Embodied Meditation is the yoga of breath, movement and mindfulness and is grounded in the wisdom sciences of classical non-dual Shaivinist Trantra.
Moving purposely in rhythm with our breath, and without excessive effort, we gently relax into simple yoga postures. We use deep diaphragmatic breathing, visualisations and sound to bring focus and somatic awareness to our physical body and our metaphysical inner space.
Our minds calm. Our bodies shine. We heal.
The mindfulness practice of Embodied Meditation was formalised by Gertrud Keazor by drawing on her background in sports and her interest in the nature of reality.
She is a retired international fencing athlete, a massage therapist, and a Reiki practitioner. She has studied different approaches to meditation and mindfulness and has a deep interest in the non-dual philosophies detailed in the eastern Shaivinist Tantras. Her approach to mindful self-care and healing is further informed by her study of energetic healing systems, and her experience of a daily yoga practice.
She has transformed her own life through this comprehensive healing practice.
The contemplations and practices which Gertrud shares are all fully grounded in her personal experience.
Embodied Meditation is a dynamic mindfulness practice and all its elements are interrelated. At Yobaba Lounge we have found that irrespective of whether you start your journey with a vegan lifestyle or a physical yoga practice, one naturally leads to the other. It would seem that once you are on a path to self-investigation and healing, all roads lead to the same place: a more vibrant, soulful way of being.
We relinquish judgement of ourselves and of others. We affirm that the purpose of the practice is to investigate and be open to the true nature of reality and of the present moment.
We do this for the benefit of ourselves and that of all others.
We use visualisation, focus and attention to source the breath from the earth, and to become aware of its journey through our bodies.
Deep diaphragmatic breathing using Ujjayi breath delivers 700% more oxygen into our system (blood and cells), and expels equally more toxins. It especially tones and repairs damage to the vagus nerve (our parasympathetic nervous system), which is the underlying cause of many digestive and mental health issues.
Every single body can fold fully into any position, we are only prevented from doing so by our own personal inner edges - the edges of the mind not at ease, manifest in the body. These are the tensions, blockages, scars and strains that stop our muscles from relaxing. They are the places where we hold on, where we dare not relax into posture.
Breath is the unifying principle. The divine energy.
Breath leads movement and activates postures.
Breath delivers oxygen, healing, light and relaxation to the edges.
Movement is the principle of the body. We use yoga postures as a container for the mindfulness practice.
A sequence of common, gentle yoga asanas is used to deliver into awareness a physical sensation of our inner space.
Movement brings us to the places where we experience limitations. These are our edges.
Mindfulness is the principle of the mind. We use presence of mind to bring awareness to physical and emotional sensations that arise as we move.
Mindfulness prevents us from becoming injured during movement. It allows us to bring enquiry to that which arises during practice and is the process through which our inner spaces naturally expand.
In the practice of Embodied Meditation we learn to use the breath to soothe our edges; we learn that the edges are our teachers, that they are the map to the treasures within. As we become familiar with working with edges in our body, we can start to explore edges outside of ourselves. These edges, both internal and external, often define us. But they also present opportunities for us to allow awareness (consciousness and divinity) to arise.
From this place of awareness we breathe light into our edges, we investigate, caress, expand, honour and love those edges into disappearance. We do all of that through how we use breath, movement and mindfulness. And, as is the nature of a journey, when one edge is dissolved our expansive nature brings another into focus.
Cleansing and healing our inner spaces includes being mindful of what we put into our bodies and into our environments. The documented benefits of a plant-based diet are many. Letting go of negative habits such as excessive alcohol and sugar consumption, smoking and other addictions serve to support a more visceral connection to our Selves.
Keeping silence prior to our practice, and shortly after, allows for the integration of whatever insights and emotions arise.
From practising mindfulness about our communication with others and ourselves to formal therapy and counselling, self-investigation helps us to integrate that which arises. Investigating our feelings and motives without judgement, and gently unravelling the unconscious patterns that drive us is an unavoidable aspect on the road to embodied self-realisation.
In most of us, the connection between body and mind becomes ruptured through chronic stress, trauma or just growing up. We feel disconnected and underwhelmed.
We start to embody dis-ease: the mind, no longer grounded through the body, becomes anxious, compulsive, flighty and contracted, it avoids awareness of difficult emotions and realisations. The body, without mind as a witness, becomes tight, congested and contracted. Physical and mental illnesses begin to manifest.
Embodied Meditation uses breath, movement and mindfulness to bring mind and body into union. In this way, the practice heals the mind/body rupture by bringing awareness to our inner space, from where everything arises and from where everything manifests. As our perspectives change, we move from a sense of separation and rupture (ie dualism), to one of unity, of being one with all that IS (ie non-dualism). And we come to rest in the stillness of knowing that we are indeed the Infinite and Divine Consciousness which permeates everything.
Through the practice, and without excessive effort, our minds still, and expand into wisdom, bringing clarity. Our bodies radiate and shine with health.
The central benefit of the practice is the ultimate enlightening of our inner spaces.
As a result, our lives feel rich, soulful and vibrant.
While participation in a regular practice of Embodied Meditation does also have various physical benefits, such as increase in strength, energy and general vitality, this is not the reason that we engage in it. Its purpose is to investigate, to fully recognise and to embody the true nature of reality (as explored in the ancient Tantric wisdom traditions and all of the major mystical traditions):
Ancient wisdom traditions outline that the true nature of reality is simply a consciousness arising playfully, wanting to become conscious of itself. They teach that its nature is benevolent and loving. In essence, this Infinite and Divine Consciousness hides itself from itself, in order to have the opportunity to discover itself, behold itself and be itself. Modern science now corroborates many of these ancient insights.
They teach that we are individual, contracted expressions of this consciousness. Through Embodied Meditation, we may come to identify less with our egoic outer shell, and more with our core of divine loving kindness. By doing this, we benefit ourselves, and we benefit all humanity by expressing our divine loving selves.
Gertrud's Embodied Meditation retreats are an invitation to nurture mind, body and soul through powerful but gentle breath and body work, a purifying vegan diet, and the soothing effects of a tranquil external environment on the internal universe.
She invites us to embark on an inner journey that will heal the rupture between body and mind. As a result, we naturally begin to embody our true nature.
We are embodied love.
2 days of self-care practices to ease into 2018 on the right foot. We'll explore making gorgeous food, and build a gentle self-practice of yoga and mindfulness that brings you into soulful, rich connection with your deeper self. Takes place nr Canberra, Australia.