You are what you posture…
Did you know that you can actually alleviate symptoms of depression, feeling stuck and decreased energy by moving more with an expansive, upright posture and walking with your chest lifted? That’s right! No drugs involved, well except for the natural drugs that are activated when your body feels light and aligned!
If you start integrating more body movements and expansive postures into your daily life, your energy level and confidence actually stays higher and quality of life is better according to Professor of Health Eric Peper’s research published in The Journal Of Biofeedback on Oct. 5, 2012.
According to his recent study, simply altering your body posture to a more upright position can improve mood and energy levels. The study discovered that slouch walking leads to decreased energy levels. Peper states, “It’s very similar to the principle of ‘fake it till you make it’ — you can convince your body to have more energy.”
Furthermore, according to a different study, students were asked to sit in a contracted vs. expanded sitting posture. The students who sat in an expansive posture were found to feel more powerful and confident.
Conscious movement with an intention to increase the feeling of love, joy and pleasure will elevate your mood! Couple this with the following postures and movements for an even more powerful and uplifting effect!
Our bodies and minds respond very quickly to changes in our posture. The minute you start to walk expansive, your breathing pattern changes and you are able to take in more energy and oxygen per breath. You are so worth it!
I witness mood and energetic changes when I teach workshops and belly dance classes. In the beginning, women sometimes look a little hesitant or apprehensive, but after 30 minutes, they glow with a big energetic smile and open heart!
Try these exercises daily to elevate your mood and feel more passion, joy and happiness in your day!
1. Expansive Stance and Stretch:
1. Stand with your spine in a neutral posture.
2. Reach your arms as far back and upwards as possible for you with the intention of expanding and reaching beyond your comfort zone. Point your thumbs upwards and your pinkies downwards, palms are facing forwards.
3. Inhale deeply through the nose. Once you have reached the first point of resistance, inhale a little deeper. Try one once more to inhale a little deeper. Hold your breath now for as long as possible. Pause to feel with minimum effort the “expansiveness” of your abdomen, chest and rib cage.
4. Stay for as long as comfortable in this expansive posture, add a big smile to your face. You are constantly breathing in oxygen from everything that is green in nature. Remember that your nature IS to grow, to expand and blossom just as we see in nature. Feel yourself as expansive as the tallest mountain, the grandest ocean and the most brilliant sun!
Proud walking consists of walking in a state of love and gratitude for being who you are, exactly as you are in the present moment.
This mind-body exercise facilitates in you the “feeling” that you are 10 feet tall, radiant and beautiful from the inside out.
How To Proud Walk:
1. Align your spine in a neutral posture with your ears stacked on top of your shoulders and hips. Assume they are all intersected by a plumb line.
2. Take deep diaphragmatic breaths in. Breathe in gratitude for being who you are, just as you are. Realize that you are a gift to the world because you are unique and you.
3. Take yourself for a walk with an attitude of gratitude. Smile because you are yoU!
4. Walk with a few 3 or more friends. As you walk, gaze lovingly into one another. As your eyes connect, feel grateful that this friend is in your life.
5. Add your favorite music to your proud walking. Strut your awesome self as you listen to your favorite music!
Now take your proud walking to the next level and intend to weave in a gratitude walk into your every day activities. For example, walk to your car or to the grocery store with the intention to feel grateful for who you are and smile at the person that passes you by.
Notice how this intention coupled with an erect and expansive posture affects your energy levels at the end of the day.
Share this exercise with a friend and comment down below how this exercise benefits you!
Thank you Cathy Moore, my belly dance teacher, for teaching me this powerful exercise which I have been so blessed to share with so many women, and men!