I am dedicating this post to the Rewired Life Blog Tour, where together with sixteen other bloggers we talk about loving yourself, healing your body and mind, and celebrating life. To participate and check out other posts, visit Audrey Michel’s Rewired Life Blog Tour.
Our body language sends messages to everybody we encounter in our daily life. We all know that.
But we often underestimate the many messages that our posture sends to ourselves.
We spend a long time hunched over steering wheels or sitting at computer desks. Our spine is under strain from this passive, negative posture. Our chest may feel tight and closed and when we are lost in our thoughts, we start dragging our eyes towards the floor. I often catch myself looking down, walking quickly in our busy streets and through our busy life, always thinking about the next thing.
With our gaze to the floor, how many colors we end up missing? how many faces, interactions, life we are not allowing ourselves to see?
Yoga chest openers have been practiced for centuries and centuries.
Having a direct gaze and an open body posture can benefit us deeply. This is how:
On a physical level,
- We gain mobility and strength by improving our posture and opening the muscles of the chest and shoulders.
- Keeping our spine in the correct, neutral position contributes to developing a strong core by allowing the pelvis to rotate and activate the core muscles.
- Back pain is significantly reduced when we stop slouching, as a good posture spreads the weight evenly and avoids putting too much strain on the spine.
- We breathe fuller breaths, opening up the airways and oxygenating the brain. We think more clearly. In yoga, breath control is often a tool used to energize.
On an energetic level,
- An open posture gives us an open heart and encourages acceptance towards ourselves and others, sending to our brain the message that is safe to embrace whatever life has to offer us.
- By lifting our gaze we open the chest and give ourselves permission to take a deep breath, promoting a sense of openness in life.
- A power posture not only expresses power, it actually generates it! Just few minutes of wide open power pose can raise our testosterone levels and decrease stress hormone (cortisol) levels.
Psychologist Amy Cuddy studied Power Posing and found out that opening your arms and spreading your body in the space around you not only exudes power and confidence (both in human beings and in the animal kingdom), but most importantly the power pose creates your confidence and power by stimulating a string of chemical reactions in the brain. In other words, we can fake it until we make it.
And so can our children. When they win a game, they instinctively raise their arms and look at the sky in victory. When they are sad or tearful, they close their arms around them and look down.
We can teach them to use this tool of power posing before a task that makes them nervous or simply to instill confidence in the morning before going to school!
Improving our mood and reducing stress could be so simple as opening our arms wide and looking up for a couple of minutes, as often as we need it during the day.
I hope this serves you.
To read the previous post from the Rewired Life Book Tour, visit Lois Shannon, that wrote yesterday about Healing through Acceptance. Yogi Tish will be sharing her words of wisdom next. Want to download a sample of Rewired Life? Visit Audrey Michel’s website.