Social psychologist and researcher Amy Cuddy coined the term “power posing” several years ago, making waves with her 2012 TED Talk. In her clinical research, Cuddy found that two minutes of power posing could increase levels of testosterone and decrease levels of cortisol, thereby boosting confidence and lowering stress. Although I didn’t read into it at the time, I remember news stories about people “power posing,” with images of Wonder Woman and victorious athletes pumping their arms overhead as they crossed the finish line. Honestly, I let it slip by as something interesting, but a bit silly. Not for me. However, after a recent interaction with a friend (who also happens to be a public speaking coach) I started looking into “power posing” again… And even DOING IT! Daily!
So… Does power posing work?
After a full month of daily practice, I say “YES!”
I discovered that I naturally (without thinking about it) do a Wonder Woman type of power pose when I’m tired and walking up a hill. When I’m feeling winded, I open my chest by placing my hands around my waist (elbows pointing out to the sides). The pressure on the back of my pelvis (from my thumbs) helps propel me along and keeps me going.
And when I reach my hands up to the Universe in the morning, offering a combination of surrender to the day and EXCITED, WONDROUS ACCEPTANCE of anything that might come my way, I feel like I’m on top of the world.
After the initial exposure back in 2012 (primarily via Cuddy’s TED Talk), power posing was poo-poo’ed by several media outlets. Additional research was done with results that didn’t quite match up with Cuddy’s.
But here’s the thing: in this case, research be damned.
If power posing works for YOU, if it makes you feel better, then it works. Who cares if the results of the research studies aren’t “statistically significant with a 95% confidence interval.” If it makes you feel better, then DO IT!
We all need to do more of what feels good. Regardless of whether power posing can provide the clinical results that it promises, I don’t think anyone can deny that it feels powerful… It feels confidence-boosting… It opens your heart… It opens your lungs… It feels GOOD!
I created two feel-good fitness flows that utilize power pose variations at the end of each routine. There’s an advanced version, and a beginner’s version:
At the very least, try this quick power pose variation — hands-behind-head — with hip circles! Do 5-10 each direction in the morning when you wake up. It’s a great way to relieve joint stiffness and to start your day with a smile!
So… Does power posing work? Research-wise, who knows! But if it makes you feel good, then YES. It works. Do it daily and see what happens.
Sending love and light your way…
PS: Get excited… New FREE training (coming soon) all about women’s making healthy changes that LAST!!! Join my email list to be the first to know: