Strike a Power Pose!

power pose

We’ve all heard about the importance of good posture.  It keeps the body in alignment and projects confidence.  But here’s something new.  Can it actually affect performance and relieve stress?  According to Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, it can.  I recently watched her Ted Talk about body language and boy did I learn a lot!

Certain poses, called power poses, not only affect how others see us but how we conduct ourselves.  These poses can be traced back to the animal kingdom where animals needed to mark their territory, hunt for food, or secure a mate.  You can see the same poses adopted by people when they negotiate business or win a race.

The science behind this claim involves actual body chemistry.  When we make these poses, our testosterone (the “dominance” hormone) rises and our cortisol (the stress hormone) drops.  So it’s no wonder we’re then able to handle uncomfortable situations and make more rational decisions.

My favorite pose is called the “Wonder Woman.” I can actually feel it in my shoulders, where I hold a lot of stress.  You can see an example of the pose in the photo above.   My word for this year is confidence, so it seems fitting that I would seek to embody that both internally and externally.  Now that I know power posing can actually promote relaxation, I’ll be adding it to my nightly yoga ritual as well as practicing it before a presentation or interview.

See the photo in my previous post for another example of a power pose known as “pride,” which I call the “Winner’s Pose.”  You can’t help but feel joyous and even grateful in this stance.  Like the world is your oyster 😉

So if you do nothing else today, make sure you spend 2 minutes striking a power pose.  Your body will thank you.  And you might just feel ready to take on the world!

“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds change our behavior, and our behavior changes our outcomes.”  –Amy Cuddy, TED

“Fake it ’til you become it.”  –Amy Cuddy, TED

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