• being human,  embodiment

    Questions I’m Pondering This Morning

    Life flows. But sometimes it stops too. Sometimes we can visibly see and feel a before and an after. I feel this truth distinctly in my mom's passing. It feels as though naivete was the norm while she was alive, whereas darkness has settled into life since. It's not an every day darkness. For the most part I'm still in love with life; things just seem more real than they ever have been -- and yes, some days totally do suck. I also continue to gain a greater sense of myself, a self I don't always like. Life isn't as happy as it was before, and I can't seem to get back to that sense of me no matter how hard I try.

  • being human,  embodiment

    How To Be Grateful Each Day, in 10 Simple Steps

    I went to the doctor the other day for a routine visit. The woman checking me in had a bracelet that read ‘content’ with the words facing toward me. I told her I liked it and she said, “Yeah, anytime I complain I’m supposed to move it to the other wrist and turn the word toward me. It helps.” Indeed. I’ve kept a gratitude journal every day for years, I told her. “It’s changed my life.” And what I’ve found over all of these years is that we can complain about anything and everything, but the more negative we are, the more the negativity seeps into other areas of life. If, however, we can give thanks for all of the little things, they add up, and bigger blessings follow — or they don’t, in which case we give thanks for the unexpectedness of life. A 10 Step Gratitude Practice Wake up. Open your eyes. Take a slow deep breath. Feel it fully. Give thanks for this simple, yet profound God-given gift. Walk to your kitchen. Make your morning cup. Take a sip. Really taste it. Give thanks for the simple yet complex taste of your chosen morning drink. Take a look outside. Open the window if it’s warm…

  • embodiment,  featured

    Nature as an Entryway into Embodiment

    Nature Is. Pure being. Sheer essence. And the great human paradox is that we are too. It’s our minds that get in the way of things. The Buddha spent a lot of time in nature and recognized this great spiritual truth. I walk or hike almost every day. It clears me out. It creates in me a spaciousness unexplainable — most of the time. Intentionality is key. We create mindfulness by not letting ourselves get caught up — in ourselves. Embodiment is an elusive concept, kinda like love and yoga. You know it’s real but words don’t accurately describe it. A walk in nature takes the same tone. When I’m outside moving my body, a lifeforce grander than I acts on my being. I feel energized and alive in ways unexplainable. If only I could write and hike at the same time — the things that would come out! The concept of embodiment is a main staple of my life these days. I think about it a lot, and look for new ways to practice it. I am taking all I’m learning through EmbodiYoga teacher training and making it my own. So much deep knowledge. It’s amazing. One could go down a rabbit hole with the information and subtlety. I keep…

  • embodiment

    Understanding Ourselves at the Cellular Level

    Did you know that all of your cells have ‘tone?’ Cellular tone is a documented, researched fact. When you were born, you grew out of one cell. That one cell became many ‘things.’ Each cell knows all of the other cells intimately and is constantly in communication with the whole. And yoga balances the tone in our bodies — through breath, movement and constant communication with the Earth. We have what is known as movement intelligence, and we grow it consciously through intention. What’s more, by using the body we program the mind.Kinda crazy, right? We live in a world that believes the mind controls all. It doesn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. And let me share another well-kept secret (or possibly something you never thought about before): The nervous system only records. With our intentional movement, we inform the nervous system. We bring the body back into alignment through this movement, thereby repatterning our entire system. In the process, blank spaces and confusion often sets in. This is new information entering the system. This is EmbodiYoga! But there is more (lots more!) …. Cellular Breathing Cellular breathing begins in utero. Each cell of our body is expanding and contracting in vibratory movement. External respiration is a very…

  • embodiment

    How We Meet the Earth

    More Concepts on the Embodied Path I’ll be certified as an RYT 500 at the end of this journey and will have a body of work to reflect on as the years go by. We are only 4 weekends in and have 14 weekends to go. What I’ve learned so far has been mind blowing. So here goes. Intellectualize it, then practice some of the concepts explained to feel it. Additional Root Concepts of EmbodiYoga Though science (anatomy) would have us believe otherwise, we are not made up of individual parts. We are whole — and energy moves throughout the whole. Though many yoga schools would have us do otherwise, we shouldn’t be isolating body parts. We should consider our bodies (and the whole that it is) in all movement. All body tissue grows and moves in spirals. And those spirals move outward instead of inward — ever expanding like the natural evolution of consciousness. We inherently have movement intelligence, and we develop it further through intention. Weight is a movement in terms of gravity and our relationship with the earth. The whole spine is a continuation of movement; bones transfer movement and weight. Our goal in EmbodiYoga is to ACTIVELY MEET THE EARTH … in movement, asana, and every…

  • embodiment

    Stop Recording. Start Embodying

    If you didn’t measure it, it didn’t happen. That’s the world we live in — steps we walk, food we eat, what we do. And most of it gets posted online via an app, or directly to social media. Work generally includes goals and objectives, and we receive performance evaluations (and raises) according to how we stack up against what we said we’d do. Grants are tied to deliverables. Measurement is a necessary part of work. But …. Most of us treat our personal lives like work — we record it all, and we share it with the world. Our health is tracked by any number of apps — daily movement, hours of sleep, water intake, the food we eat, how long we meditate. We writers track words on a page or the time we spend writing. Look how many of us share regularly on Medium! All of us are paying attention to the likes, retweets and shares we are receiving, possibly measuring our worth against it. Ten years ago many of these things didn’t exist. Certainly we weren’t using them regularly. The internet has been around for less than thirty years. Sit with that thought for a moment. How did we live without it? I am thankful for technology and the convenience…

  • embodiment

    Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Body

    When navigating negative emotions, what takes over? Body or mind? Which came first? Where does all of our intelligence lie? I’m pondering these questions on my EmbodiYoga journey and I’d love for you to come along. I’m ashamed at how much I’ve ignored my body over the years — even still. I live in my mind more than I’d like but I’m thankful to be on this path, learning and directing my attention in ways I never have before. All emotion can be felt in the body but we almost never go there. Instead we … attach to thoughts, avoid or self soothe. An Inquiry Consider these five negative emotions. Take a deep breath. Read each one. Notice what each one feels like in your body. Worry is a future-projected thought pattern that traps us in a never-ending cycle. It asks what if? What then? Why? How can I make it stop? If left uncontrolled we begin to feel insane and out of control. Our minds make up scenarios that almost never happen. Stop. What does worry FEEL like in the body? Anger begins in the mind. We can choose to be angry or not. Injustice is everywhere. Do you let it control you? Stop. What does anger…

  • embodiment,  featured

    Intelligence Begins in the Body

    The Mind Follows I’m having so much fun writing about these concepts because it’s helping me understand them cognitively at a deeper level. I recognize that just reading about them here only gives you, the reader, information for your brain too. Embodiment takes place in the body which is the goal of this information. If you read the entire series (a few times) and practice the concepts, you’ll be on your way. Each day I’ve committed to twenty minutes of embodiment practice which I’m calling Everyday Embodiment. I’ll be sharing those short practices with you here in the coming weeks. A Review In this post and this one we discussed ways we meet the earth. It’s kind of important — no, really important. Read them if you’d like to understand. Here I will introduce a few more concepts useful for this discussion. In yoga, there are three patterns that affect our experience known as the three gunas. They are primary qualities or activities of all matter — tamas, rajas and sattva. These three gunas correlate directly to our states of meeting the earth. Tamas (collapsing or sinking downward) — when we drop into the earth without using gravity to our advantage, we sink and are mindless of our relationship with Mother…

  • embodiment,  featured

    How We Embody the Yoga Sutras

    Today I attempt to merge aspects of embodiment, the mind, and the concepts of EmbodiYoga with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. If you are unfamiliar with the Yoga Sutras, specifically the 8 Limgs of Yoga, go here. I’m writing weekly about the 8 limbs too. It’s totally fine if you call me a yoga geek. I already know. Yoga nerd? So, we know that embodiment is direct perception of the body, and that EmbodiYoga takes it further by incorporating somatics, embryology and yoga into one discipline. I’m beginning to see it as an evolution of my yoga, as well as foundational as I incorporate basic yet profound aspects of the practice into my daily existence. I’m envious of yogis who can twist into beautiful shapes, stand on one hand and look pretty doing it, but yoga (to me) is much deeper than Instagram challenges. EmbodiYoga gives me the tools to teach in a different way, and to help students understand their bodies in greater measure — and from a deeper perspective. EmbodiYoga & The Yoga Sutras The practice of EmbodiYoga requires attention, intention and decisionwhich lead to absorption (embodiment). Interestingly (though not surprisingly), all of these concepts are also found in the Yoga Sutras 3.1 — 3.5. This portion of…

  • embodiment

    States of Meeting the Earth (Part II)

    More Concepts on the EmbodiYoga Path Cueing is a huge part of effectively teaching yoga, but beyond that, my teacher Lisa Clark says, “cueing is a map of experience and language is important.”I couldn’t agree more, and it’s defintely an art. EmbodiYoga introduces us to a deeper language, one that speaks directly to the body. We live in a world that ignores the body, glorifies the mind. Speaking directly to the body is altogether different from anything we’ve experienced. Sure, yoga in general taps us into the body, but EmbodiYoga offers a direct experience of our being. Body time vs. nervous system time Opposite sensations. Body time is at the level of the body. It’s slower, more mindful. Nervous system time keeps us scattered. Our society is very much on nervous system time. It’s no wonder there is widespread disease related to stress. And EmbodiYoga goes even deeper. It goes beyond our bodies. We grow in deeper relationship with Mother Earth — we learn to develop communication between our bodies and the earth. Think about it. Earth is where we live. Shouldn’t we be in constant communication with her? Our ancesters knew her life force. They respected her energy and beauty, and lived in rhythm with the her.…

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