What is Embodied Spirituality?
Embodied spirituality refers to a lived experience of spirituality that is grounded in the body. When we embrace embodied spirituality, we come out of our minds and back into our bodies: into that which is visceral, instinctual, and deeply felt through the senses. We see that the body isn’t just a temple of the Divine, but a living expression of Spirit. As such, the body becomes a source of tremendous wisdom and insight: a doorway to the present moment. Not only do we see the body as sacred, but we see it as a microcosm of the macrocosm – it becomes a path to both the transcendent and immanent nature of the Divine.
Your Body is a Storehouse of Trauma
As psychiatrist Bessel Van Der Kolk writes in his book The Body Keeps Score:
The body keeps the score: … the memory of trauma is encoded in the viscera, in heartbreaking and gut-wrenching emotions, in autoimmune disorders and skeletal/muscular problems
Renowned psychologist and trauma-expert Peter Levine goes on to write:
Traumatic symptoms not only affect our emotional and mental states, but our physical health as well.
Although at a core level, we aren’t defined by our physical blood and bones, our bodies are an undeniably powerful gateway to the present moment. Not only do they anchor us into the Eternal Now (hence why many meditation techniques focus on the breath and body), but they are also insanely accurate truth-detectors. They help us to both tune-into what is true and real, on a visceral felt-level, and what is false.
Indeed, our bodies are great and multi-layered gifts. They carry an intelligence that predates the mind and an intuition that is directly aligned with the Soul.
3 Ways to Practice Embodied Spirituality
There are many ways to practice embodied spirituality taught by a vast array of people.
Such approaches cater to different levels of the human experience ranging from relieving chronic pain all the way to releasing spiritual blockages.
Some examples include:
- Massage (biodynamic, huna, etc.)
- Body-centered mindfulness and meditation
- Somatic experiencing
- Somatic psychotherapy
- Dance/movement therapy
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