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September 2014

The Power of postures

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Let’s start off with this quick question? Can you audit the way you are sitting without altering it: how many of you are making yourself smaller, maybe hunching or spreading-out? How many of you are leaning on one side or the other, or sitting in a cross-legged position? Is your back straight or curved? Pay attention to what you doing, we will come back to it in a few minutes. I am going to uncover how tweaking postures can significantly alter our body mind dynamic and the way our lives are to unfold.


What’s the matter with my posture?

People go through life situations wondering why certain outcome does not occur as expected. Here are some examples: speaking before an audience, going on a date, taking a leadership role or having a job interview.

Our postures create judgments, inferences and shape opinions. They can predict whom we hire, whom we promote and whom we ask on a date. All of us know that the mind influences the body but today leading social scientists have found that body mind is a two ways street. As much as the mind influences the body, the body also influences the mind. Many of us have difficult time to stick with disciplines such as yoga, tai chi or meditation to tame the mind. We as human beings tend to look for a quick fix, a magical pill to achieve the desired outcome.


What are the root causes?

Our inner emotions, past experiences, family patterns and DNA shape the way we sit, walk and talk. On one hand, someone who is feeling sad, anxious or stressed will always have a close crunching position or C shape (shoulders up, head down, arm holding the chick, tend to look at floor). On the other hand, someone who is happy, joyful and victorious will rise in V shape (shoulder back, head up, constant gaze, eye contact with the surrounding).  We, as humans beings,  love to expand, stretch out, spread out and flourish. Nonetheless, sometimes we are dragged by unconscious and conscious feelings that we may or may not be aware of. Studies (featured in the TED talk) are showing people postures impact their hormones and cortisol levels. As a result of these findings, we can increase our chances of becoming better individuals and notably better communicators and speakers just by consciously shifting our body postures and gestures when we sit, talk and walk.


How can we mitigate it?

According to the TED’s talk below; There is definitely a way to shift the mind by consciously training the body to alter postures. Various experiments have been conducted on the matter. When you rise (hands up in a V shape) before giving a business presentation, an interview or any challenge life throws at you, a shift in the energy level and perceptions happens. Here is my two cents; another suggestion would be to practice asanas such as sun salutation regularly during the day to unconsciously provoke this shift.

I hope these few insights and cues about the power of postures will help you achieve the desired outcome. For more info, check out the TED’s talk here: