Welcome to your camel class practice to cultivate confidence, both on your mat and off your mat.
Now, confidence is one of those super tricky things, right…..
We often identify ourselves as either “self-confident” or “lacking confidence.” But, I’m coming to learn that most of us lean one way, then we lean the other way, and sometimes, we land right in the middle…. sorta kinda confident, yet still anxious, nervous, and a bit fearful.
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Take me for example.
On paper, I exude an air of self-confidence. I regularly put myself out there via yoga videos and podcasts. I share my most intimate stories on this platform and in social media. I guide people through online programs of all kinds that even that focus on building confidence.
Put me in a room of brand new people, in an unfamiliar environment, or in a room of badass yoga teachers…. and my confidence just crumbles. I begin to sweat, double guess my thoughts and words, feel like I have nothing worthy to offer, and then I retreat.
Or, put me in front of a large group to give a presentation and yep, there goes my confidence, I stumble over my words, barely catch my breath, and at it’s worst…. I start to feel dizzy, like who are these people staring at me.
So you see, confidence can swing both ways and land somewhere in the middle for each of us, depending on the environment and the circumstance at hand.
But what does this have to do with ustrasana, camel posture and how will this practice help you off the mat and in your personal life too.
Well, this is my theory, take it or leave it, but let’s dive in.
Camel posture is a mega backbend in the yoga practice as it requires a deep level of vulnerability, strength, and confidence. Each these attributes need to be present for a safe, effective, and beautifully shaped posture. But just like in life, we often times lead with one or the other.
This was my problem for many years. I only led with confidence, forcing my body into the shape, relying on flexibility from a past life, and ultimately…. leading to intense sciatic pain that I created through my practice.
It’s taken me many moons to understand this, but I’m finally inviting all parties to the table when I practice, not just the need to perform and achieve.
So, here’s how my camel posture looks and feels like now.
I step on my mat with the intention to focus and surrender through my heart space, move through a sequence that supports expansion through the chest and shoulders, work through mild backbends that lead to a greater backbend, and I ask my strength to support me, not just my flexibility.
If we took this same idea off our yoga mats and approached life with vulnerability, strength, and confidence…. would it leave room for confidence to go missing? I don’t think so, I truly don’t.
These potent attributes require a lot of hard work, work that doesn’t come easy, and work that needs constant fine tuning. And when you’re doing the work, confidence will reside within you and around you.
Yes, you will still feel anxious, catch the butterflies in your tummy, maybe lose your breath…. but then you can lean into your potent potion and draw forth your inner powers: vulnerability, strength, and confidence to pursue whatever lies ahead.
In today’s yoga practice, I plan for you to do just that. So unroll your mat, brew up your potent potion, and come meet me to experience camel pose in a whole new light.
See you there, xoxo