Embodied Practice

Embodied Practice

This week, Network Weaver is excited to share a 3-part series by Root. Rise. Pollinate! on fostering connection in virtual space. The series was originally published earlier this year at The Reverb.

How to bring movement practice into virtual space to foster connection with our bodies’ wisdom

In our first post we shared the importance of breath practice and ritual for deep connection in virtual space and offered rituals grounded in the elements of air, water, and fire. As we share the next practice on embodiment, we’d like to invite you to consider how all elements, air, water, fire, and earth live within each of us.

How do we embody each element at different times including times of upheaval and possibility for interdependence, deep connection, and love in a rapidly changing world like now?

Embodying The Change We Seek

Movement requires movement. The simple truth of this statement is particularly important during these times of physical separation, especially when we sequester ourselves in our homes and lie or sit in one position for long periods of time. Perhaps we are in front of screens for work or to indulge in whatever’s on offer from the multitude of streaming services that keep popping up.

While this time of COVID-19 is a particular point in our lives, around the world, over time, many of our people have become disembodied as a result of the privilege given to intellectual knowledge and grind culture over more holistic ways of knowing and being. This has led to individual and collective burnout, and even trauma. Even changemakers now ground much of our work in logic models, pages upon pages of strategy, theory, and deep analysis. We lead with our heads, not our hearts and bodies, even though we often already know in our bodies what is most important. In leading with our heads, we lose touch with our bodies sometimes to the point of breakdown and exhaustion.

When we are disembodied, it can be hard for us to tap into what the change we seek would feel like.

If we are disconnected from our bodies, how do we know how and where feelings of joy and inspiration show up in our bodies?

How do we tap into the inner wisdom that tells us when we need to pivot into something more life-giving and sustainable? How well do we connect to the hearts, minds and bodies of ourselves and fellow beings?

Therein lies the importance of body-based work so that as we reconnect with and listen to our bodies, we can draw on and be one with the delicate balance of earth, water, air, and fire that lives within us and is required for the liberated, sustainable, and thriving world that so many of us work tirelessly for.

So how might you bring movement practice into virtual space to foster connection?

You can draw on and invite your community members to share practices that they already know and engage in like somatics, tai ji, and yoga. As you practice, be sure to move with your breath, being conscious about the physical actions you take with each inhale and exhale.

Ultimately, starting virtual gatherings with practices — like (breathing through) movement — can help bring everyone’s bodies, minds, and spirits into alignment, enabling deeper conversations. Starting with and in our bodies allows us to be more present with each other and experience a sense of intimacy, even across distance, time, and experience.

An Invitation

Consider this: how might physical movement coupled with breath support you and your connection to those you care about? Who might you invite to practice with you? Next time we’ll touch on the practice and importance of fostering intergenerational space.

Thank you for continuing to journey with us.

Read post 1 HERE and post 3 HERE.

Originally published March 11, 2021 at The Reverb.

Root, Rise, Pollinate! is an experiment that aims to catalyze and nurture a transnational community of feminist human rights advancers, organizers and movement builders using embodied practice for social transformation.

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