Somatic yoga uses the work of Thomas Hana--Somatics-- to release tension and restore function to the body. Rather than simply stretching, somatic yoga engages your nervous system and teaches it core movement patterns that have been lost due to injury or misuse. Somatic yoga involves slow, gentle often rhythmic movements. It is the quality of how you move that matters most in this practice. Somatic yoga is appropriate for beginners yet offers deep learning and movement re-patterning for even the most advanced practitioners.
Somatic yoga saved me. Many years ago I was in a car accident and was left with persistent, chronic upper back and neck pain. I tried many therapies, but it was somatic yoga that ultimately shifted my body so that I could release the tension and pain. Somatic yoga is about retraining the nervous system. It uses the practice of pandiculation -- a very slow and complete contraction of a muscle followed by a very slow and complete release of that contraction-- to teach the nervous to release habitual tension in a given a muscle. I have studied both Somatics and Somatic Yoga and can guide you to enjoy the deep sense of ease, freedom and joy in moving that comes from this practice. Often people find that the release of habitual tension from specific muscles not only allows them a newfound freedom of (pain-free!) movement, but a clearing in the mental and emotional aspects of self as well. Somatic yoga practices feel really good.
Somatic yoga practices not only teach the nervous system to release tension, they restore basic movement patterns to the body. The body is about relationships and movement. As we breathe the body moves and there are specific movements -- contractions, elongations, releases-- of muscles that move bones, organs, and fluids in our bodies. These movements are connected. When something happens in one area it most definitely affects other areas. When movement or function is disrupted relationships and system (eventually) become disrupted and compensatory patterns take hold, often resulting in loss of function and/or pain. Somatic yoga gently unwinds the stiffness, holding, tension and just as gently restores the native patterning. Often the movements that teach this repatterning imbue a sense of ease and joy in the body.