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Yoga Poses Could Boost Self-Esteem More Than "Power Poses"

Research shows that a few minutes of yoga could improve your self-esteem.

Researchers found that standing yoga poses like Mountain Pose (Tadasana), Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana), and Eagle Pose (Garudasana) improved self-esteem, energy, sense of power and control. Participants did both yoga poses and "power poses" for a few minutes and were asked to rate their sense of energy, control, and empowerment. This effect was not seen after "high power" poses like the "superman pose," a standing pose with hands resting on the hips, or the hands-on-table pose.

One theory behind how "power poses" work is that the body is open and expansive postures that are interpersonally dominant. But, contrary to this hypothesis, both expansive/open and constrictive/closed yoga poses improved self-esteem. Expansive poses like Mountain Pose and Upward Salute, where the chest is broad and open, as well as closed poses like Eagle Pose, where arms are crossed in front of the chest, improved self-esteem.

Frontiers in Psychology
Source: Frontiers in Psychology

The study is a promising sign that yoga, even for a few minutes, could have an important psychological impact and can be useful tool to ease situations, in which you might want quick access to more energy and confidence, such as public speaking or performances.

Empowering Yoga Poses

Upward Salute

Eagle Pose

Try some more standing poses:

Tree Pose

Warrior II


Agnieszka Golec de Zavala, Dorottya Lantos, and Deborah Bowden. Yoga Poses Increase Subjective Energy and State Self-Esteem in Comparison to ‘Power Poses.’ Front Psychol. 2017; 8: 752.
Published online 2017 May 11. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00752
PMCID: PMC5425577