Performance Enhancing Yoga Postured – Part 3

The third installment of my series in response to PsyBlog’s post on 10 Simple Postures that Boost Performance!

Now, we’re going to have to cheat here a little bit, because their fifth posture is sleeping, and I’ve already given Savasana as a pose, and Savasana isn’t really sleeping anyways. So for this one, you’re just going to have to give me a little leeway. And maybe take a nap while you’re at it, because it will help boost your cognitive performance.

Persuasion and Understanding

According to the good folks at PsyBlog, hand gestures that clarify what you’re saying can help you out when it comes to persuading someone of your point. My guess is that when you do something like point to your wrist when asking for the time (even though most peoples’ time-keepers are cell phones these days) or point behind you when talking about the past, a person will follow what you’re saying more easily and take you as an authority. Now the question becomes, how do we fit this into a yoga pose? Most poses are static, and you certainly aren’t talking and explaining points to others while practicing yoga. However, if you practice a pose that has a literal hand motion to go with it, or add hand motions to your practice, you are also practicing integrating intentional gestures into your life. To experiment with this, try Vrksasana, or tree pose.

Andrea in Tree Pose

Photo by Adam Schellenberg

Yep, that’s me, doing a very dramatically-lit Tree Pose. Once you’ve firmly planted your foot on the inside of your leg (anywhere on your leg is fine, even balancing your toe on the ground with your heel on your ankle, if you need to – just don’t push your foot into your knee), your arms are free. Press your palms together in front of your heart and think about what message your body is sending. Extend your arms over your head and see what happens when your hands come together, index fingers pointed up, versus hands open to the sky. What is your body indicating to the world? What else can you do with your arms to show your tree-ness?