You walk into a room full of people you don’t know, you are nervous, you look around searching for something to eat or drink, you walk over to the bar, head titled down. You order and with drink in hand, held close to your body, you begin to meander through the crowd.
You walk into a room full of people you don’t know, you are nervous, you look around, see an interesting man standing by himself at the bar. You walk right up to him, head held high, and you introduce yourself. You shake his hand and ask him what brought him to the event.
The first scenario gives you the feeling of being small. Head down and drink held close to the body.
The second gives you a feeling of confidence, head held high and immediate shake of hand.
Two very different scenarios demonstrating the power of body language.
Recently I watched a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist. The title, “Your body language shapes who you are”.
She begins the talk with how our feelings show in our body language (different from the title).
So for example, when someone wins a race, they throw their hands up in the air, close fisted looking up at the sky. This is the body’s way of showing a feeling of power.
On the other hand, when you see a person with their arms crossed in front, head down, it’s the body’s way of showing a feeling of being small.
She then goes on to say that she began wondering if we could CHANGE OUR MINDS WITH OUR BODY LANGUAGE, if we could feel powerful just by striking a powerful pose!
She concludes with a study proving that, in fact, we can change our minds and they way we feel just by changing our body language.
I found this fascinating because it got me thinking about yoga and how many different shapes we put our bodies in when we practice yoga.
Yoga helps us feel more confident, calm, balanced, flexible, present, strong….
And it is all because we strike a pose. We put our body in positions to change our body language which in turn changes our minds.
I say we all strike many poses!