September EmbodiYoga ASana classes: The Skin Body System
EmbodiYoga® is a yoga approach which offers yoga poses and meditation practices for all levels of practitioners. Props, mats, and a sense of kindness and ease will be available for you to enjoy the classes. Welcome!
Each month in 2016 is an opportunity to study consciousness via the lens of the Body Systems.
In September, our swadhaya, spiritual study, of the Skin Body System will explore meditation and yogasana to reveal relationship in movement and consciousness of the expansive, sensitive, responsive Skin Body.
River Skin, photo of the Kangamagus in New Hampshire.
EmbodiYoga Asana Classes with Becky Morrissey
Mondays 6:30-8 pm Sangha Yoga Loveland
Primordial Anatomy: Our indra's Net
meditation: Intention to feel
Indra's Net is a visual metaphor from Indian Buddhist and Hindu thought expressing the interconnectiveness of all; emptiness and form, cause and effect, consciousness and relationship. As delicate yet resilient as a spider web, our Indra's Net, our Skin Body, began as a morula, a shell or outer covering that is the first creation of connective tissue in the tidal pool of intracellular fluid. This fluid matrix holds space form our form to differientate inner and outer, contents and container consciousness. Unity is the origin of our Skin Body.
The Skin is a layered organ of super-consciousness, with an outer layer (epidermis), a middle layer (dermis), and a inner layer where the blood supply to the skin resides, the hypodermis. The epidermis and dermis contain sensitive and sophisticated touch receptors; Merkel's disks, free nerve endings, and Meissner's Corpuscles in the epidermis and Ruffini and Pacinian corpuscles in the dermis. Merkel's and Meissners are enriched in the palms and soles of the feet, sensing compression and lightness; they allow us to explore via touch objects and feel the texture and presence of the ground we walk on. Ruffini and Pacinians provide consciousness of pressure and skin movements; elongation, shortening, flow in movement. They are sensitive to vibration, and are especially abundant in the fingers.
The Skin offers us an embodiment of relational phenomena, experience of interaction like a coast of ocean and land mass, each caressing the other in consciousness and realtionship. (1)
Hatha Asana Practices: Conscious Sensation
Do I hide inside my skin? Do I share boundaries as a gift? What is a "felt sense"?
Our Skin Body is an emotional sense organ; it holds the present state of our thoughts. If our thoughts are saturated with tension, so will be the Skin; and because we "feel" tense in the skin and body, our thoughts react to this as a reason to be tense, thus creating a biofeedback loop of hardening ourselves.
To move outside the tangle of the thought-body tension coorelation, a meditation practice opening our concerted intention to allow ourselves to feel (i.e, accept) all emotions as they happen is a gateway practice.
With an even inhale-exhale breath practive to accompany the "allowing", The Intention to Feel Meditation, by Tara Brach, can be a powerful way to be comfortable, and take refuge, in your own skin:
Intention to Feel Meditation:
1) Pause (with the rise of the feeling/reaction)
2) Feel (with intention to touch your vulnerability)
3) Pause again…..breathe and consciously offer comfort and care: soften the senses via Sense Organ Kriya:
Intentional contact with eyes, tongue, front of throat
breathe ~ soften, direct gateways to Nervous System
and subtle body energies.
Leaf Skin: Like our skin, it breaths
through pores and is senstive to light. 4) Let the feeling “be” (Entrust Yourself to the Waves) (2)
Yoga postures provide a mosaic of sensation, a process of introception, body awareness as a fluid, colorful, spiral ever-changing continuum.
Moving from simple to more complex postures, each asana offers a pathway of exploration of the Skin Body. Skin receptors, your Merkels and Meissner, supply your consciousness with the context of a felt sense of compression and lightness; the Ruffinis and Pacinians provide consciousness of skin elongation and shortening.
Roll a textured massage ball under and on top of the feet for several moments, breathing deeply, and then do the same with the palms of the hands. Enliven your conscious connection with these skin receptors to deepen your overall awareness, as well as improve your sense of balance in postures.
In a simple asana like Table (Hands and Knees), begin movement with brining awareness to the "endpoints", the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, which are rich with sense receptors. In a simple posture like cat-cow, breathe in and feel the palms and tops of the feet being supported by earth (compression) as you come into cat pose; exhale, press the palms and tops of feet to earth and move into Cow posture. Repeat as you like, allowing the skin receptors of the spinal region to also tell you about elogation and curves in motion.
1. Kathrin Stauffer's Anatomy and Physiology for Psychotherapists, 2010,
2. Tara Brach's Taking Refuge: FInding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart, 2013.
Becky Morrissey, eRYT500, has a passion for the study of yoga’s intersectionality with embodiment, relationship, and consciousness. She has been inspired by yoga for 25 years, and brings yoga modalities to her work as a mental health clinician and counselor educator. Becky is an avid student of Lisa’s, having completed theEmbodiYoga® 230hr program and continuing to study with Lisa for the current EmbodiYoga® 300hr program.
Yoga’s mosaic of embodied guidance, meditation, and play are at the heart of Becky’s teaching practice. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the steward of the Red Lotus Apsara Yoga School, and co-steward of Sangha Yoga Loveland, where she offers EmbodiYoga® classes, individual yoga therapy, and specialized workshops and teacher trainings throughout Ohio and the Tri-State area.
To contact Becky, email: firstname.lastname@example.org