New To Yoga? Don't Fake It Til You Make It, Use Enclothed Cognition Instead

Posted on: 29 June 2017


If you have never worked out before in your life and are considering taking yoga or some other type of fitness class, you may be wondering if you can incorporate a fake-it-til-you-make-it strategy into your new experience. While this type of strategy can work great in some workplace settings, it may not be suitable for a fitness class. However, there is a similar strategy called enclothed cognition, which may be helpful. Here's what you should know.

Do Not Fake It Til You Make It

This strategy can help you increase your confidence, boost your self-esteem, and raise your happiness in many aspects of your life. Researchers have discovered that behaving a certain way on purpose can help condition your brain to think in different and new ways, which could trigger desired events that may not happen without reconditioning your brain. For example, if you were to walk into a new yoga class like you were walking into your living room, you may not feel as nervous and, therefore, others may perceive you as more confident than you are. While this could make you feel more comfortable, it may not be safe for you to do.

If your instructor and the other students in the class read your confidence level as high then they will likely perceive that you are experienced and, therefore, do not need any of the additional help that newbies to yoga typically need. Do not fake being more experienced than you truly are. Also, doing so could lead to the phenomenon known as imposter syndrome, which involves the constant fear of being found out and exposed as a fraud.

Do Use Enclothed Cognition

In 2012, researchers discovered that clothing can have a systematic influence on the psychological thought process of the people who wear them. The researchers named this discovery as enclothed cognition. Essentially, when you wear a piece of clothing that has a symbolic meaning, your brain perceives the symbolism and may cause you to behave differently.

Think about how you naturally stand and compose yourself when you wear an old raggedy pair of sweatpants and a hoody versus when you wear a ballroom gown. Enclosed cognition is the same concept. To improve your chances of fulfilling your desire to get involved in yoga or other types of fitness classes, purchase a set or two of activewear, from a company like Juja Active, to help you get in the mindset of getting fit and in shape.