"When we contemplate the miracle of embodied life we begin to partner with our body in a kinder way." -- Sharon Salzberg
My left eyelid has been twitching for a week. I used to experience tics and tremors frequently until I took up Ayurveda and yoga. Once while in high school I had a vertigo and fainted in a crowded bus in Bangkok. I was completely aware and just before my sight went totally dark a person got up and I took the seat, phew. It was one of the scariest moments in my life. I took this as a positive thing as life was mostly safe, relatively pleasant, and creatively worthwhile. The only moment we're guaranteed to experience is right here now. So, I am dealing with things as they come, as the body ages. I made an appointment for the first time with the best optometrist according to my husband who has been wearing glasses since he was ten. Then I googled "left eye twitch" that prompted me a few choices--one of which was "left eye twitch superstition" which turned out to be a decent article. Also, I was drinking coffee in Thailand to keep up with the 14-hour time difference and kept up the routine so, I quitted that. And to treat the symptom I set up a routine combining dance, yin yoga, pranayama and mudra.
Embodiment is a neutral word. The most succinct description I've found is in the research article by Markus Kiefer and Natalie M. Trumpp called Embodiment theory and education: The foundations of cognition in perception and action. They stated: "Recent theories propose that cognition is embodied in the sense that it is critically based on reinstatements of external (perception) and internal states (proprioception) as well as bodily actions that produce simulations of previous experiences". The body's identity is inseparable from its sense objects and their perceived subjective experience. Holistic health is seeing and addressing the whole picture -- a resolution of dichotomy. I love my yoga and I'll probably appreciate my optometrist. It is up to each of us to cultivate embodiment that either integrate or disintegrate our lives. Health is homeostasis and homeostasis is a constant adjustment. A balance body is a presently aware mind -- ready to adjust as needed. Yoga as a discipline and in particular the meditation aspect of it has helped me gained inner self-development which expands self-performance in the three aspects of life.
1. Self Mastery: the ability to cultivate autonomy--think and act independently to the satisfaction of one's personal judgement regarding one's own life in the ways of living and being
2. Environmental Mastery: the ability to manage and organize the immediate and greater habitat at home, work, and beyond to fulfill one's physical and creative satisfaction
3. Social Mastery: the ability to meaningfully relate to everyone in the immediate circle, the society and the world to one's personal satisfaction and fulfillment
Yoga cultivates our ability to be highly emotional in the best of ways. The practice is all about knowing intimately the what, how, why, and what else of the energy in motion (emotion) that is the wellspring of personal and interpersonal skills. We connect to one another through our feelings. The ability to feel what the body is feeling and what the heart is yearning determines social and ecological relatedness. Yoga and meditation expand the heart. When the heart expands the intellect grows. Yogic disciplines cultivate the big mind or metacognition--the mind that sees its thoughts and feels its body, and understands how they relate and influence each other. The big mind is in the gut, the heart, the brain, and everywhere. It is the wisdom of all the memories--physical law and order that is connectedness. As a practice this is what embodiment aims. We are that which moves with the movement and is the constant movement like the planet earth itself. This huge rock is going at 460 meters per second--or roughly 1,000 miles per hour. How fast are we moving while being completely still and feeling every change?