• 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.…

  • embodiment

    What Is EmbodiYoga?

    Unearthing and intellectualizing the concepts behind this beautiful practice It’s one thing to understand something with the mind, quite another to know it with the body. Currently enrolled in EmbodiYoga Advanced Teacher Training, I decided to write about embodiment weekly, at a minimum, to document the process and hopefully make others curious about it. 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. Today I am going to outline some of the concepts of EmbodiYoga. Embodiment is a directly-perceived experience of the body, but the initial path in is through the mind. We cognitively understand what we are trying to learn, by visualizing and intellectualizing, and eventually we move into somaticization and finally embodiment. A few principles … Alignment of the body is context-based. It’s about the relationship between things. Everything in the body is related. The parts of our body are not ‘parts’ at all. Every single part of us started from a single cell. As my teacher says, the thing never forgot itself. Sooooo, alignment…

  • embodiment,  featured

    Yoga as Inquiry: How to Bond with the Earth

    Defining yoga in the West is a hard undertaking. It is many things and people go to classes for different reasons. Work your body to the point of exhaustion (and possibly bliss) in Power/Hot, connect with your breath and spirit in Vinyasa, and learn to actively rest in Restorative. Attend these and other styles to find different teachers — and perspectives on the practice. Yoga philosophy adds another interesting layer which is often missed or skimmed in many studio classes — though I believe it should be integrated, as yoga is thousands of years old and rich in history. You can use the 8 Limbs of Yoga as a jumping-off point if you’d like to go down that rabbit hole. I did many years ago and still can’t find my way out. Again, just one small layer of the complex web that is yoga. As a practitioner for twenty years and a teacher for ten, my own practice has changed with study, my values, beliefs and age. Currently enrolled in advanced teacher training, on track to be accredited as an RYT 500, I’m learning about yoga from an embodied perspective which combines body-mind centering, somatics and embryology. A whole ‘nother world is now open to my experience. In addition…

  • embodiment,  featured

    Don’t Just Live Your Life; Embody It

    You are crazy. Yep, I said it. Please don’t get mad at me for pointing out the obvious. I am crazy too. We are all crazy. All. of. us. The world is out of balance. Humanity has advanced beyond what anyone thought possible even fifty years ago. Science, technology. Amazing. But the collective mind has gone mad. We are ego-maniacs. We live in our heads 99.9% of our waking lives. It’s a sad reality. And until you are aware, you have no idea it’s happening. Think (no pun intended) for a moment. When is the last time you sat — without music, television, other words or distractions? Can you do it? What happens? Dialogue? A narrative? Lists? Thoughts of tomorrow? Yesterday? The brain is always in overdrive. And it doesn’t know how to stop. “Be here now,” is a phrase that simplifies the process of embodiment, and it’s not as far out there as you might think. I am on a mission to help people embody their lives every day. It’s a process. I call it Everyday Embodiment. Clever, right? We teach what we need to learn most. I am a recovering left-brainer. What does that mean? Left to my own devices — and unawareness, I live in my head…

  • embodiment,  featured

    The Life Changing Gift of Learning to Embody

    We live in an ego-driven society. It wouldn’t be too far off to say we’re all crazy — delusional even. We believe ourselves to be one thing, but that thing is almost entirely an image created in our minds. Our true selves are beyond thought, beyond mental projections, habits, even our physical being-ness. In many cases and places in the Western world, it’s every man for himself. Professionally the majority are all about making money and achieving the American dream. Striving to do better and become better versions of ourselves isn’t a bad thing. Making money isn’t bad either. But as a collective, we’ve lost sight of ourselves and our place in the world, why we are on this planet at all. We are here to further our evolvement. We are here to serve others. We are here to make the world a better place. I’ve been on a spiritual path for all of my adult life — I would describe myself a seeker. I don’t have all the answers, but I do feel strongly that we have a purpose to serve during this lifetime. I also believe that … Nothing happens by chance. We are all products of our unfolding, especially if we are living intentionally. I was lost for a…

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