What are somatics & embodiment?

For me embodiment is the experience of truly being. Of merging awareness, intention and experience. It is an experience of a merging of the material with the energetic. It is the yoking of body, emotion, psyche and spirit.  It is sensuality--being of the senses--the inhabiting of our felt sense- or the perceiving of the body from within (Thomas Hanna)- which can only happen in the body.   

I think Embodiment is landing of concept, conception, theory, idea,  into a material plane.

 

Much like we can make the idea of a house real by building it, we came come to understand that everything which passes through us, thought, feeling, moment, is in fact, already a material in the building of who we are and what we experience. 

In my work I explain the process and potential of embodying (embodiment) on three levels.

Experience, Awareness & Observation

Opening up to more and more feeling and sensation. The expansion of our experience. Feeling all that is moving through us at any given moment. Feeling and understanding the way our body experiences and is impacted by everything. Comprehending the impact, the effect of those things that move through us,  the way the more ethereal, light things like thought, emotion, meetings & connections can be felt and made material in the body. In this part of the practice we continually discover how much our systems contain in any given moment. We also come to understand and practice with the body as a library. A library of all of the experiences we have accumulated over our own lives, as well as the experiences we have inherited from our personal and collective lineages.

Theory, Interpretation & Conceptualization

Embedded in embodiment and embodiment practices is the understanding that the body is intelligent, that it is designed with purpose and meaning. That it’s organization is meaningful and intentional, not random or without purpose. As we learn more and more of this blueprint, we can embody this vessel with the intentalitiy it dsserves and understand it’s intelligence.   We embody this knowledge,, bringing it into to our physical being, our movement,  to discover  and know  how to use it.

Manifestation & Connection with that which is greater than us

The body as an expression of prayer, of our deepest longing. As we become more and more embodied, we find more and more access to cosmic mystery, our personal purposes as well as universal building blocks, and dance ourselves into being and understanding. 

Why Embodiment?

For so many of us (and for so long, for me!) life is not a fully lived experience.

 

We walk around numbed out, going through the motions, rushing from moment to moment.

Our mind taking us to places so much more quickly than our body can travel.  

Image by Bekir Dönmez

We’ve been so trained to separate, to understand in piecemeal ways, that we have lost touch with our depths, with our true nature, with the “why’s” of our design and what we do.

 

Frequently, we don’t really understand ourselves, we assume, we don’t question and then we get upset, unhappy with the things we are seeing. For example, weight gain. Lately, I experienced myself putting on some weight, eating more, eating bread and sweets. With my years of training and practice, I was pretty good about loving myself through this, knowing better than to tie my self-worth to this body change, but I still didn’t like it.

 

I still thought I was doing something wrong, I still scolded myself for a lack of discipline, still told myself that my eating habits should be different, still promised myself that I wouldn’t continue doing the things I had been doing that kept me gaining weight.

 

And then one day it hit me - “Elana,” I said to myself, “instead of complaining about how you don’t like this, how about you ask yourself, what is really happening? Why is this happening?”

 

And so I did, and a few hours later, the answer just floated up. It was protection. I was adding layers of physical protection ahead of traveling to the US, ahead of transitions happening in my life. I had been so quick to judge what was happening that I hadn’t stopped to check what actually was happening.

A note on awareness