Strike a Power Pose – 9 Poses to Try Today

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The more I study Wellness, the more I realize how well The Office has already trained me for this world. Take Dwight’s pre-sale moves for example… or when he was prepping to ask for a raise (video is below). Did you know that in CPR training they actually do  tell you to pump the heart to the beat of Staying Alive?

Power poses have been shown to decrease cortisol (stress hormone) and increase testosterone. In an experiment involving Columbia students, just 2 minutes in “high power” poses resulted in a 25% decrease in cortisol. High power poses are expansive: they open up the chest, they take up a lot of room.  Amy Cuddy recommends these power poses:  Wonder Woman / Superman, feet up on the desk with hands behind chest (open chest), the victory pose (hands up in the air, and dance movements that allow your body to take up a lot of space.

Additionally, studies have been done on the cortisol reducing effects of yoga. Part of this benefit can be attributed to yogi breathing techniques. The sympathetic nervous system activity decreases (fight or flight) while parasympathetic activity (resting & digesting plus immune and respiratory function) increases. To quote Sarah Novotny and Len Kravitz, Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico:

“The research is very clear that breathing exercises (e.g. pranayama breathing) can enhance parasympathetic (inhibit neural responses) tone, decrease sympathetic (excitatory) nervous activity, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, decrease the effects of stress, and improve physical and mental health (Pal, Velkumary, and Madanmohan, 2004).”

So get ready! Try to breathe like a yogi and strike these poses:

1. Big Boss Pose

2. Wonder Woman / Superman

3. Warrior 2

4. Goddess

5. & 6. Tree Pose & Half Moon

7. Dancer

8. Winner Winner!

9. Dance Party!


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