4 Power Poses for Self Esteem and Body Confidence

Hi. Please watch the watch the video to learn how power poses can develop self esteem and body confidence (and then read the blog below for examples from pop culture to help you with application). 🙂

Note: This article originally appeared at Pakwired.

“When we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others, how they judge us, and what the outcomes are. We tend to forget, though, the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbals, and that’s ourselves.” — Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy, social psychologist from Harvard Business School, conducted an experiment to determine how much posture affects confidence.

She asked study participants to position their bodies in “high power” and “low power” poses for two minutes. Researchers determined:

  • 86% of people who held a high power pose were open to risk, compared to 60% who held a low power pose.
  • 20% boost in testosterone (hormone that affects assertiveness) for the high power pose group. Compare that to a 10% drop for the low power pose group.
  • 25% decrease in cortisol, (hormone that affects stress levels) for the high power pose group. Compare that to a 15% increase for the low power pose group

Those statistics send a clear message. We should be more mindful of how we present ourselves. As Amy Cuddy put it in her TED talk: “Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves.”

Power Poses: Examples from Popular Culture


This power pose is called "the victory stance” since athletes naturally reach their arms into the sky after victory.

If you want to start your day feeling strong put your body in this position as soon as you roll out of bed. Stretch your arms to make a Y, lift your head, and gaze at your ceiling.

If you’re feeling nervous about a job interview: sneak away to a restroom or stairwell to practice this pose beforehand. You’ll walk in the door feeling as if you already got the job!


Putting your feet on your desk could be frowned on depending on the social scenario.

If you’re having a meeting with your superior, it would probably leave the wrong impression.

If you're a manager who would like to feel confident and carefree during a meeting with subordinates, go for it.


Context is everything with this power pose.

Never lean onto the desk of a person giving you a job interview (it will make you look arrogant).

Giving a speech or sales presentation in a boardroom? Cool. This pose would be a great way to get people's attention.


There are few things more frightening than going to a bar or club by yourself.

Flying solo? Don't make this mistake. A lot of people clasp their hands or cross their legs when they feel nervous. It's a natural instinct, but try to resist. Closing your body makes you look disinterested in meeting new people.

Here's an easy fix. Take a deep breath. Roll your neck to the left and right. Shrug your shoulders up and down. Imagine all tension melting from your body. Plant your feet onto the ground. Don't be afraid to stretch your arms and take up space like Barney. Doing so signals you are open to advances (if you're not, do the opposite).

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Yoga is a great way to build body confidence. Performing power poses like Warrior can help you gain self esteem. Find out how to start a home yoga practice by the end of this week with Do Yoga Every Damn Day (click here to download your copy in one click at Amazon).

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