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In this episode, Dr. Rachel Allyn, a holistic psychologist, and pleasure expert, walks me through the concept of “bodyfullness.” Sharing some personal experiences, she talks about how embodied mindfulness can help us heal our traumas, reclaim our right to healthy pleasures, and inspire heartfelt human connection. 

What is bodyfullness? 

Bodyfullness is the ability to use connection and movement and physical awareness, in addition to paying attention to our thoughts and feelings, to really open up to pleasure. It also recognizes the ways that trauma lives in our body but goes to the next step of owning our rights to life’s pleasures and giving ourselves mental permission to enjoy, especially in a world where pleasure has been labelled a dirty word. 

How does the practice of bodyfullness tap into our capacity for healing and connection? 

Bodyfullness is moving away from the notion that feeling good in our body is bad and should be repressed. In fact, reverence for our body is the portal to opening up to different types of pleasure. When we open up to pleasure just within our own self, we connect more to others, and it helps us to open up to intimacy and relationships, be it sexual or platonic. 

How do we overcome some barriers to bodyfullness such as self-acceptance and body image issues? 

Dr. Allyn believes that part of the system we’ve been raised in is the epidemic of disembodiment, and that we should start an inner revolution about our bodies. bodyfullness is not just loving our body, but also embracing pain and discomfort especially when we override our body’s messages. We should all take time to listen to the language of the body and put it into balance. 

Four essential and overlooked types of pleasure 

Dr. Allyn discusses the four types of pleasure, underscoring the need to embrace all of life’s pleasures, because we all deserve to experience every single one. She talks about sensual pleasure, playful and creative pleasure, flow states, and erotic and sexual pleasure. Embracing pleasures does not mean running away from pain. Rather, it helps us tolerate and regulate pain, and keeps us grounded and honest about ourselves in dealing with emotions. 

How do people expand their pleasure and how do they share it with others? 

Dr. Allyn suggests slowing down and giving the body permission to rest. We need to start with ourselves before moving into engaging with others and bringing in somebody else to share in our pleasures. We need to own our right to pleasures first to effectively share and open up to what others might want for pleasures. Ultimately, it is a process of give and take. 

The Pleasure Is All Yours: Reclaim Your Body’s Bliss and Reignite Your Passion for Life 

In her book, Dr. Allyn gives light to people feeling stagnant coming out of the pandemic. She hopes that her book can reignite the power of inner connection to our bodies in order to connect to others on a deeper level. The negative feelings that we experience during these trying times are all part of a natural reaction to our collective trauma. Self-compassion, patience and support from others is key. 

Biography: 

RACHEL ALLYN, PHD is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified yoga instructor, public speaker, and relationship columnist. She is the founder of YogaPsych, PLLC, a psychotherapy practice for adults that blends Western medicine with Eastern philosophy and connects the mind with the body. She has been in private practice for almost fifteen years working with individuals and couples dealing with sexuality, intimacy, and relationship problems as well as trauma, depression, anxiety, and loss. She’s been quoted in books and magazines including Yoga Journal, Women’s Health, Outside, Good Housekeeping, and Cosmopolitan. 

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James Hamilton Healy

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