March 2023

Yoga is a practice of embodiment. Which makes perfect sense to most of us when much of our exposure to yoga has been asana classes. {Asana is the physical practice of yoga postures and movement.} In asana practice, we are moving our bodies, we are breathing, we are having an experience of being present with our physicality. We are tuning in to a felt sense of our body with awareness.   

We are, of course, always in our bodies. Where else would we be? The funny thing is that much of the time, we are moving through our lives mostly up in our heads. We spend a lot of time in our thinking, figuring, analytical minds or on a roller coaster of our emotional experience and in reaction to the world around us.

Sometimes we even forget to pay attention to our body. For example – when he is working, my husband gets so absorbed (writing code) that he forgets to eat. Not me, I never miss a meal – I love eating. Sometimes for me, though, eating is on autopilot, and I am not entirely aware of the experience of what I am taking into my body. Neither of these is a totally uncommon experience. They are both an example of a moment of disembodiment.   

Asana offers us the opportunity to develop or remember our relationship to our body. Through mindful movement practice, we learn to not only pay attention to our body but to listen to it deeply. After some time of practicing yoga asana, we notice more and more how we relate to our body and can begin to cultivate a relationship of kind attention with it. We are more fully present to our sensory experience, and this deepens our relationship to ourselves.  

It’s important to remember that asana is only one part of an 8-limbed path, birthed in India 3000-5000 years ago. The 8 limbs of yoga are: Yamas (ethical precepts), Niyamas (internal observances), Asana (physical postures) Pranayama (breath practices), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dyana (meditation), and Samadhi (Oneness). Even if we are not talking about asana but are referring to the other 7 limbs of yoga, the exploration, discipline, and commitment of yoga is one of embodiment.  

I like to think of yoga as remembering. Re-membering ourselves. Bringing together the different parts of ourselves, in contrast to dis-membering, or pulling apart the different parts. Through the whole system of yoga, we are called to gather our disconnected pieces – calling in our scattered energies, our distracted mind, our confusion, our emotional turbulence. Through practice, we begin to steady the fluctuations of our mind and heart, we start to cultivate calm and peacefulness in our body. We grow our awareness of our whole self. Through meditation, self-study, ethical practice, study of spiritual philosophy and somatic (of the body) practice, Yoga offers a path of expanding ourselves, growing ourselves, becoming more wise, compassionate, discerning, and embodied along the way. In its essence, through yoga we are making manifest our most complete selves.  

We are embodying our growing wisdom.   

Each asana class you take is an opportunity for embodiment. But when yoga really begins to percolate beneath the surface is when we take our yoga off our mat and into our lives. When we are more present and grounded in a difficult conversation. When we meet a challenge in life and have more internal balance. When we meet the pain that we see in the world with more empathy and take compassionate action. This is yoga in the world. This is embodiment.   


Upcoming next month, Source Yoga teacher Karen Peters is offering an in person 3-week Somatic Yoga series, Somatic Yoga: Grounding Through the Skeletal System, where you will learn more about your anatomy and deep dive into embodiment. The skeletal system gives our body its foundational supporting structure. Our bones can be a pathway to find more alignment, ease, and grounding in ourselves.  

This is an opportunity to learn more and have a more deeply connected, grounded, embodied experience. Learn more about this series here. We hope to see you there.   


May you enjoy the emergence of spring over the coming weeks!   

With care, 

Erin Joosse | she/her  

Source Yoga | studio director 

Yoga For Everyday People

Source Yoga is a place to simply be, accept ourselves as we are in this moment, and connect with our innate wisdom.

Through the cultivation of present moment awareness through yoga and mindfulness practices, we discover and nurture our inner resources for self-care, ease, peace of mind, and compassion.

We welcome students of all ages and abilities. Join our warm, welcoming community in a supportive and non-intimidating environment.