Sweet Surrender and Self-Esteem
I believe yoga is a powerful tool for building self-esteem, especially when combined with a deep focus on your breath, affirmations, or chanting. The first time I ever chanted was in my yoga teacher training, and I learned to love it. In Transformational Hatha Yoga, we finish each pose chanting “Om Mah” three times. It means surrender to the divine. But if that makes you uncomfortable, just think of is as surrendering. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you can use it to let go.
I teach in a gym, so understandably I felt anxious about introducing pranayama and chanting. After a while I had my students using kapalbhati and bhramari, and was surprised by how they seemed to embrace it. So the other night I got brave an introduced the Om Mah. To my amazement, I could feel the energy changing in the room. And I could see the look of sweet surrender on my students faces. They emerged from poses glowing, smiling peacefully. We all left class feeling good, and feeling good leads to feeling good about yourself.
But don’t take my word for it. I found a great article by a fellow yoga blogger talking about how yoga, mantra and meditation build self-esteem.