6 Yoga Poses That Will Boost Your Self-Esteem & Improve Digestion

Written by Julia Bartz
cobra yoga pose

Image by fizkes / iStock

We've talked about how to ground your root chakra and open your sacral chakra. Now it's time to move up the spinal column to the Manipura, "lustrous gem," or solar plexus chakra.

This chakra is located in your abdomen, from your navel to your breastbone. Its element is fire, and its main functions are self-esteem, power, and will. If this chakra is blocked, it can lead to digestive problems, stomach ulcers, and diabetes. It can also make one feel depressed, frustrated, or powerless.

Opening this chakra will help you get in touch with your inner will, or what you were put on earth to accomplish. It will allow you to live a life that's both challenging and exciting. One way to jump-start this process is to try something new—including the poses below!

First, make sure that your body is properly warmed up with a flow sequence. Take five to ten sun salutations, integrating a Vinyasa (exhale to chaturanga or knees/chest/chin, inhale to upward-facing dog or cobra, and exhale back to downward-facing dog) between each.

Now, let's move on to the poses.


Photo by Julia Bartz

Sit on your knees, with a block or two underneath you. Place your hands on your thighs and let your shoulders melt onto your back. Then commence kapalabhati, a pranayama that's also called "breath of fire" and skull-shining breath.

To do this, let your breath out halfway and then take short, strong exhalations while pumping your diaphragm. Don't worry about the inhalations—let them come naturally. Take two rounds of 50 breaths.

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Virabhadranasa III

Stand up and raise your right leg behind you, coming into Warrior III (virabhadrasana III). Bring your arms back into a "superman" pose, tighten your abs, and keep your standing leg strong. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side.

Parivrtta Trikonasana

Come to stand with your right foot about 3 feet behind your left, with your right toes facing the upper right corner of your mat. Your left heel should bisect your right foot, so your feet should be on the same line.

Raise your arms, then twist and bring your right hand to your left shin. If this is comfortable, raise your left arm to the sky to come into full revolved triangle pose (parivrtta trikonasana). You can also use a block under your right hand to provide more support. Take 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side.

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Bring your right foot about 2 feet behind your left, again pointing your right toes to the upper right corner of the mat. Lift your arms, square your hips, and bring your hands down to the ground for pyramid pose (parsvottanasana).

You can add blocks if you'd like more support under your hands. Stay here for 10 breaths, then switch sides.


Sit on your mat. While making sure to stay back on your sitz bones, lift your arms straight up and bring your closed legs into the air. You can remain here with your legs bent at 90 degrees, or straighten your legs for the full version of boat pose (navasana). Bring your legs down and cross them to rest in lotus pose (padmasana) for 5 breaths. Come back up for a second round.

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Ardha Matsyendrasana

Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Bring your bent left leg over your right leg, then bend your right leg so it is flat on the floor. Raise your right arm, take a deep breath, and bend your right elbow over your left knee to come into seated spinal twist (ardha matsyendrasana). Stay here for 10 breaths, then switch to the other side.

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