The difficult thing about working with both embodiment and form is that when students get caught up in imitating a form or become preoccupied with doing it perfectly, or (and even worse) in our Western culture, compete to be the BEST at the form, then they lose the practice of being conscious from the inside out. When I speak about form here, I am specifically thinking about yoga and dance. Other forms can apply as well of course.
I do believe that yoga can be a vehicle for embodiment, if practiced consciously and instructed consciously. I do believe that pacing has everything to do with it, as students really need time to go in - to be with the muscle, the bone, the tendons, the breath, the skin. If students aren’t able to sink in, to let go of thinking about sinking in but rather just be in the pure experience of sinking, then I believe yoga can do it.
I prefer a format like Anna Halprin’s Movement Ritual, though that is not the only way to go in (see Vipassana meditation for example - though this is a non-movement based practice, other than watching the movement of the breath). In this practice, students are given plenty of time, and plenty of guidance, to really explore the inside of their bodies, from an anatomical perspective. Many of the sequences involve least effort - truly letting go and allowing gravity to do the work. It is relaxing, resetting, easy, and natural. At times effort is involved, sure. But in the beginning, it is like movement after savasana. Delicious. You would be amazed at how difficult this is for people - for everyone - including dancers! We are so used to holding ourselves up, to efforting everything on our own in this world, to being strong, to muscle through it. But we don’t have to. We can work with the forces of gravity in a slow and conscious way, not anticipating the next movement but rather letting the movement move us. It becomes a lived spiritual practice where we learn to live in concert with ‘the universe’ (for lack of better terminology), or lets just say in concert with nature and our living environment. When we can allow our cells to truly open and expand and breathe, we let in more of the world, and its intelligence, to guide us in life. It is truly humbling and awe inspiring to do this simple practice, and then watch your whole life change.