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Goldsmiths - University of London

Yoga Poses Increase Subjective Energy and State Self-Esteem in Comparison to ‘Power Poses’

Golec de Zavala, Agnieszka; Lantos, Dorottya and Bowden, Deborah. 2017. Yoga Poses Increase Subjective Energy and State Self-Esteem in Comparison to ‘Power Poses’. Frontiers in Psychology, pp. 1-12. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Research on beneficial consequences of yoga focuses on the effects of yogic breathing and meditation. Less is known about the psychological effects of performing yoga postures. The present study investigated the effects of yoga poses on subjective sense of energy and self-esteem. The effects of yoga postures were compared to the effects of ‘power poses,’ which arguably increase the sense of power and self-confidence due to their association with interpersonal dominance (Carney et al., 2010). The study tested the novel prediction that yoga poses, which are not associated with interpersonal dominance but increase bodily energy, would increase the subjective feeling of energy and therefore increase self-esteem compared to ‘high power’ and ‘low power’ poses. A two factorial, between participants design was employed. Participants performed either two standing yoga poses with open front of the body (n = 19), two standing yoga poses with covered front of the body (n = 22), two expansive, high power poses (n = 21), or two constrictive, low power poses (n = 20) for 1-min each. The results showed that yoga poses in comparison to ‘power poses’ increased self-esteem. This effect was mediated by an increased subjective sense of energy and was observed when baseline trait self-esteem was controlled for. These results suggest that the effects of performing open, expansive body postures may be driven by processes other than the poses’ association with interpersonal power and dominance. This study demonstrates that positive effects of yoga practice can occur after performing yoga poses for only 2 min.

Item Type: Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00752

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
2017Accepted
11 May 2017Published Online

Item ID:

20557

Date Deposited:

13 Jun 2017 09:32

Last Modified:

12 Jul 2018 17:19

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/20557

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