How Expansive Postures Can Improve Self Confidence and Open the Heart Chakra Leading to a Balanced Sense of Self
How Postural Feedback Can Improve Confidence
Postural Feedback, also known as Power Posing is a concept developed by Psychologist Amy Cuddy from a study she completed at Harvard University. If you saw Cuddy’s Ted Talk on Power Posing, you learned how she found that our body language governs how we think and feel about ourselves, and thus, how we hold our bodies can have an impact on our minds. In other words, by commanding a powerful stance, we can make ourselves actually feel more powerful. In her study, participants sat in either a high-power pose (expansive posture) or low-power pose (leaning inward, legs crossed) for two minutes. Cuddy found that those who sat in the high-power pose, felt more powerful and performed better in mock interviews than those who had not.
Due to these findings, people all over the world have adapted the Power Pose to prepare for interviews, or to begin their day to help them feel more confident, thus leading to a stronger sense of self.
To try this, one sits or stands in a pose leading with your chest and arms open and head up for two minutes. This pose is similar to the “Wonder Woman” pose.
How Expansive Postures Open the Heart Chakra Increasing a Sense of Self and Love
While practicing an expansive posture the upper torso is opened up. The arms are widened, shoulders are back and the chest is lifted. Anahata, the fourth chakra is known as the heart chakra and is responsible for our emotions and is the centre of energy for happiness and love. Balancing this chakra can increase one’s ability to give and accept love, be compassionate and accept oneself and others.
Difficult life experiences can be the cause of a blocked heart chakra and can result in one feeling small with a closed in posture. Having a blocked heart chakra can have both physical and emotional effects. Some physical effects can be increased blood pressure and even chest pain. There are several emotional effects to be aware of; lack of love and emotion for self and others, shyness and anxiety, difficulty grounding and meditating and increased suspicion and fear.
Practicing expansive postures, leading with the heart, can help to balance this Chakra allowing one to feel more positive. There are some yoga poses that concentrate on opening the heart chakra. These poses are child’s pose, reclined hero’s pose and camel pose.
As we learned from Psychologist Amy Cuddy’s research, our body language has an impact on our minds. Practicing an expansive posture has resulted in people feeling more confident in themselves, making “power posing” a trend worth trying. It can be beneficial before an interview or if feeling low in confidence generally, as it makes one feel strong and confident.
An expansive posture also opens the heart chakra thus, helping to balance and tap into the positive energy that is the centre of love, compassion and acceptance of oneself and others. Having a blocked heart chakra can have both physical and emotional effects that can take their toll by making one feel small and having a closed posture. By leading with the heart through the yoga poses of child’s, camel and reclined hero’s, the Anahata is opened up allowing one to connect with the positive energy and love freely.