Stress Less – Build Strength & Power
Did you know holding Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) for several breath cycles brings down your cortisol (stress hormone) and increases testosterone ( the ‘oumph’ hormone)? A 2004 study published in HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY examined healthy subjects who had some experience with yoga. Blood samples, taken before and after holding this pose (seen above), revealed a DECREASE of Cortisol by 11% while Testosterone INCREASED 16%.
Why?? Amy Cuddy and colleagues posited this: ” Since we naturally expand our bodies when we feel powerful, do we also naturally feel powerful when we expand our bodies?”
Their studies confirmed this to be true. It provided ‘strong evidence that adopting expansive, open postures_bodily displays of power_caused not just psychological and behavioral changes but also alterations in the subjects physiological states.
You may already have experienced this in your yoga practice. This data shows you aren’t imagining it! Select poses now with confidence to bring you the desired effect, as needed. i.e. Start your day with some open and expansive poses to boost energy and power for a busy day. Alternately practice closed, folded, introspective poses to unwind, relax to bring clarity and restoration.
Can you guess which of these poses are for Power and which ones are for Restoration?