Welcome to the Embodied Spirit Blog, exploring the relationships between somatic psychology, integrative spirituality, yoga, and bodywork.

My vision of an integrative spirituality honors both scientific data and transcendental models for understanding “reality”, recognizing the benefits and dangers of each approach.  My work is deeply grounded in the body as an expression of the soul.  In ancient Greek, soma was the word for “body”, psyche was the word for “spirit” and logos meant “to study”; the emerging field of somatic psychology can be thus poetically interpreted to mean “the study of embodied spirit.”

Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience have demonstrated how deeply connected and integrated mind and body really are, and offer stunning new potentials for human transformation through both cultivated mindfulness (meditation) and somatic practices like yoga, tai chi, and bodywork.  There is a growing cornucopia of nourishing and inspiring information in neurology which has the potential to change our individual lives and the whole world for the better.

At the same time, it is of utmost importance to recognize the limitations of science and scientific models, to avoid falling into the error of considering any model, scientific or otherwise, to be a comprehensive map of reality.  Science is a human practice with very real human limits, and it can be abused as readily as spirituality and religion by those who would use scientific models to colonize, supplant, and even completely wipe out alternative world views.

Peace lies in the balance, and part of the project of this blog is to find an integration of science and spirituality in which neither one dominates the other, but rather finds a meaningful dialog through which true growth and transformation becomes possible.

I’m thrilled to welcome you – and your body – along for the ride!

Jonathan Whittle-Utter