How We Meet the Earth
More concepts on the embodied path
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. If you haven’t already, read last week’s post here, or view all posts in this series here.
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 day living.
But what does that mean? What is actively meeting the earth? It starts with becoming attentive to the feeling of the body touching the ground. There should be feelings of aliveness, vibrancy, renewing, responsibility for our relationship with the earth, co-creation.
States of Meeting the Earth
Propping — holding ourselves up and away from the earth, holding onto unnecessary tension, not allowing the earth to support us, relying only upon ourselves and our own ability instead of the earth’s support. It’s staying in habitual pattern if that’s your tendency.
Collapsing — giving all of our weight to the earth without attending to our own responsibility toward it. It’s exhaustive, unrespectful of relationship. It’s staying in habitual pattern if that’s your tendency.
Yielding — actively meeting, the balance between propping and collapsing. We allow the natural forces of gravity and levity to do their thing.
“Gravity and levity are the natural forces with which we are engaged in continual interaction. Tone is our body’s response to the forces of gravity . It is a readiness to respond in all the tissues of the body. It is present moment.
Gravity is the force that draws us down into the earth. Levity is the force that draws the body away from the earth. Buoyancy is the lightness and resiliency in relationship with the earth and its gravitational forces.
Collapsing, propping and yielding are three responses to gravity that we are navigating in our practice.” Lisa Clark, EmbodiYoga
The Arriving Sequence (also known as Bonding with the Earth) helps us establish a practice of yielding, of actively meeting the earth. Read more about it and listen to a short guided practice here. It’s easy in terms of physical effort, but it requires intention, mindfulness and a constant deepening of body sensation to maintain.
These concepts are amazing and profound — something I never experienced in either my yoga practice or life because I wasn’t aware of it.
Actively meeting the earth is full communication between our bodies and the earth.
Don’t just intellectualize. Practice this week. Next week I’ll detail even more concepts related to our states of meeting the earth.
Thanks for reading. Did you enjoy? Please tap the 💚 to recommend it to others. Namaste …
ABOUT & OFFERINGS
Hi! I’m Heather, a writer and yoga educator from SE Ohio. I share daily-ish here as part of my spiritual practice, and am working on my first book, Yoga Prayers. Download the first 25 pages, A Prelude to Yoga Prayers, for a brief introduction into yoga history and philosophy — and let me know what you think!