sensory motor somatic

What Is Somatic Yoga?

Are you curious about somatic yoga or heard of somatic movement and want to try it? Megan has been teaching somatic yoga classes and incorporating somatic movement into one-on-one yoga therapy sessions for 10 years.  Now you can join her class in person or virtually every Friday at 10:30 am CST or access them at your convenience in the On Demand library.  Have limitations or a specific goal? Schedule a yoga therapy session in person or virtually. And if you are already practicing somatics and want more, watch the fall schedule for another weekly class option.

“And now we’re suffering. Our bodies are suffering with lifestyle diseases, our minds are stressed, our spirits are confused. And our primitive, habitual responses just aren’t working. What we need is a practice, not just to alleviate our suffering, but to live the beautiful adventure we call life.”  From The Exuberant Animal, by Frank Forencich

The natural state of the human body is to be in motion. First person experience of motion is of equal importance as outside, third person observation. Somatic Yoga can change how we live, how we believe our minds and bodies interrelate; it can increase the power we hold in controlling our lives and how responsible we are in taking care of our total being.

The Body As Soma
“Soma” is the Greek word meaning “living body”.  Viewed from the outside, a human being is a body with a certain shape and size.  However, when a human being looks at him/herself from the inside, he/she is aware of feelings, movements and intentions – a very different fuller being. What an individual sees from his/her first person, living, sensing, internalize view is a soma.  To yourself you are a soma.  To another, you are a body.

The somatic viewpoint is that humans are self-aware, self-sensing and self-moving and therefore, self responsible somas who can change themselves, as well as bodily beings who are subjected to physical and organic forces.

Somatic Yoga Movements
Experiencing the body from within through the discipline of movement re-education
–  active “brain exercises”  that use the sensory motor cortex to increase brain neuroplasticity
– address the problem instead of the symptoms
– work with full body patterns that can teach a student how to be self-sufficient instead of returning for visits or medication
– most beneficial physically when the issues are a result of how we use our body; for instance mechanical back pain
– can be helpful in releasing trauma from the body; both physical and emotional.
–  reduce and potentially over time with discipline, eliminate the physiological memories of stress caused by accidents, injuries, surgeries or repetitive movements
– mentally, somatics can help separate emotional expression from thoughts, actions and symptoms
– increases and balances the life flow (Prana) in the body by dissolving pranic blockages, making it an accessible, effective practice to heal “when the issues are in the tissues”.

The majority of somatic movements are done on the floor, seated or lying down.  Fully supporting the body on the floor produces steadiness of body and mind. In most standing yoga poses and movements, the majority of the brain’s energy goes to balancing our body relative to gravity just to keep us in alignment and upright. A grounded body allows the energy of the mind to safely explore movement potential with less exertion.  The student is more likely to remain in a state of relaxation and can explore with lighthearted curiosity!

Join me in Light and Love,

Megan