What is learning supposed to look like? And what does it mean to learn learn in an embodied way? And how does embodied learning differ from other methods?
Embodiment is much more than just physicalizing something within the body. It is more than just feeling it in your body. It goes beyond the tactile and beyond the five senses, although the five senses are critical to the practice.
When people speak of embodied learning in simple terms of incorporating physical sensation, they are missing the bigger picture of what true embodiment practice offers us.
Embodied Learning is Integrated
True embodiment requires an integration of body, mind, spirit and heart. It is when we take all of the faculties or our rational mind, our feelings, our intuition and our dreams, and we root them down in the physical body, that is when we embody something.
When we learn in an embodied way, we don’t just mentally understand. We also must understand with our heart. We also must know with our intuition, and we must also feel that it is in the flow with our highest self. Then we can make manifest within the body, in harmony with the messages from the body.
When we practice embodied learning, we learn something new through experiencing it on every level in an interconnected way. When we achieve embodied learning, there is no inner conflict. There is no deliberation – that is the work of the mind. Embodied learning brings us to a place of inner peace and serenity. A calm knowingness that we feel in our bodies as just right.
And it is something we then act upon in our every day lives. When we embody a lesson we have learned, we walk with that lesson through life. We do not forget, we do not stuggle. It simply is and we allow.
Anyone who has spent a lot of time with children recognizes that kids learn in many different ways. Some thrive with logical reasoning, others will illustrative storytelling. Others learn best by using their hands, or by teaching others.
Embodied Learning is Holistic
Embodied learning is a holistic practice. It requires the integration and harmonious synchronization of all aspects of the student – body, mind, heart and soul. And when all are in support of one another, a flexible and synchronous dance ensues.
And that is why dance is the best embodiment practice. For to dance is to dream, to feel, to pursue, to celebrate, and to share – all in perfect balance.
And when we allow embodied learning to teach us how to live an embodied life, life becomes a dance for which we write the music.
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