States of Meeting the Earth — Part II
Concepts on the EmbodiYoga 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. It details concepts that will be useful for today’s post. And be sure to view all posts in the series here to get a bigger picture of this amazing practice.
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. But we’ve lost it. Until now.
- What part of your body is touch the ground right now?
- Allow attention to flow there.
- Allow the sensation to grow and expand.
- What feels heavy?
- What feels light?
- Can you just be in experience of your body and the earth?
- Can you feel the communication of the earth? A quality of the energy as it travels into your being?
- Can you inhabit yourself fully?
- Can you embody?
Words don’t do it justice. We have to experience it. My teacher is a master and I hope to one day have the skill that she does. It’s amazing, profound, life changing.
One of the simplest ways that we learn to develop a felt sensation of the body is by practicing the Arriving Sequence. We begin to establish body time as a more normal pace, and we begin to see and feel what the body is saying. We begin to notice how much BS the mind throws at us. A few more concepts on the EmbodiYoga path, about states of meeting the earth …
Definitions of balanced tone within the body
Tone is our response to the forces of gravity and levity; a readiness to respond in all tissues of the body.
Gravity and levity are natural forces with which we are engaged in continual interaction.
Gravity is the force that draws our body toward the earth. We are all familiar with gravity, though it’s something we often take for granted. We simply don’t notice it.
Levity is the force that draws our body away from the earth, and is a felt sensation — something you can learn through EmbodiYoga and other somatic practices.
Buoyancy is a lightness and resiliency in relationship with the earth and it’s gravitational forces.
And as we explored last week, collapsing, propping and yielding are three patterns we, as humans, communicate with the earth. We explore them deeper and learn more about them through our yoga practice — our embodied yoga practice.
Until next week, practice the Arriving Sequence and notice if you experience a little more body time than nervous system time. It’s truly a gift.
Cheers to an embodied, joyful life!
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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!