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Posture: Increase testosterone, decrease cortisol

by (1634)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created February 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Posture affects testosterone and cortisol levels, says this study.

"simply holding one's body in expansive, "high-power" poses for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol" -- Power Posing: Fake It Until You Make It

That's what I call a paleo hack!



Question: What are some related studies and/or experiences?

  • example: smiling and physiology/phsychology

484be0568f735d7579b68ffaa394e34b
10 · June 14, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I have witnessed this too, with both men and women hardcore ashtanga yoga practitioners and teachers. They become energetic and highly sexed - to the point of trouble -- as well as thin and muscular. Other kinds of yoga (hatha, sivananda) are perhaps better for anxiety and general happiness because they don't juice you up quite so much. But it's amazing how even a single sun salutation can change your mood. And all the poses that open the chest (and counter the round shouldered desk slouch) seem to have a powerful cheering effect.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · March 30, 2011 at 8:04 AM

You can find lots of studies/discussion of EC here: http://www.psy.plymouth.ac.uk/research/ece/publications/ including some of the above.

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822 · March 27, 2011 at 1:58 AM

absolutely true

Medium avatar
5629 · March 26, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Bring em on man!

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · March 26, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Jon - Have more information on this. Like some of those postures and good series of postures to use? And possibly studies backing it.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

It should be noted that this kind of thing can be used for evil purposes, too. Anyone who works for "The-World's-Largest-Retail- Orwellian-Nightmare" can tell you that.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · February 27, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Nasty - Can you update your post to reference the study(s)?

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335
1591 · February 27, 2011 at 4:35 AM

"Fake it 'til ya make it" is one of my favorite life lessons.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · February 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM

texasleah - Never! I think *Dr. K* meant sexual attraction increases testosterone and decreases cortisol. Though I could see cortisol going up too if its an encounter causing stress. I would like to see any of this in a study.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1
4086 · February 26, 2011 at 6:21 PM

looking at attractive women increases cortisol? does that mean they cause stress? ha ha ;)

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795
2759 · February 26, 2011 at 3:18 PM

I get the testosterone thing but why do you want to increase cortisol?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · February 26, 2011 at 12:38 PM

just looking at women's picutes who are attrative can increase testosterone and cortisol as well

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6 Answers

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9
4
717 · February 27, 2011 at 6:39 AM

Good topic. This study relates to the field of embodied cognition, whereby researchers have found links between physical state of the body and mental attitudes. Recent studies have found that:

Handing someone something that's warm (e.g. coffee) causes them to think of you as having a "warm" personality.

Holding something heavy while making a decision causes you believe that the decision you're making is "weighty."

Forcing someone to smile by having them hold a pencil in their mouth improves their mood.

Crossing your arms makes you more resistant to outside influence.

Physically stepping backwards a step seems to help you reevaluate things ("take a step back") mentally.

Feeling guilt can cause you to want to wash your hands.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

It should be noted that this kind of thing can be used for evil purposes, too. Anyone who works for "The-World's-Largest-Retail- Orwellian-Nightmare" can tell you that.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · February 27, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Nasty - Can you update your post to reference the study(s)?

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107
15583 · March 30, 2011 at 8:04 AM

You can find lots of studies/discussion of EC here: http://www.psy.plymouth.ac.uk/research/ece/publications/ including some of the above.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6
3
2437 · February 28, 2011 at 4:57 AM

IMO, those high power poses are also welcoming challengers so be prepared for that. I worked in finance the last 6 years and my old associate used to do this. I really really felt an urge to fight him every time he did it. When a peer tries to "alpha male" around another male they should be prepared for the other male to react back.

35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa
822 · March 27, 2011 at 1:58 AM

absolutely true

Medium avatar
5629 · March 26, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Bring em on man!

484be0568f735d7579b68ffaa394e34b
1
10 · March 26, 2011 at 7:40 AM

This is why yoga can have such dramatic effects on the body, way beyond it's value as mere exercise. I've known a few yoga teachers (all Ashtanga practitioners) who ended up with v high testosterone levels and almost excessive sex drives. Some yoga postures seem to be particularly powerful for dealing with depression and anxiety.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3
1634 · March 26, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Jon - Have more information on this. Like some of those postures and good series of postures to use? And possibly studies backing it.

484be0568f735d7579b68ffaa394e34b
10 · June 14, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I have witnessed this too, with both men and women hardcore ashtanga yoga practitioners and teachers. They become energetic and highly sexed - to the point of trouble -- as well as thin and muscular. Other kinds of yoga (hatha, sivananda) are perhaps better for anxiety and general happiness because they don't juice you up quite so much. But it's amazing how even a single sun salutation can change your mood. And all the poses that open the chest (and counter the round shouldered desk slouch) seem to have a powerful cheering effect.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
1
2099 · February 26, 2011 at 3:08 PM

My own experience bears this out. If I arrange my face into a little smile, like the "archaic smile" found in ancient Greek sculptures, I feel my mood lift in just a few minutes. Ditto with posture...when I hold myself errect and proud, I soon start to feel more confident and self assured.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335
1591 · February 27, 2011 at 4:35 AM

"Fake it 'til ya make it" is one of my favorite life lessons.

3d201d98020755365a94f7796d357420
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0 · October 08, 2012 at 1:18 AM

The psy.plymouth.ac.uk/research/ece/publications link given above is dead. For some reason, a search of it at that site redirects to Cambridge University Embodied Cognition & Emotion Laboratory here: http://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/cece/research

3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12
0
492 · March 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

The VERY first thing I noticed when eating the paleo diet was that my back hurt all the time....what was happening was that my posture was in a correction phase.

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