Embodied Yoga AKA Life Leadership Yoga – by Mark Walsh

– Yoga as education and playground, because long hamstrings and breathy voices don’t help much

– Not your momma’s yoga, not your great Indian grandmama’s yoga, not that skinny girl from the magazine’s yoga. Modern depth yoga for real life.

This is a holding page for the embodied yoga project to provide basic information to those interested in its development ahead of the main launch in early 2016.


Embodied yoga is a new way of doing yoga that emphasises transfer to life “off the mat”, self-awareness and incorporating other embodied practices such as martial arts, dance, bodywork, improv and body therapy. Its purpose is primarily educational/ personal development not just physical health, relaxation, the body beautiful or esoteric Eastern spirituality. It is a Western “depth” yoga. It can also simply be a set of tools for existing yoga styles.

Features of Embodied Yoga:

– a mindfulness based, psychologically deep, rational Western approach

– an individually adapted, social, self-directed educational and creative approach

– an emphasis on insight into how you are leading your life and practical ways to change that through the body

– transferable skills for life (not a short holiday from life that actually supports unhealthy patterns by making them tolerable)

– integration of emotions, language, social interaction and technology (rather than pretending feelings, other people and the modern world, don’t exist)

– influence from other body art traditions such as dance, body therapy and martial arts

– socially radical, working with the politicised body (rather than elitist and supportive of the status quo and repressive body ideologies)

– humour (namaste bitches)

Read the previous Integral Embodied Yoga article here.



I wanted to bring the embodiment work to many people in an accessible way (not too weird or too expensive) and yoga is the perfect vehicle for that. The disembodied world we live in desperately needs a scaleable body wisdom practice. I had also seen how wider embodied practices helped and informed traditional yoga which is beautiful but like all arts has certain cultural and historical biases.



Embodied Yoga is being founded by myself but my colleague Sindre is involved as well as many yoga teacher friends who are part of the dialogue. It’s been quite a conversation already and embodiment students in about ten countries have been happy Guiana pugs! We are not aligned to any particular style as a group and are creating a non-denominational community of practice and support.



If you want to get sweaty, we’re not for you. If you want a holiday from reality we’re not for you. If you want to put your feet behind your ears and tie yourself in knots or get a perfect body like that girl in the magazines we’re not for you. If you want to speak in a silly voice and pretend you’re spiritual by learning Indian words we’re not for you. If you want a body-based practice, not just for your health and hotness but also to grow as a person and learn practical skills for your life, this may well be of interest.

– There are currently experimental classes happening in Surrey, wherever I’m teaching on the road and in Oslo.

– There will be a dedicated series of classes in Brighton in Autumn. Let me know if you are intetested. Suitable for reliable, psychologically stable people only.

– There will be a demo class day Friday 24th July in Brighton. By donation. Apply by contacting me. Again only stable people as this is strong stuff close to therapy in emotional impact

– There is a by-donation intensive teacher training in Brighton 2nd, 3rd and 4th October (9am to 8pm). This is only open by invitation. Next year we will be selling a slightly longer version of this for 1.5-2K. To be invited:

– I will have seen you teach yoga and be satisfied you are technically competent and safe (we don’t teach this aspect).

– You will have tried embodiment work with me or a colleague. The next workshop in UK is July 27th in Brighton, usually £95 but by donation if serious about this

– You will have sufficient emotional maturity, life experience and ability to hold difficult emotions in a group. What we are doing is borderline therapeutic so this is much more important than in a regular yoga class. Many of those we have invited so far are already therapists or have been deeply involved in personal growth for many years. Nobody invited so far is under thirty.

– There is some pre-reading and video watching required ahead of the course (2 books and about 5 hours of video on embodiment)

– Places on the course are limited and demand is high so a firm commitment is needed.

After the course you may incorporate the principles into your own yoga or choose to run official Embodied Yoga classes – there are certain benefits to the latter and agreements regarding standards (no fees but we wish to protect the “brand” as it develops). We ask you not to teach day workshops or longer on the subject of life transfer from yoga unless you have done this previously.