I recently came across a Ted Talk by Ann Cuddy, Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School, on how body language can be the determining factor in whether you get the job you’re going for or stand out in the crowd. Her research shows that holding a ‘power pose’ for a couple of minutes can raise testorone (dominance hormone) levels in the body and lower cortisol (stress hormone). A power pose is one that opens the body – that makes you large and expansive.
That the mind/body are linked so intimately that adjusting one can directly impact the other doesn’t surprise me. I have learnt this from intimately studying my own body structure according to how I’m feeling emotionally through a daily practice. As well as watching and working with others, hearing their stories and noticing how this is reflected in the body.
Yogi Bhajan was big on “fake it til you make it”. Meaning to use all you have to bring yourself to a point of feeling empowered, centred, certain and confident. We tend to think our mind is seperate from the rest of us – but in my opinion, the body is mind and the mind is the body – integrated and connected.
CHANGE YOUR BODY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
Yoga is not just about exercise and that’s where it’s power lies. Yoga is an excellent life tool in this way as it works across all levels – physically, mentally and emotionally. We’ve all experienced the immediate and powerful mental shift post yoga practice – and more and more of us include some form of yoga/meditation daily in our lives. Why not if it works?
It’s not about how hardcore we are or how long we can hold a pose or how bendy-twisty we are – the purpose of yoga is to open the body to connect is to a fuller version of you. See here for some specific 3 minute transformational tools.
Sometimes we may need a little push when we have to perform and are feeling nervous. So take on some body opening posture and breathe. Change the body to change the mind. Then again, sometimes what’s needed is the opposite; nurture, comfort, to be internal not external. In this case, curling up in a ball can be incredibly therapeutic, comforting and also healing.
Get to know yourself as a full being – and use your body shape to make life easier. Why wouldn’t you?