Yoga to train willpower
What is willpower and why do we need it? Willpower is the ability to do what really matters, even when it’s difficult.
If you want to go deeper than three times a week in the gym, it will be very difficult to advance without willpower.
One way to train willpower is to control unwanted behavior or impulse. You make the effort to refrain from what you want, and if you can, you can celebrate going beyond your desires. For example, you went out with friends for dinner and brought home a dessert. After a few hours, you look into the refrigerator and decide to put off dessert until the morning when your stomach isn’t full. This will be a manifestation of willpower. If you want improvement in your life, you need to do things differently. And the good news is that yoga is just how successful it helps to train willpower. What is only Iyengar Yoga worth, where you need to statically hold the asanas? Willpower, and what a power of will! Deep breathing and movement can help change your entire day. What day is there, life!
Change for the better!
Everything that does not happen to us is for the best! The main thing is not to stand still. It’s hard to change your life. Hire yourself with habits that degrade your quality of life. Answer yourself honestly to the question, what does not suit you right now? Maybe it’s something in your behavior, lifestyle, bad habits that are difficult for you to quit. Write them down.
Positive change always requires willpower. The more often you challenge yourself, the faster you will progress. Imagine that you need to climb a steep mountain. And when you finally climb on it, you feel relieved and enjoy the beautiful view from the mountain. Yoga works the same way. Have you ever set an alarm early so you can get an important job done and get paid bonuses for it? All of these actions definitely require willpower! Redirect your energy. Create new habits on the rug and a body that will last you for years! Each of the following postures will distract you from your worries and fill your brain and lungs with oxygen.
Feet up against the wall
This pose acts like a reboot on the body. Helps relax your back and legs. The pose is considered semi-inverted and helps to improve blood circulation and relieve anxiety. This pose is good after a hard day’s work. For women, it is doubly useful, as it reduces the risk of developing varicose veins.
Sit next to a wall and roll onto your side.
- Lift your legs up the wall, and move your pelvis as close to the wall as possible so that your legs and back are comfortable;
- If you are uncomfortable on a bare floor, place a blanket under your head and under your lower back for support;
- Breathe deeply and keep your legs up for as long as you want, for five minutes or longer.
Deep forward bend
This pose stretches the back of the legs and relieves tension and pain from the lower back. The pose is also considered semi-inverted, in which the head is below the heart. It helps to clear the mind and improve blood circulation to the brain.
Starting position, feet hip-width apart.
Bend your knees and slowly lower yourself, pressing your stomach against your legs.
- Keep your knees bent so that your upper body is completely straight and relaxed. The head is heavy, the top of the head looks down.
- Shake your head, hair and relax your jaw.
- You can sway slightly, shift from foot to foot to feel how firmly your legs are holding.
- Stay in the crease and experiment with different hand positions. For example, hands can be folded on the shins, under the feet, in the lock behind the back, in the elbow lock above the head.
- Stay in this position for 10-15 slow breaths
- Return slowly to the starting position.
Twisting lying on your back
This pose stretches the lower, middle, and upper back. Strengthens and straightens the spine.
- Lie on your back
- Bring both knees to your chest.
- Then let your knees drop to the right side.
- Stretch your arms out to the sides and press them to the floor.
- Turn your head in the opposite direction from your knees.
- Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths and change sides, repeat 10-15 times.
This pose opens the hip joints and stretches the hips intensively. It requires concentration and deep breathing, which can redirect the mind away from bad habits.
- From table position, raise your right knee to your chest and lower it to the floor;
- Leave your left leg behind you;
- Adjust your right leg in front to be comfortable and not painful;
- The pelvis looks forward;
- If everything works out, fold your arms into the elbow lock and rest your head on them. Or lean on your forearms;
- If your hind leg doesn’t reach the floor, place a brick under your buttock;
- Stay in this position for a few minutes, then switch sides.
The headstand is an inverted pose where the head is below the heart. This pose clears your mind and changes your reaction to things that annoy you. Changes the emotional state. Being in this position is difficult to be distracted by something else, this is training of willpower in its purest form.
- Sink into a table position, knees on the floor, rest your palms on the floor;
- Hands shoulder-width apart, fingers spread apart;
- Place your chin against your chest. An equilateral triangle should form between your hands and your head. The elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle so your support is stable. Make sure you are leaning on the top of your head and not on your forehead;
- Get on your toes and lift your knees off the mat;
- Pass your fingers towards your hands, lifting your hips and tailbone up;
- Pull your shoulders away from your ears. Press your fingers harder for stability;
- Place your palms shoulder-width apart. Raise your right leg and rest your knee on the elbow or triceps muscle;
- Bring both knees up to your arms and hold that position. Find strength in your hands, not in your head, the head should be almost free, barely touching the floor. If you feel confident, try to lift one leg up and bring it back. Do this with the other leg. Then try lifting both legs up;
- Then lower your knees into your armpits and breathe.
- Then lower the pelvis down, hands fist on fist, head on hands and sit like this for a couple of minutes.
This pose helps to relax your back and calm down. Leaning your forehead on the floor stimulates the pineal gland, an endocrine gland that modulates sleep hormones, and relaxes.
- Sit on your knees;
- Place a pillow under your knees and a blanket for extra comfort;
- Connect your big toes together;
- Spread your knees at a comfortable distance from each other;
- Lower your hips closer to your heels;
- Stretch your arms forward and lower your head to a block or to the floor;
- Feel the ribs expand and relax during deep breathing;
- Remain in the 5-10 breath position.
Yoga helps to create new habits, change our understanding of the limits of the body, get rid of beliefs: “I can’t do this, this is not for me.” Yoga is a daily challenge, what if you stand on your head, what if you try the bridge, and what if your leg is behind your head? The world will not collapse from this? And if you also try to stand on your hands? And in order to do all this, you need to train daily, think less about the bad, and be confident in your own abilities. Thanks to yoga, new neural connections are created in the brain and you learn to control your body with ease. Challenge yourself not to eat sweets until you block the asanas twice, or not to smoke until you practice for an hour. This will be a training of willpower, and the emergence of new habits.