In the scurry of daily life we often forget about the joys of being fully embodied. Small mental tasks take over. Physical actions that are routine to us seem to happen of their own accord, on automatic.
We lose touch with being fully present with ourselves.
But wait… what does this really mean, “embodied”?
It’s a word that’s being tossed around a lot these days, but it’s an old standby in my personal, existential vocabulary. It’s been with me for a good 20 years or so…!
Being present — or being embodied — has a lot to do with an inner sensory awareness of the landscape of our bones, muscles, organs, connective tissues and more. It also includes a continuous perception of our external senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, sound, pressure, gravity… and more!
My introduction to embodiment happened during college, within Modern Dance technique classes:
“…drop your mind into your body…”
This (as it turns out not-so-whacky) idea works!!
My undergraduate degree in dance and theater, at a super liberal arts college, became in many ways a study of embodiment practices. I found myself drawn to classes such as Experiential Anatomy, Contact Improvisation, Body-Mind Centering… and to technique teachers who drew upon Somatics or had a sensory-based approach to dance and performance.
I know this all might sound a little “out there”… but the practical applications of embodiment are just too many to even list.
Dropping your awareness, your perception of reality or your sense of self into your body has soooo many benefits!!
Here are three big ones that happened for me, as I made embodiment a regular practice in my life:
- I started tapping into the wisdom of my own gut, always knowing what to eat & when, without counting calories or worrying about my weight.
- I became able to attend to my own aches & pains, just by paying attention to what hurt and following my own physical instinct, intuitively knowing whether something needed stretching (+ what kind), resting (+how long), working out (+how) or medical / first-aid-cabinet attention (a lot less than expected).
- Surprising avoidance of injury showed up too. For instance, stumbling became an act of awkwardness instead of a dangerous moment of potential fall & damage. Knowing my own physical edges in the deeply sensorial way of embodiment also meant less bumping into people… a.k.a. fewer coffee / wine spills or objects crashing into the floor.
So I invite you to drop into your body by dropping into class. A whole hour of attention to your physicality, in coordination with music and your feminine expression, will do just that!
Every class is self-contained, so anyone can drop in anytime. Think of a single Belly Dance class as a workshop: everything you need will be given to you during the first part of class, so that you may play, explore and discover during the second part of class.
Here’s the schedule for the rest of Autumn Season:
Groovy Belly / Mondays 6 – 7 pm
October 23, 30 November 6, 13, 20
Beginner Belly / Thursdays 5 – 6 pm
October 26 November 2, 9
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Drop-in rates are $15 per class, and Binghamton Belly Dance is now listed on Google Maps!
What To Wear/Bring: comfortable clothes that are easy to move around in (no jeans), and a clean pair socks. A water bottle always helps 🙂