Embodiment is a state, something that occurs within. It is characterised by lack of trying or pushing and is a place in which we simply are present in the moment. Embodiment is a knowing that arises not from the thinking mind but from being wholly in the experience as it unfolds without analysis.
Embodiment can occur at any time, if the conditions are there. Making love, dancing, practising Yoga, running, soulful conversation, holding a loved one are just some examples where we can be so engrossed in what we're doing, we suspend the "ah, is this right?" "what happens when I do/say this?" or even "how does this feel?" and we simply are.
In terms of Yoga, embodiment has become closely associated with free, flowing and floaty movements, which can be particular helpful in counteracting hard-wired rigidity caused by a structured practice. Yet, embodiment is a state so it follows that it can exist in the wavy and linear movements, structure and no structure; it's worth highlighting that just because something is free, flowing and floaty, it doesn't mean it's going to be taught/practised in a way that's conducive to embodiment!
So what are the conditions for embodiment? The most practical way to view the road to embodiment is recognising that it's a dance between directing and receiving, whereby we're conscious of the point we're initiating - directing - from and allowing this to reverberate - be received - to other parts.
By way of example: In a lying twist, feel how you push down through the outside edge of left foot to spiral towards the left. As you do this, feel the initiation travel through and your spine receive the spiralling.
Some pointers if you’d like to explore embodiment:
Know when you’re directing and which area you’re initiating from
From this directing, can you make room for other parts of body to receive the movement from the place of initiation
Become aware of your thinking and what is motivating you, does this give you a sense of expansion or contraction
Can there be a point in your practice where there is no aim, no goal just open awareness - this can be within or without a structure
Open to the possibility that every part of you is conscious, not just your brain. So can you move towards not observing yourself and allow unfiltered experience from all of you
Keep an open mind and enter into the mystery of your experience.
To practice with me, take at look at the Offerings page with weekly Yoga classes online and in Graz, workshops in Manchester, Graz, online and Europe, as well as Yoga retreats. You can of course choose to work with me privately.