Body Language

I have just returned from Melbourne where I did the Foundation Course for the Gokhale Method on Posture. It was a fantastic weekend of learning about primal posture and carrying one’s self in a way that is intrinsically well positioned and balanced. I was told that by working with this method you can make yourself a 1/2 an inch taller. Even though that is not why I did it. I found that to be very interesting. Making one-self taller. It led me to the thought of Body Language and how we carry ourselves. I am always talking about how the mind affects the body. But how can the body affect our minds…

I will ask you to audit your body right now. How are you sitting, standing or lying while you are reading this? Are you sitting cross legged, are you standing slightly slouched or lying in a position that causes you body to hunch?

I ask this because we are always watching how other people around us carry themselves. What is a person’s body language saying about them? What is yours saying about you?  Is someone going to think positively or negatively about us based on our non-verbal communication?

How do we judge others by their non verbals? How do they judge us? Interesting food for thought! But an even more interesting idea is, how does our own non verbal body language influence us?

Well here’s what I’m talking about. Take for instance, you win at something. Say you win a race! You cross over that finish line and throw both your arms up in the air! This is a natural sign of victory, a sign of power! It’s all about expanding. Making yourself bigger in some way. Head up & proud. When you feel powerful overall you have the tendency to expand.

Does the same hold true for a situation where we are feeling powerless.  Are we walking down the street with our arms up in a victory dance or are we shuffling along head down perhaps making ourselves small and less visible. Most people when they are feeling powerless have a tendency to close up, make themselves smaller and less expansive.

So this is where I’m going with this. We are influenced by non verbal like body language. Our thoughts, our feelings and our physiology are all affected. So if you wish to feel more powerful and confident. How about unfolding your arms from around your waist. Try standing up a bit taller or really expand yourself in a pose that makes you feel invincible. The “Wonder Woman or Superman”pose. Hands on your hips feet spread wide. Even if you only do it in your own home. Posing like this actually causes hormonal changes in the body that can raise your confidence and self esteem just by holding them for a few minutes. This is about you telling yourself non verbally that you are powerful. It has been proven to actually raise the good hormones and reduce cortisol or stress hormones. When we actually walk taller or expand into a power pose, we can trick ourselves into becoming more confident, passionate, enthusiastic and more powerful. Actually we become more of who we authentically really are. Our bodies can change our minds….and our minds can change our behavior, and our outcomes.

Photo: Walking tall using the Glide Walking Technique from Gokhale Method Posture Training

Glide Walking

This article was based on a speech given by Amy Cuddy at a TED talk. It is very inspirational. You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc