The yoga of embodiment—3 essential tools for getting back into the body and your feminine power
Do you tend to have a busy mind that takes up most of your attention?
Have you wondered how you could ‘ get out of your mind’ and embody your femininity more?
In my workshops I speak a lot about ‘ coming back into the body’ and many women have asked me what I mean by that…
This has been a surprisingly hard question to answer despite the fact that, to me, the difference between being IN my body and NOT in my body is HUGE.
One quick answer that I have come up with is that the opposite of being IN your body is being IN your head.
Most women I encounter can relate to this busy mind syndrome, despite the fact most of us feel happiest and most fulfilled when we feel good in our bodies, and open and present to the fullness of that experience.
So how do we come back to the body and reclaim that juicy experience we yearn for?
Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that this tendency to focus our attention on our mental activity, is usually an unconscious effort to escape the feelings in our bodies; And that this cuts us off from our embodied wisdom and, in turn, our feminine power and succulence.
Being IN your body means that you are aware of the continually changing sensations, feelings and sensations; both the obvious and subtle. The physical, the emotional, the energetic. It is the moment to moment openness to feel ‘Shakti’ (feminine life force) moving freely though our bodies. This is the yoga of embodiment, and it will transform your life.
So lets break it on down…
What happens when we get back IN our bodies?
*The minds eternal dialogue becomes relegated to the background, where it belongs. We use our mind when we need it and the rest of the time we are available to the magic of aliveness in our bodies.
*We learn to sense what we need, what is right for us and what isn’t.
*WE learn to TRUST ourselves.
*We get clearer boundaries.
*We learn about the ways that we escape shut down to feeling and shut down to life.
*Life gets juicier.
Working with women over the years, I have noticed a common yearning to have more energy and intimacy in their lives and to live from an empowered place.
Living IN our bodies, rather than our heads, offers us this through offering us a connection to our embodied truth and vitality.
How exactly does‘ being in the body’ offer us more vitality?
Because living in our heads is exhausting!
When we cannot feel what is right for us we then we endlessly headf*** about it!
When we are trying to avoid our deep-seated emotions, we create all sorts of dramas and create endless distractions. This drains our energy and power.
When we access and accept our feeling life, we access our ‘Shakti’, and in turn; our deep-rooted vitality. We access a wisdom that goes beyond the mind and a kind of guidance that will lead us towards growth and fulfillment.
So if living in our bodies is so great then HOW and WHY do we ‘leave’?
For me, the great insight came when I had honed my awareness enough to notice that WHEN I BECAME SCARED that I started thinking a lot and rushing around in an effort to distract myself from the feelings of fear in my body.
This was a core way that I ‘would leave my body’. It took a while to notice this pattern, but once I did, once I brought my conscious awareness to it, then big changes happened.
Once I was aware of this pattern and was committed to ‘not leaving’ my body, when the signals of fear came up (tight belly, shallow breathing, tense shoulder) I would stop and notice what was happening, I noticed what fear felt like. I examined it carefully, with compassion. And I asked it what it wanted and needed….
So with awareness and compassion as my super powers, I broke the pattern and liberated so much energy in the process. It did not mean I became immune to fear but it did give me the power to explore where the fear was coming from and if it was valid.
Self knowledge is the ultimate super power. So really, we need to be our own research laboratories.
The more I learn about the ways I ’leave my body’ the more free, more empowered I become. This is the ‘work ‘ that we need to do as women to become a potent force of change in this world.
How do you leave?
We all have our own versions of the way that we leave, whether yours is to eat/ smoke/look at facebook/shop/ worry/fuss or create stress and chaos; usually what is really going on is avoidance.
And how did we get into this pickle?
Quite simply, most of us were not educated into body awareness and emotional intelligence. We were taught to think, count, write, measure, and often, to mistrust our feelings. In short, feminine wisdom was down played and masculine logic was prioritized and spoon fed to all.
Also, most of us were not provided a safe space to explore the kinds of feelings that we are trying to avoid.
But we can create that safe space to explore ourselves and find a different way to live. If you have a body, you have a body that is seeking to communicate with you. You simply need to learn how to listen.
Here are a couple of simple tools to help you practice the yoga of embodiment for yourself, all day, everyday.
Breath is the vehicle that takes us out of heads and into our bodies.
If we are lost on our heads usually our breath has become shallow. Usually when we have strong feelings arising we would rather avoid, we close off to feeling through closing off to breath.
Is that you not breathing properly?
Sometimes I lovingly chide myself with this question when I notice that I am stressing out- it brings me back into the moment and reminds me to take a nice deep juicy breath.
Allow the breath to enter you slowly, generously, invite it into your belly, your heart, the back of your heart. Breathe into any feelings that arise, offering them space.
Breath is aliveness and presence itself and so through bringing our full breath into our bodies, and into the areas where we feel closed off, we invite in presence and healing in a powerful way,
The Tao Tantric practice of ‘Shakti meditation’ or ‘body meditation’ is the simple process of taking time to note the different sensations in our bodies without analysis of judgment.
You can do this laying down as a meditation practice or any time of the day where you can sense you are being ‘pulled in’ to an emotional story or a draining head f***.
You simply note (speak it in your mind) the sensations that are drawing your attention like this;
I am noticing tightness in my belly
I am noticing heat in my chest
Instead of labeling the sensations as emotions and attaching a story to them, this practice brings you back to the raw direct experience of the depth and breadth of your feeling life.
This practice is invaluable; it offers you a simple tool to bring you back into body awareness at any moment. Try it next time you see yourself getting wound up and see what happens…
3.Trust your feelings!
We are animals; let us not forget that! we were not born with a phone in our hands. We are primal creatures, we can trust this primal wisdom, we can TRUST that part of it which knows what to do, how to move, how to open, how to let go. We can trust that women are wise, that we ARE life, and that life is designed perfectly,
When we learn to listen within we learn to trust, we learn to surrender, which is basically letting go of control, one breath at a time.
So when emotions begin to arise; ask yourself, how would I move, what noises would I make, what would I do right now if I was a wild animal? Give your self the time and space to explore your primal wisdom.
The body is not a destination, it is a journey, you might lost connection to your body sense a million times a day, when you do, you breathe, you explore, you let go, you come back.
Do you want some feminine embodiment practices to do at home?
Choose from the
It is particularly potent to connect to embodiment with the support of other women. So if you need to kickstart your journey into embodiment, get some support! go to a women’s class workshop or retreat which focuses on feminine embodiment practices, this could be a feminine style of yoga, meditation or Chi Gung. Check out the tools and practices i offer.
Or work with a Coach (like me!) who will guide you on a journey BACK to the body, and provide the supportive container for you to unearth those buried emotions and access the life force held within them.