Why Do Yoga Exercises Improve Posture?

2 min read

How we hold ourselves affects our identity and how we act in the world. It is clear to many that our thoughts affect our posture. When we are tired or sad, we tend to slump. What is often forgotten is that our posture can also change our thoughts.

When people win a contest, they will often spontaneously raise their arms in a V-shape. Jessica Tracy, Ph., conducted research that shows this behavior is seen all over the world, even by people who are born blind and have never learned it.

Humans have exhibited this behavior throughout history. Are you picturing gladiators or troglodytes also with their arms raised?

Trick the Brain with Your Body

Amy Cuddy, Ph., explains in one of the most famous TED Talks that holding your body in a powerful position tricks your brain into believing you’ve won. The same hormones are released when you win something.

You will feel confident and empowered. You can fool your brain into believing you’re a winner. You can manifest even more wins in your daily life.

Modern science confirms what yogis have known for centuries: the body can be a powerful tool to harness your mind. When we master our minds, our “true self” is revealed.

Authenticity and presence improve. The research of Dr. Cuddy finally gives numbers to ancient wisdom.

On Confidence & Power Poses

Holding “power poses” for just two minutes (like Wonder Woman’s hands on her hips or the V-shape like a Victor) increases levels of testosterone, a hormone that is linked to confidence. Cortisol, a stress hormone of importance, also decreases.

The pharmaceutical companies don’t want to tell you that your posture can affect your brain chemistry. This can have implications for depression due to low self-esteem or social anxiety. It could also make you feel drained if you’re hunching over your phone or computer. Do you feel empowered?

These “power poses” can be performed anywhere and by anyone. Yoga is no different. Yoga doesn’t require you to buy expensive clothes or join a yoga studio. You can practice it right in front of you, at home or work.

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