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Embodiment - How to get it and why it is important

February 12, 2018
Person walking

Embodiment - it’s a word that gets used a lot these days, but what does it mean and how do you ‘get it’? The dictionary defines “to embody” as “making visible,” and for me that is exactly what our bodies and movement do.  We all have bodies and we are always moving, even if it is just breathing. Our movement and body makes visible all of who we are: our mood, personality, history, family, and culture.

We are embodied beings.  From the moment we are born our bodies are essential to our learning, growth and relationships with others. Throughout our lives, our bodies and movements communicate much more clearly than our words. As an educator, psychotherapist and healer, I am continually awed by the wisdom that results from listening and paying attention to our bodies’ wisdom.  

For most of us today, disconnecting from our bodies and movement might feel like the only option available to us. We privilege our thoughts and minds, without being curious about their relationship to the rest of who we are.  Doing this, we end up feeling out of balance with our community, our world, and ourselves.

There are many approaches and practices that help us find harmonious relationships with our embodied self. Some focus on our physical ‘dance with gravity and breath’.  Others provide ways to improve our relationship with our self and with others. And some help us connect more deeply with our spirituality. 

Intrigued? Want to learn more? Check out CSPH 5555 – Introduction to Body and Movement Based Therapies. CSPH 5555 is a fun, and enjoyable experiential introduction to a broad range of body and movement based therapies that provide pathways to more embodied living. Visit onestop.umn.edu to learn more and register.

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Mandala is a biannual magazine produced by Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. It captures the core aspects of the Center: reflection, transformation, spirituality, creation, and the ongoing journey that continues to shape what we are to become.

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu