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Embodiment Practice

Embodiment Practice
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As long as you have a body, you’re meant to be in your body with awareness, with ease, with joy. It gives me great pleasure to guide you into some simple movements that will bring you in touch with your body. So stand with your feet directly under your shoulders and open your arms, making sure you don’t hit anybody, Yield to the tips of your fingers and bring your arms in crossing them on your chest, on your heart center. Flow with your breath and now close your eyes if it’s okay for you and immediately feel the ground with your feet and see if you can direct your energy down from your head into the rest of your body.
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Most of us spend most of our lives only in our heads. It’s important to feel the rest of your miraculous body. Let’s begin with a reverence to life, to being alive, honoring life in yourself, in the people around you, in the earth, and all beings on Earth. May you serve life to the best of your ability and may you be blessed abundantly by life. Open your eyes and bow your head down, go down slowly and let the top of your head connect with the ground, unfold your arms towards the ground and stretch the back of your legs.
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It’s okay if you don’t reach the ground with your hands, just stretch the back of your legs and flow with your breath and now take a deep breath in with your explanation, begin to bend your knees, let your tailbone release down, flow with your breath and feel your shoulders going further down as well as the top of your head. Now bring your hands on top of your feet and gently press your feet into the floor. Feel your roots descending into the earth like a tree as you feel your roots going down deeper into the earth, start to grow into standing with the ground back, sequencing up your spine, letting your head be last to move up.
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And now let your arms come up, bring your arms up above your head, bring your hands together and take a deep breath in with your exhalation, begin to bring your hands down and flow with your breath. Feel the top of your head, trace with your awareness into your forehead- and into your neck. Trace into your heart center with your awareness and keep your hands in front of your heart center. Feel your abdomen, feel your hips and the base of your spine . Feel your legs, your ankles, your feet, and your roots in the earth. Feel your whole body.
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And now, with your feet, open your hips wider than your shoulders, bring your hands down onto your hips and go side to side, bring your movement to a stillness and put your hands on your legs and go down. Let your tail bone release down, bending your knees only to a place where you don’t feel you’re putting too much pressure on your knees. Be gentle, be kind to your knees. As you come up, feel your roots going down into the earth and now bring your arms up. Inhale up, exhale, bring your hands down. You get up and trace, just like we did earlier along your body from the top of your head all the way down.
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And now bring your hands together. Bring your feet in and out and let your feet be as wide as your shoulders. You’re going to bring your hands down onto your back, keep your knees soft and rotate your hips.
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One more rotation and coming to the middle, change direction for the other side. Flow with your breath, one more, and come into the center. Bring your hands by your side and come up into your shoulder, rotate your shoulder, change arms. Flow with your breath feeder roots in the earth, go forward bringing ease into your shoulder. Remember, these are very good to do during the times that you’re working a lot on your computer. Take breaks and rotate your shoulders, bring your arms down. One, the other side. And now take your arm to the back.
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The other arm goes to the back.
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Very good. Now bring your arms up, bring your hands up above your head, bring your feet in together and take your heels down one at a time. Now take your arms out in front of you.
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Good, good. Bring them down and go to the back again with your heels going down one at a time. Very good. Now bring your arms up and gently bring them down again. Feel, trace along your whole body all the way down to your feet. Bring one hand to your shoulder and the other and go forward,
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feel the fluidity of your spine and extend your arm, one going out and one coming back. Let your next move in line with the rest of your spine, and now look side to side. And look forward, take your arms back. Step with the same arm.
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And look to the side your opening. Look in front of you.
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And now bring your elbows to the level of your shoulders, let your feet be as wide as your shoulders again, keeping your knees soft, you’re going to twist only from the waist up as you look side to side, keep yourself as steady as possible from the waist down. Close and open your hands. Now look behind you and pick a point, look at it again.
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Two more, one, two, bring your arms down by your side. Let’s go side to side.
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Try to bring the top of your head toward the ground so that your neck gets to relax and feel the movement only along your sides, not your lower back, and take one arm up and the other reach with the hand, arm going above your head and reach with the hand, arm going down.
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And now both arms, as you’re moving with your both arms, feel the back of your legs and your buttocks, your waist, your spine, the back of your head, back of your arms. Feeling your whole back as you feel your roots in the earth through the soles of your feet. Very good. Now bring your arm down, keep your knees soft, you’re going to bring one hand up and take your head to the side, breathe along your neck, shoulder.
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Look forward, bring your hands down and bring the other arm up, take your head to the side, breathe along your neck shoulder and look forward, interlace your hands, fingers behind your head, look down and breathe in the back of your neck and your shoulders. Look forward, feel the top of your head, and come down the side of your body and bring your feet in and take some steps in place. Roll your shoulders, loosen up your spine, loosen up your neck, shake out your wrists and hands. It’s important that you spend time shaking fingers and wrists because we spend so much time texting on our phones or on our computers.
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It’s good to shake out your hands to let the energy flow and now bring your hands to a stillness, roll your shoulders again. We’re going to bring one knee up at a time. All the way down to your ankle, trace from your knee to your ankle. Two more, one, two, step, step, step, and now bring one knee up to your elbow, down with your arms and elbow down.
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You look side to side,
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look forward.
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Two more, one, two. Bring your arms down. Roll your shoulders, shake out your torso and your neck and bring everything to a stillness. We’re going to open our arms, bring them down without hitting anyone. feel your roots in the earth and open your arms with your whole body. Take a breath in as your arms come up, exhale down. Feel that you can open your arms from the soles of your feet. And keep, as you keep your arms moving, expand. Become the size of your classroom. Keep expanding, become the size of your school buildings, keep expanding from the bottom of your feet, expand, become the size of your city, the whole country.
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Keep expanding and become the size of the whole earth, feel your arms wrapping around the earth. How big is Your embrace? What fits in your embrace? These arms are showing your embrace. The bigger you embrace, the more in touch with your own greatness you are. The bigger your embrace, the more at ease you can be. Now bring your arms in and cross them on your heart, embracing yourself. And just for a moment, close your eyes and feel how your body is now from when we started. Feel yourself present inside your body.
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Thank you.

The first video features our faculty member Banafsheh Sayyad. Feel free to stand up and follow along as Banafsheh leads you through an embodiment exercise that you can do anywhere you have a few feet of space which blends physical movement with meditative practice.

The video below is a short piece that discusses the many benefits of physical exercise in more detail.

The Benefits of Exercise

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Additional Materials:

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