Principle #2 of Joyful Movement: Embrace Embodiment | Mindfulness Tips

by | Feb 6, 2023

It’s time to recognize the power of your body and reclaim a more joyful relationship with movement. To embrace embodiment is to come home to yourself, and learning to be in and with your body, and choosing movement that nourishes the whole self. We are more than our physical bodies; we also have our mental bodies, our emotional bodies, and our spiritual bodies. Being grounded in this awareness will create space for mindfulness. 

In this blog, I will explain how you can reconnect to all the parts of you through mindfulness and share tips on how to engage with exercise in a way that actually empowers you and leaves you feeling content, accomplished, and wanting more.

Prefer to listen?  Hop on over to The Joyful Movement Show and listen to this podcast episode.

The Four Bodies-Nourish the Whole Self

If you haven’t already, I recommend going back and reading the previous post in this series on Principle #1 of Joyful Movement: Rejecting the Diet Mentality. This is key because while I’m sharing Mindfulness Tips to embrace embodiment, we need to recognize the role diet culture has played in our relationship with movement and our body. Diet Culture messages about exercise are actually so demotivating because punishing yourself with exercise or restrictive eating is a violation of your mental, spiritual, and emotional bodies. The reason you give up on or avoid exercise is because those other three bodies are screaming for some love and attention. Diet culture has us believing that there’s only one way we should all look and fitting in or feeling like you belong means doing everything you can to achieve this ideal.

Sadly, many of us start to believe that our physical bodies are all we have and that the beauty standards set by society define our value. As a result, it’s easy to become trapped in an exhausting cycle of restriction and punishment despite knowing this isn’t sustainable over time. Our minds quickly fill with self-shame because they don’t fit into these unrealistic ideals – which is extremely damaging due to how deeply shame penetrates when anyone fears their sense of belonging or acceptance may be at risk. We must not forget that having a deep need for connection is something integral within each one of us; but because of the shame and hatred, we feel for our bodies, we in effect cut ourselves off from our other three bodies.

Despite the enormous mental, spiritual, and emotional needs we have as individuals all too often our focus on our outward appearance causes a need to cope with our dissatisfactions of ourselves. One way this is done is through dissociation- a complete disconnection from our four bodies. Unfortunately for 91% of women today dissatisfaction and dissociation is a normal reaction- almost like living alongside someone that you deeply despise! So, we focus only on actions that we can take in order to reach a place of self-acceptance in the form of body conformity and completely ignore the other parts of us that make us whole.

Principle 2 of Joyful Movement is to Embrace Embodiment. Movement Mindset tips in this blog post

You can’t create a body you love through hateful action.

Here is the thing, you can’t create a body you love through hateful action. Even if you have lost weight before I can guarantee that it didn’t result in you loving your body. If it did, you’d have maintained it. Just like you can’t create a loving relationship with your partner by nagging and controlling them, you can’t create a body you approve of through restriction and punishment. Also just like you can’t flip a switch and decide to love someone you despise, you can’t just decide to love your body either. While I support the body-positive movement, it sets the bar a little too high for most of us. It is just not possible for most women who’ve spent their life hating their body, to suddenly start loving it. The gap is too large.

Principle 2 of Joyful Movement is to Embrace Embodiment. Movement Mindset tips in this blog post

Body Neutrality Helps Embrace Embodiment

Between body hatred and body love is body neutrality. Body neutrality is a foundation for an empowering relationship with ourselves. It involves shifting away from viewing the body as something that needs to fit certain standards to be accepted and instead looking at it as a precious vessel through which we get to experience life’s journey. Caring for all parts of ourselves helps us live more fully – expressing gratitude and appreciation for what your body can do allows you to step into acceptance no matter how perfect or imperfect it may appear. That brings me full circle back to the concept of embodiment and the mindfulness tips that help. 


Embodiment, or being in your body, is the ticket to body acceptance. And it’s the key to getting yourself off this roller coaster relationship that you have with exercise and dieting, reconnecting to all the parts of your body and choosing to eat and move in such a way that nourishes all of you and makes you feel connected, empowered, nourished, and whole. That’s what’s gonna motivate you to keep coming back for more. 

Mindfulness Tips begin the process of Embodiment

Have an Awareness of Our Four Bodies

Our four bodies include physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Being in tune with all the parts of your four bodies requires spending time connecting to your body and noticing how we feel moment to moment so that you can make the most respectful choice for yourself.

Practice Body Neutrality

When you hear yourself hating on your body, try and catch it and replace the mean thought with appreciation or gratitude. Affirmations can be really helpful for this.

Befriend Your Body

Consider ways that you can nurture your relationship with yourself. Choose to treat your body with respect when you’re exercising or you’re eating. Think about what you enjoy doing. What fills your cup, where do you most feel like you belong, and what makes you feel strong and empowered say yes to things that nourish you and no to anything that feels like punishment.

Practice Being in Your Body

Feeling connected to your body is a key component of living and exercising with intention. For example, when I’m teaching my fitness classes, we start off by intentionally checking in with ourselves through mindful body scans and breathwork before transitioning into some gentle mobility exercises. This allows us to tap into how our bodies are feeling each day and set an intention for our workout session ahead of time. If this isn’t something you’ve done before, taking the time every day – even if just for a few moments – helps build that embodied consciousness over time so it becomes more natural when making decisions throughout daily life too!

Principle 2 of Joyful Movement is to Embrace Embodiment. Movement Mindset tips in this blog post

Creating a healthy relationship with our body, food, and movement is possible. Learning to embrace embodiment with these mindfulness tips will allow you to find joy in movement.

If you’re having trouble applying these principles or would like to learn more about how I can help you achieve joyful movement in your life, contact me today. Transform your relationship with your body and exercise – the first step is making the decision to try something new.

Keep an eye out for my future posts about the rest of the Principles of Joyful Movement.