We are all warriors. We are all one. I am learning to teach yoga. Well, I am learning much more than that. The course material is dense but not too much for a book nerd like me. My real challenge in the course is confidence. I have to stop the negative rumination that everyone is judging my down dog alignments with the vile of the Spanish Inquisition Tribunal. It just isn’t so. My classmates are on their own journey and as I support them during their evolution as teachers, they support me.
At the end of a long work week, where my meditation and breathing work had been cast aside for living hurriedly, our teacher asked us to lead 7 minutes of yoga class. I had to relax into this, or walk out and never come back. Approaching the spur of the moment assignment with shock and awe would do nothing. All I could do was connect to what I had at that moment. I found my relaxed mind to be a rock and my stressed mind to be a nuisance. I allowed the latter to walk out the door. Granted this 7-minute set was not my best, but dang did I learn a lot from the critique afterward. And come Sunday when I led my 30-minute yoga class, I had improved. It clicked. I found flowing in the channel of ease promotes my growth. I will share a pose, an essential oil and a mantra I use to connect with this grace-filled, confidence.
When do you begin to doubt yourself? Is it when you are relaxed?
POSE: I share Humble Warrior as my confidence pose. In Sanskrit, Baddha Virabhadrasana translates to the bound warrior. I prefer ‘Humble’ Warrior as hearing the word humble in my practice reminds me, both on and off the mat, of my greatest intention.
Baddha yoga asanas, bound yoga poses, produce a link between the body and mind. The body is “bound” by the connection of the hands, creating a sense of security and relaxing the mind.  To assist connecting my hands, I use a strap, a hand towel, or an old t-shirt. From Warrior I inhale, exhale clasp palms or grasp strap behind the back, inhale, exhale fold forward, lifting back heel off the mat, keeping ball mount grounded, hold for a few breath cycles to ease in the humility of pose, on inhaling raise chest up to Warrior I with renewed confidence.
E.O. (Essential Oil): Cassia – Cinnamomum Cassia or Chinese cinnamon, in Hebrew means to bow down the head and is the main ingredient in anointing oil. The powerful essence of this oil is historically linked to humility and grace, the newly discovered backbone to my confidence. In addition, Cassia boosts the immune system, maintains a healthy digestive system, and improves blood circulation. Cassia oil is also an antidepressant, restoring courage and a sense of self-worth. It has a warming effect on the body and keeps your mind at peace. This medicinal plant contains cinnamic aldehyde, steam-distilled from the plant bark, leaves, and twigs producing a fragrant, healing essential oil.
Studies of cinnamic aldehyde treatment in mid-aged rats have resulted in alleviation of chronic unexpected stress-induced depressive-like behaviors. Cinnamic aldehyde is an enzyme inhibitor drug, immunologic drug, and an anti-inflammatory drug. It is administered orally to treat behavioral and mental disorders, targeting the hippocampus and the frontal cortex. Current findings might be beneficial in treating subjects in depression. 
Dilute with fractionated coconut oil for skin application. Add a drop or two to a non-plastic water vessel. Diffuse in your meditation space.
MANTRA: “The penitent man shall pass.” ~ Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
2. Yao, Ying (Mar 13, 2015). https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5546/baddhaBIOSIS. 162: 97–103. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2014.12.047.