M-Bodied: Using Mindful Movement to Heal How You Dance with Food

So, how do you dance with food? Check out these examples:

o   Do you smell, lean in, chew slowly, pause and wait for a cue for more?

o   Do you twist your head “no” at the offer of a rich bite but secretly eat alone at home?

o   Do you ever feel like you can’t get enough, you could swallow the dance of food all night and day?

o   Do you pick all day or rearrange your plate without allowing yourself a clear start and stop?

o   Do you perfect, plan and calculate so much that you’ve forgotten how delicious flexibility and spontaneity taste?

o   Do you allow yourself to feel pleasure and energy when eating regular meals?

o   Do you taste test food trends and drop it like it’s hot once a more promising plan hits the newsstands?

o   Do you feel guilty or “bad” for partnering with certain (food) edibles?  Example: I'm so bad for eating that cake!

o   Do you skimp all day so you can rave – in the form of indulgence – all night at that party?

o   Do you feel like you have the proverbial two left feet in the form of foggy/absent belly cues or an overzealous appetite that stems more from your heart than belly?

o   Do you feel a push-pull inside of you – one that wants to be deeply nourished emotionally, one that wants to control or bury herself with food rituals?

o   Do you feel stuck, unable to catch a fuller breath, much less a healthy relationship with food?

o   Do you feel like this is how you’ve danced for so long, why try to change, or who would understand?

 

When we practice witnessing all the patterns – the feeling stuck, the feast and famine tug-of-wars, the twists and turns of restriction and binging – we can become more aware of our unique dance with food, on and off the plate. We notice how we play with our food, then we notice more. Like With whom? Where? When? Why? How much? Then we notice our body. We notice being stuck on one side of the room but having an inkling of a feeling – a felt sense – of wanting to leap or sashay to the other side, of wanting to bite into something richer besides food, eating or body issues. But how? How do we dance with food in a healthier way when don’t have the skills, support, confidence or guidance?

Much of healing our dance with food takes us way back to when we were babies. Even though we all have different histories of caregiving, the practice of repairing our relationship to nourishment starts with the basics:

o   the need/drive/desire to receive,

o   utilizing all 6 senses, and

o   a system of support for containment during this exploratory journey.

This “healing our dance with food” metaphor parallels a movement practice I offer called M-Bodied that uses embodiment – along with a blend of evidence-based theoretical techniques – to re-pattern, repair and reconnect with a deeper sense of nourishment literally and figuratively.

M-Bodied uses mindful movement from a mothering approach. We practice mothering ourselves, using the re-connection with the body, the earth and the therapeutic container of support to attune ourselves to something greater and wiser for feeding, healing and expanding in a sustainable way. To repair our relationship to nourishment and reconnect with the body in an embodied way, M-Bodied uses body-based techniques and mindful movement to mirror, practice and re-pattern the basics of a relationship to sustainable nourishment:

Basics of a Relationship to Sustainable Nourishment

1) need/drive/desire to receive

2) utilizes all 6 senses (sight, taste, touch, sound, smell, intuition)

3) system of support for containment

 

M-Bodied: Reconnecting with Mindful Movement

1) yoga as gateway to body awareness/connection

2) movement meditation metaphors using rhythms, cycles, images, dreams, body-based writing

3) therapeutic group, Body, Earth

 

In other words, M-Bodied offers the following:

a)      Basic yoga postures and practices serve as a framework to invite the body into the healing journey.

b)      Creative movement metaphors intertwine with a blend of cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness theoretical approaches to offer a top-down and bottom-up therapeutic approach.

c)       The individual and collective witnessing of the group and therapist as well as the relationship between the body and the earth serve as a system of support for containment and growth.

 

Stay tuned for details about a new M-Bodied group being offered soon in Decatur! Feel free to write me with questions.

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