga, or should I rest in hero’s pose?)

And bonus…these tools of empowerment can benefit us off the mat, as well!

Below are my four favorite yoga poses to empower and energize. Try holding each pose for 4-6 breaths, and then notice how you feel. 

Mountain Pose

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, reaching the top of your head toward the ceiling. Press down through the balls and heels of your feet, and then soften your knees. Gently draw the belly in, while allowing the tailbone to descend. Feel the spine lengthen up like a flexi-straw, and begin to soften the muscles of the face.

Warrior 2

From mountain pose, step the right leg back and set the sole of that foot flat on the mat, toes turning slightly toward the top right corner. Bend the front knee so that it stacks on top of the ankle. Reach the arms out in a t-shape at shoulder height. Lift up through the top of the head, while dropping the tailbone down. Let your gaze soften over the front hand. Breathe.

Chair Pose

Standing with feet hip width apart, bend your knees and sink your hips back, as if you were going to sit down in a chair. Be sure that the knees are pointing forward. Press into the heels while cinching in around the waist. Hands could be at your hips, in front of your heart, or reaching beside the ears. Want more intensity? Lower the hips deeper while pushing the feet into the floor.

Plank Pose

This is basically the same shape you make at the top of a push-up. Your wrists are directly beneath your shoulders, fingers spread wide like a starfish, and upper arms wrapping inward. The spine is long. Feel for reaching your chest forward, and lift the belly button toward the spine. Firm the legs as you reach back through the heels. 

If you’d prefer to lower the knees to the mat, keep all of the other techniques in place as you hold the pose for several breaths. 

Mindset Matters

Just to clarify… you can stand in mountain pose all day long, but if your mindset is full of negative self-talk and doubt, the yoga posture will not make a difference. Our minds need to be open to opportunities, willing to let go of expectations, and filled with the belief that we are strong, powerful, and capable.

For example, the first few times you do plank pose, you may not feel so powerful. This is where mindset makes a difference. Notice your thoughts as you’re holding the pose. It can be helpful to use an affirmation like, “I am getting stronger each time I do this pose,” or, “I can stay here for three more breaths.” We can choose thoughts that motivate, inspire, and encourage.

Want more?

There are many other yoga poses that can support and develop your personal power. Spending time on the mat can assist in challenging our fears and doubts, while enabling us to realize we may be stronger and more resilient than we realize.

If you’re a visual learner, or you want to try these poses with instruction in a yoga practice, let me know! I’ve created an entire yoga class specifically for Empowering and Energizing. Want to try it? Click here and I’ll send you a link to the class, as well as my guide for INVIGORATING Your Yoga Practice.


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