The Somatics of Thought and Emotion: Working With the Mind and Heart Through the Body
The body feels before the mind thinks. Embodiment allows us to sense thoughts and emotions as they are arising, before they captivate the heart. With this awareness is a sensitivity to attachment and aversion (upādāna) as bodily sensations. Feeling subtle contraction and shifts in the body and breath allows us to respond rather than react. This relaxation of the heart and softening of the body is a form of non-harming (ahiṁsā) that can be felt. As we become familiar with it, we can recognize its absence, and see when harmful states are arising.
Preparing the heart/mind and body to meet life more gracefully creates the conditions for favorably meeting the world as it is. By balancing the nervous system, lightly controlling the breath, and practicing kind awareness, we lessen the conditions of anxiety and fear, and enjoy states of ease and openness as our natural state of being.