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What is Embodiment?

Em-Body- what?

For a while the term embodiment or embodied might not have meant much to most of us. In the last few years, however, it has become somewhat of a buzzword.

Every coach, dance teacher and workshop facilitator throws it into the mix, especially when it is about an offering to market thy want to fancify (And yes, I am making up words)

Sometimes in workshops I am left speechless on how the word is being thrown around while not giving much guidance at all ... "Embody your inner temple"... sure, but HOW? "What does that even mean??

And maybe this is just me. But I have studied in a tradition which emphasises clarity and what we call operational language. Main point being, it gives you a clear indication of what to do and more so HOW to do it. Some more on this here.

So, how do I define Embodiment then?

It is HOW YOU ARE. It is more than body language or physical appearance. All the sensations you can perceive in your body, the emotional tone that present, and then maybe also your thoughts. This expresses in your posture, HOW you move, HOW you stand, walk, sit, speak, etc.

Awareness of these layers hence comprises the first level of any work I do in this field. The foundation from which to change. Understanding what is there, the often unconscious patterns that have manifested and been created over the course of your life. The product of your cultural, historical, social upbringing and conditioning. And the influences of the current situational, relational and environmental context.

Change can be accomplished only with awareness and the intention. Intention gives direction and aim. It is the HOW you want to be, a choice that becomes available once you are aware. To unlearn, relearn and repattern our default so that we become how we want to be then requires tools and techniques that include the physical, emotional and cognitive levels of our being.

An embodied practice is therefore defined by being done with awareness and intention.

Also in my coaching work, I can basically summarise the entire process into these two questions:

  • How are you?

  • How do you want to be?

And then, equipped with exercises that take a holistic approach we bridge that gap.

There is so much more that could be added but this is it for now. I found this old recording of me explaining a little more about Embodiment. Watch it and let me know what you think!

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