The Peak of Possibilities
Embodied Flow is a system of transformational yoga that invites you into the deepest sense of self. Through an integrative blend of hatha yoga, somatics, movement meditations, tantric philosophy, and transpersonal psychology it elicits the experience of stepping into flow as meditation in action.
The School of Embodied Flow was co-created by Tara Judelle and Dr. Scott Lyons in 2014 to enable students to realize their full and joyous multi-dimensional selves.
We are a school of yoga and movement reconnecting body, mind and spirit while finding tangible pathways between the three. We use movement, asana, meditation, visualization, philosophy, psychology, verbal expression, and science as technologies for acquiring a deep sense of strength, ease and connectivity in the human form. Embodied Flow aims to deliver its practitioners a sense of agency as they discover their own innate capacity to step into a life that is in flow. It is our aim to thrive in every layer of fabric of our consciousness and to take that awakened mind and to take that out into world.
Principles of Embodied Flow
THE BODY IS A VEHICLE FOR AWAKENING.
The highest aim of yoga is to know “The Self”. Hatha yoga has traditionally taught that the method for awakening consciousness lies within the Body. We may know The Self through practices that support us to stay present within every part that makes up who we are. The result of this practice is an enlivened being, where the Body and Mind are one. Within this state, the limited or false Self dissipates, and all possibilities become available to us.
We can practice yoga with strength in a relaxed manner. We may do this by feeling our body relax its weight into the ground while the surrounding atmosphere equally supports its levity. This balance within our relationship to space and gravity is called Yielding. Resistance to gravity creates rigidity. In contrast, we can feel overtaken and defeated by gravitational force. This physical struggle is reflected in our internal state. By yielding, we neither brace or harden against experience nor give up. Yielding is a meta concept that defines how we enter a room and conversation, or relate to others and our environment. When we successfully negotiate our relationship to the earth, there is equanimity of effort and ease in our Body-Mind that effects the whole of our life experience.
PATHWAYS OF CONNECTIVITY.
Feeling free within our Body-Mind is one of the strongest tools of yoga practice. The practice is one of listening to inner wisdom and creating circumstances that support harmony. This process begins during infancy, when we develop a series of movements that support healthy growth. Gaining fluency in each movement creates the foundation for ease in more complex movements to come. Oftentimes these developmental patterns become hindered, and blockages form in our body that remain as we get older. We can re-explore passageways of our own growth when given the right opportunity. Similarly, when we free contractions in the mind, we can feel greater ease of movement. In other words, conditions of connectivity can be created. Freeing these channels is the foundation of many ancient energy based healing art systems including Traditional Thai Yoga Massage.
ARTICULATION AND INTEGRATION.
Developing awareness of our entire Body, and also the more subtle systems that comprise our Body such as bones, glands or organs, allows us to establish new patterns for experience. Articulation allows us to familiarize ourselves with the different systems that make up who we are. As we explore each layer of our Body, we must then reconnect it to the bigger picture. Integration gives time and space for those parts to interact. We can bring this skill of observing our parts in connection to our Whole to each aspect of life. We can deepen reflection of how our present beliefs, movements, thoughts, or attitude support presence within our True Self. We can also identify areas that are in shadow and are thwarting access to overall ease and strength. We have the opportunity to analyze our development, in order to support the greater whole of our life.
FLOW IS A STREAMING OF MOMENT TO MOMENT CONSCIOUSNESS.
The ultimate aim of yoga practice is to be fully present in the here and now. This is our birthright. Yet constant focus on the past or a preconceived future often obstructs this aim. When we observe how we scatter between the past and future, we can create a safe space for those aspects of our self to release. We can then experience an uninterrupted continuation, or Flow, of thoughts, feelings and movement from one moment to the next. Living in a state of flow gives us the ability to fully arrive in this moment, and the next, and so on with presence-awareness. As we deepen understanding of our Body, presence of our awakened being has even more capacity to occur. This ultimate streamline of consciousness is the constant, clear expression of our being from poses to pose, moment to moment, and breath to breath.
Tenets that anchor the Embodied Flow laboratory include:
1. Embodiment – We want to sense, feel, and gain mastery over this tangible form that is our vehicle for awareness.
2. Meditation in action – We seek to make a bridge between meditation and motion and we call that bridge flow. We see flow as moment to moment presence: pouring yourself moment to moment into the action that you are doing. We hold the inquiry what is Samadhi (the deep meditative state) in action?
3. The individual is a part of the collective -We recognize the individual self as a part of the continuum of life; once the individual self is fully embodied it seeks an ever deeper relationship to ever widening circles of relationship to the “outer self”
4. Community – Awakening doesn’t happen in a vacuum; by networking our “Self” to individuals that are also embodied we create a group mind that facilitates cognitive collateral. Further we see the components of any gathering as a uniquely assembled opportunity to discover where we are stuck and where we are in flow.
5. Resiliency – We are interested in working on our capacity to meet and be met; to show up with our full awareness intelligence and to meet incoming stimulus with stillness and peace
6. Facilitating flow – On an individual group and universal level we seek to eliminate stagnation; seeking to restore things to their essential nature and eliminate the physical mental and emotional obstacles that keep us from flow using our curiosity and intuition to guide discovery.
The Story Of The School
In Tara’s words:
How do we to activate our entire self and bring online the totality of being? The search for freedom has always been part of my personal dance: Over the last 30 years I looked to philosophy, psychology, dance, religion. I read, traveled, journaled, fell apart. The first big step towards the path of unity for me, was the discovery of the world of yoga; the second, was the world of meditation. Though these two disciplines overlap and influence each other I still felt their intersection missing an essential link. After teaching the two for many years and looking for the missing link, an associate told me, ‘Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is the bridge between meditation and movement’ and introduced me to the world of Body-Mind Centering®. This opening to the embodiment practices revolutionized my living experience and put me on a search for how to most efficiently bring this living experience to the most people.
In 2012, I met Scott Lyons at a BMC® training. Scott’s background—extensive, graduate-level experience in dance and teaching theater arts at NYU; neuropsychophysiology research as a PhD candidate; practice in somatic systems; and as a master innovator of body-mind medicine—was a natural fit for my interest of how to more effectively bring forth the meditative state into movement. Together we felt practitioners would uncover more in a system that allowed for the collective curiosity with the vision of discovery.
The result is Embodied Flow, a yoga practice that integrates the biomechanics and alignment of hatha yoga with the background with the philosophy of Tantra, embodiment practices inspired by Cohen, movement explorations informed by somatic psychology, and numerous other modalities that inform both of our living experiences.
Together we are dedicated to creating an experience of unity and discovering what potentially stagnates our natural conditions of flow. Our mutual drive and desire is for this movement to facilitate awakening and wellbeing.
Welcome to this laboratory of experience.
In Scott’s Words:
Many years ago when I was struggling with the choice of ending my career as a performer, I asked a dear friend “how would I know if this is what I’m meant to be doing?” She responded with, “when you wake up every morning and despite the aches and pains -you have a sense of this is why you’re waking up”.
A long journey of finding a sense of meaning and purpose began that day. Several years later a young woman, who was struggling with her existence in this world, asked me “what breaks your heart?”. At the time, I knew there was a link between understanding what breaks my heart and a sense of purpose, and so I sat with this question daily for three years. Within those years, there was a process of re-remembering what it was to feel my heart in order listen closely enough to know what breaks it. What emerged was an incredible felt experience of this organ existing inside of me- and from this felt sense of my heart I was able to discern what breaks it.
What breaks my heart is that there are people in this world that feel alone, separate, stigmatized, un-met, un-seen, and have not been offered the time and space (or it hasn’t been safe enough) to experience their deepest sense of self, and how the self is in relation to everything and everyone else that’s exploring the same recognition of their existence.
This has deeply influenced my passion in the creation of Embodied Flow. What I have witnessed from many years in collaboration with Tara is that as we reconnect with the subtleties of experiences and sensations within our own bodies as well as with the interactions of nature and other beings, the sense of disconnection and “otherness” begins to dissolve. The result, is an experience of inherent connectedness. Thus it is one of our deepest visions to lay the groundwork and be the support for this path of connectivity, unity, and vitality.
From our roots in yoga, somatic movement practices, philosophical technologies, psychology, among other traditions of mindfulness and awakening, we have filtered and amplified countless techniques and strategies to evoke an enlivening through the agency of our own body-mind for each person’s potential healing and transformation.
We welcome you with open arms along this journey of a life fully lived.
Our deepest gratitude to all the teachers who came before us and the modalities of transformation that emerged from their dedication. We bow to and acknowledge our deepest influences including:
Anusara Yoga®, Body-Mind Centering®, Somatic Experiencing®, Contact Improvisation, Theater and Dance, Martial Arts, Laban Movement Analysis, Feldenkrais Method®, Linklater Voice Technique, Viewpoints, Bartenieff fundamentals, Alexander Technique, Somatic Psychology, non-dualistic tantric philosophy (Kashmir Shaivism),transpersonal spiritual and personal inquiry, Buddhism, meditation, pranayama, mantra, kirtan, satsang, and all of our students.