What is Somatic Yoga?
The term Somatic means ‘from the experience of the body’ or and refers to us experiencing from the physical level as opposed to abstract thinking of the mind or from the appearance of external form .
Whilst we might think that all Yoga is ‘of the body’, all too often the focus has become about achieving a pose – an external image that we may have seen on the front of a glossy magazine. If we’re not aware, we might find ourselves going through the motions of the routine, making shapes, stuck in the ‘tyrants castle’ of thinking!
In somatic yoga we use practices to cultivate a deep inner awareness that absorbs attention in the felt sense of your body and helps postures grow intelligently from the inside out.
As we do this we invite a curiosity … ‘how is my body organising (or disorganising) itself in this pose? We have an opportunity to change deep habit patterns – physical and mental – to bring about transformation on and off the mat.
Why might I benefit from this approach?
There are many reasons why a Somatic approach to practice might be for you;
For more seasoned practitioners the practice allows time and space for a deeper enquiry whilst offering those new to yoga to establish firm foundations of practice. The class moves at a relaxed pace and the teaching style inclusive as instructions are layered in, moving from simple towards more complex postures. Each student is encouraged to listen to the inner cues of sensation and breath to balance effort and ease in their practice.
If you carry an injury or the pain of ‘stuck stress’ somewhere in your body, Somatic yoga may allow you to uncover the tightness and tensions which are often the root cause.
If you’re someone who ‘lives in your head’, whether that’s in an overly busy or sedentary life – this practice could help you cultivate the skills to be more present, refreshed and revived by your Yoga.
Do classes include breathing and meditation practice?
Over my years of teaching yoga I have come to recognise that almost all of us have tight,restricted breathing patterns! We live in stressful times, so I guess this should be of no surprise, and yet few of us are aware of how tight breathing patterns effect our health.
The Yogis of times past fully understood that breath is central to physical and psychological well-being.
Whilst Yoga is known for breath control practices, my passion is to help people uncover the relaxed breathing pattern that we all had as baby’s and children. Our Somatic yoga practice will gradually help release the tensions in the diaphragm and chest that restrict full, deep natural breathing.
This alone is a precious gift for physical, emotional and mental well-being and becomes the basis for our meditations.
I hope that I have made you curious enough to come along and try a class! If you have any questions, do please get in touch.