Bodyfulness (Book Review)

Bodyfulness: Somatic Practices for Presence, Empowerment and Waking Up in This Life by Christine Caldwell

Reviewed By Jacob Kyle

Christine Caldwell’s latest book, Bodyfulness: Somatic Practices for Presence, Empowerment and Waking Up in This Life, pushes back against the current mindfulness craze in the name of “bodyfulness,” a contemplative principle that focuses on attunement to one’s lived experience of the body. She offers this as an antidote to mindfulness because, as Caldwell argues, mindfulness “cannot avoid reaffirming the cultural bias that mind is superior to body” (Caldwell, ix).  

The book is structured in three parts: (1) The Body of Bodyfulness, (2) Bodyfulness Practice: Presencing Bodyfulness and (3) Bodyful Applications and Actions. 

In the first section, Caldwell unpacks the eight principles of bodyfulness: oscillation, balance, feedback loops, energy conservation, discipline, change and challenge, contrast through novelty, and associations and emotions. If any of these principles sound abstract, not to worry – throughout the book, Caldwell weaves in practices designed to aid in an experiential encounter with the concepts she introduces, making this book an intellectually engaging and  deeply practical manual. 

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