Something about embodiment...i think.

As clinicians and yoga teachers we must show up fully embodied as who we are and not push away or deny parts of ourselves. The more we can show up in our absolute fullness with the entire mixed bag of our life experience—past, present and future--inside of us and then regulate ourselves, the more we become a literal healing BODY for the client to experience.

People learn by reading books. They read the information and they also have an experience of reading the information.

People learn by hearing words, sounds, instructions, stories etc. And they earn from having the experience of hearing and listening to the sound. One of the reasons poetry and myth work as they do is because the literal vibration created by all the sounds strung together creates an orchestral impact on the person listening. (Some of you know this as that whole mantra, matrika, luminous shabda thing.)

People also learn by seeing. They learn through watching someone do the pose they are struggling with or their therapist model feeling emotion.

There seems to be a place where all these ways of learning intersect, perhaps best referred to as fully embodied learning. (Of course this then begs the question well if the individual is hearing or vision impaired does that mean that can not fully embody learning? To me that seems ridiculous. Of course they can fully embody learn but I think it’s a big philosophical debate of sorts) which is the place where both yoga practice in the presence of a group or teacher and psychotherapy with a skilled clinician (o and coaching totally works that way too so insert that in place if you like or health counselor, you choose.) So people also learn by being in the presence of a body, mind, heart that is integrated and self-sustaining in its regulation. This kind of learning teaches through imprint, resonance, and emulation how to regulate oneself in a crazy and ever quickening world. it employs all the available senses and draws upon processes hard at work behind the scenes of your brain. Personally I think this is a beautiful thing. It gives me hope in the evolution of humanity actually. But more immediately it gives me hope for my future children (some day).

So for me I suppose I want to share with all of you that much of my work in my counseling internship this year has been around how to show up fully and present in my own unfolding experience as Livia, not just as Therapist and still be primarily regulating the client. This translates so immediately into my teaching its sort of weird. When I enter in to teach a yoga class I am not looking to heal psychological wounds or do some Freudian woowoo. I just enter the space as much myself as I possibly can AND keep the primary focus on the students. I don’t pretend to know what is best for them but I also don’t pretend like don’t know things they could try.

And of course even above and beyond or perhaps deeper and below that all I am really trying to do is be human like the student. We spend a lot of time and money on SELF-improvement, SELF-help, SELF-actualization but in reality the kind of improvement, help, and actualization we seek seems dependent on interactions with other people seeking the same goals (aims, intentions etc.). We spend a lot of time trying to access all the Siddhis of yoga, but the greatest Siddhi is that of being human to one’s fullest capacity. It is the mantra of “How can I regulate you by regulating me”.  And so we empower by being together. 

Livia ShapiroComment