As logic-driven people working in STEM fields, where the knowing of the mind is highly valued and revered, we’re often (implicitly or explicitly) told to ignore how we feel.
This cuts us off from our bodies.
From the sensations that are giving us information.
From parts of our creativity and our power.
But not all hope is lost. There are practices that can help us reintegrate our bodies and our minds.
Here are some of my favorite embodiment practices:
1. Shaking- This one is so good. I first learned this practice from Alexandra Roxo when I was just starting to find myself again and actually feel things. It’s super easy, and doesn’t feel as intimidating as some of the other practices that I’ll share later did when I was first diving into this work. Here’s how it works: You know those times when you get frustrated or angry or have some other strong feeling in your body but you don’t know what to do with it? Try this- vigorously shake your extremities. Shake your hands. Shake your legs. Yes you’re going to feel a bit silly. You don’t need to do this in front of anyone. This practice takes the energy that is in your head and dissipates it and processes it through the body. (Kids really love this one too. For those of you who have kids around the age that they’re starting to feel big feelings- have them try it out!)
2. For those who are ready for a little more expression, try Primal Scream: Here’s how this one works: Feeling a really strong feeling? Angry? Scream. As loud as you can. For as long as you want. Many times we are encouraged to not name our hurts. To hide them, not talk about them. This energy can fester in our bodies. To start to let that out, try this screaming technique. (If you need to, scream into a pillow so that close neighbors don’t get worried.)
3. Dancing: There’s a reason that so many of us “just wanna dance”. It’s a release. It allows us to actually get out of our heads. I like to dance by myself. I put on whatever music I’m feeling at the moment, and dance like no one is watching (because no one is). This can also be extremely powerful if you do it with a group of people in a safe space.
4. Guttural Sounds: Here’s how you do it. Sit down on a couch with your feet flat on the ground in front of you. Open your legs and drop your head down between your knees, hanging towards the floor. Now make whatever guttural sounds that need to come out of your body. Moan. Roar. Snarl. They may be quiet at first, but let them build. Let them build until you feel a release. This release might be crying. It might be uncontrollable laughter. Whatever it is, it’s right and needed.
By performing these practices, we can start to reconnect with ourselves. To allow all of that brain energy to have a place to go.
We can start to honor the information from all of our senses.
We can become brave and powerful and creative through living as an integrated whole.