Moving mindfulness. ‘Embodiment’, like ‘mindfulness’, is an overused word these days. However, both principles are fundamental to movement therapy practice. To clarify, the dictionary defines embodiment as “the representation or expression of something in a tangible or visible form”. Importantly, for me this relates to the body mind connection.
Moving expressively is good for your mental health
For some people, that connection comes effortlessly, but for many it’s a challenge. For a variety of reasons, you may lose touch with your body over time. In that case, you may be uncomfortable with truly expressing yourself in movement. As a result, you may repeat the same patterns and exercises without awareness. This can result in becoming dis-embodied and losing your creativity. In turn, that can stifle your imagination. It can also make you hold back on the things that make you special and unique. Over time it can prevent you from achieving your potential. Consequently, this may have a negative effect on your mental wellbeing.
Focussing on expression on a bodily level allows you tap into your body’s own healing resources. It’s therapeutic. You connect with your body in elemental ways and allow it to express feelings often hard to convey in words. This can be especially beneficial for trauma survivors and people suffering from anxiety or depression. In addition, rhythmic movement helps to calm the mind.
Expressive Movement Sessions
My wellbeing programme has expressive movement sessions which can help to put you back in touch with your body and find release and freedom in movement. Deeply Moving is a very different kind of movement experience. A perfect opportunity for embodied self reflection which can lead to more freedom in the body. In turn, it brings focus to the mind and a sense of peace to the spirit.
This is not a class or a fitness workout. Rather, it offers an opportunity to develop embodied awareness in a safe and supported way. There is no choreography to learn. In other words, the movement aspects are guided rather than taught. In addition, they don’t require any experience or skill. Sessions are led by a Movement Psychotherapist. In this way, participants explore their own movement through awareness and improvisation.
The sessions draw on a range of therapeutic movement practices. They often using imagery or visualisation to prompt movement or bring focus. There is no right or wrong way to move. The intention is not to perform or create, but to experience the connection between mind, body and expressive movement.
Every session is different. Generally it will involve movement, self reflection, body awareness and mindful relaxation. There is no expectation. You do not have to do anything you don’t want to. The movement comes from the participants themselves. You may remain seated for all or part of the session and stillness is always an option.
Being mindful while moving you also learn about yourself and your body. In this way you can embrace your creativity. In addition you can connect to the comforting flow of pleasant physical sensations. Noticing the sensations of touching the ground and your arms swinging or shifting in motion. In other words using the movement and sensations of your body brings your awareness to the present moment. It draws your attention to your hands and feet. Fully engaging with the present moment brings healing.