Yoga to Build Willpower

By: Shareen Woodford

Yoga to Build Willpower

Willpower is the mother of all virtues. It is one of the single best predictors of happiness, health, and success. With willpower comes confidence, and having confidence in a task can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we are confident that we can achieve something, we are much more likely to actually achieve it. Our third chakra, the manipura chakra, is home to both willpower and confidence. It is housed in the solar plexus area, between the navel and the sternum. When we energize, or bring prana into this center of power in the subtle body by way of particular yoga postures, we can actually improve our willpower and increase our confidence much in the same way that we strengthen a muscle. When we send energy and attention to our manipura chakra, we increase our self esteem, make better decisions, feel empowered, control our actions by means of self-discipline, take responsibility and in all of these ways, we enable ourselves to better realize our life purpose and goals.

Manipura means “jeweled city.” When we discover this place within ourselves we are showered with jewels and treasures from the inside. We can learn to find power and energy from within ourselves so we no longer have to rely on outside sources of energy like coffee or sugar, which actually deplete our energy in the long run. This chakra is represented by the element of fire, so when we illuminate the manipura chakra we light our own internal fire, burning away fears, insecurities, weak will and passivity. This chakra is associated with activity, volition, strength, self-definition, and setting intentions.

This yoga sequence will help you overcome inertia, break old habits and patterns, evolve and move upwards. These postures will energize your third chakra, helping you find all of the jewels that are inside of you, including your talents, your strengths, your truest desires and your highest intentions, and give you the energy to act on them so you can create any transformation in yourself or your life that you may want. Your will creates your future.

Don’t forget that fire needs air to burn, so a strong steady breath with gentle sound coming from the throat will help to ignite the power in your manipura chakra during this asana practice. Aim to hold each posture for ten breaths if possible. You may need to gradually work up to ten. Just start with what you are capable of now, and keep practicing.

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