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Do You Have A Winning Posture?

Change Your Posture – Transform Your Life


While doing some research for the Buttafly Technique practitioner training manual, I came across a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy. She’s a social psychologist who says we can change our body chemistry simply by changing how we stand. Body language, she says, not only affects how others see us, but it also changes how we see ourselves.

In particular, Amy is interested in power dynamics and the nonverbal expressions of power and dominance. All across the animal kingdom, these take the form of expanding, opening up and assuming more space. The same applies to humans, even when they feel only momentarily powerful.

The posture of winning with the arms spread wide in a ‘V’ and the chin slightly lifted relates to dominance and is not mimicked behaviour but programmed within us, as demonstrated by people born congenitally blind. They, too, open their arms wide and lift their face skywards when they win a race.

The Benefits of Feeling Powerful

Feeling powerful or ‘standing in our power’ means more than winning or being dominant, causing hormonal changes in the body that allows us to

respond better to stress. Most of us can probably think of someone we know who is an effective leader, confident and assertive and also laid back.

Can Our Body Change Our Mind?

Those who practice yoga would likely say yes, but I still find it exciting when science backs up the experience.

In her research, Amy split some people into two groups. One group had to assume a high-power pose for two minutes, and the other a low-power pose. Even after that short duration, the high-power people showed a 20 per cent increase in testosterone and a 25 per cent decrease in cortisol. The low-power people showed a 10 per cent decrease in testosterone and a 15 per cent increase in cortisol. 

A further experiment put these two groups in an interview situation with the outcome that the high-power people came across as more confident, enthusiastic and passionate. They were also perceived as being more authentic and having more presence. It feels to me as if the latter are intimately related. When being true to ourselves, we are more embodied – more present.

When The Body Becomes Stiff 

I felt sad thinking about the people I know who’ve lost the ability to extend their spine and look up, to throw open their arms wide… What is the impact of this on them? Does it cause them to feel more stressed? Are they less likely to ever feel they are on top of life?

Whatever we choose to do, looking after our body is an investment in our physical and mental health.

The Buttafly Technique

Many of my clients say their neck and shoulders feel better after a treatment with the Buttafly Technique. The spine realigns throughout its length, and the release continues to flow into the pelvis, shoulder girdle, and peripheral joints. It’s a simple and effective way to improve the flexibility of the whole body.

As demonstrated by the power-posing experiment, adjustment anywhere in the body has a consequence for our physiology. This is especially true when working with the spine, our central axis.

It’s essential to remember this when setting up the Buttafly Technique for yourself at home. Please take the time to create a comfortable and safe environment; it will help you fully integrate the experience.