Embodiment: The first Shamanic Task of the Dancing Path

Gabrielle Roth invites us to partake on the shamanic journey of the dancing path. Yesterday, I introduced you to her moving meditation concept called, The 5 Rhythms. She describes ecstatic dancing as a way of jumping out of the mind and into the soul. This indeed has been my own experience of the 5Rhythms. In order to fully experience the rhythmic journey of Gabrielle’s Medicine Mandala, we must first get into our body and free the body to experience the power of being.

Embodiment is a concept that at first glance seems simple, yet most of us spend most of our time, using the mind to control the natural body urges. Experiencing the power of being is what Gabrielle calls the first shamanic task of the dancing path.

The body, the Bible tells us, is the temple. It is our body that we experience life; from the physical sensations to thoughts and feelings, it all happens in the container of skin.

We love to mind over matter, but, in this case, matter is King. Previously we learned that the quickest, most efficient way to feel embodied, is to focus on the essence of life, the breath. I invite you, if you rarely breathe below your neck (as I did when I was first introduced to the 5Rhythms) I encourage you to revisit the breath exercises I presented last month.

Once connected with the breath, movement, or dance, is the most immediate way of connecting with your own body, to feel they rhythms. The Rhythms of the body will ultimately become your teacher.

Many of us spend most of our time in our minds, while others spend much of their time in their feelings. For this experience, we want to be in our bodies. We want to experience the senses, the sensation of light on the skin and in the eyes, the vibration of sounds on the ears and skin, the fragrances and tastes, or our food and the feeling of everything on the skin. This is what it means to be in the body, To live embodied, we rest when tired and eat when we are hungry, we fuel our bodies with healthy fuel and expend our excess energy by exercising, being mindful of strength, flexibility and cardio-pulmonary exercises.

Read that last paragraph once more. How much do you pay attention to the messages of your body? Do you drink enough water, get enough rest and exercise? Do you eat healthfully? There is no judgment here, only you know the state of your relationship with your body. It is important we have balance in our lives and take enough time for self-care..

How do you feel like you are doing with inhabiting your own body? Take a deep belly breath and experience the power that comes from being inside this powerful instrument of healing? Come back tomorrow as we continue exploring this concept of embodiment and the 5Rhythms.

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