As soon as we write something down as a technique or path, we lose spontaneity, and in some way lose its essence. The fact that we have clear-cut asana postures−how to enter them, perform them, and find correct alignment in the posture−does not encourage students to explore all the different movement options and patterns that are available when entering and ‘holding’ that pose. 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗽𝘂𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗼 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗱𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝗴𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗲-𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆-𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁.
When we allow the body to move in more natural and intuitive ways, we are tapping into our Body Wisdom, or somatic wisdom or even somatic intuition. This is what allows us to release tension from the inside out and process our feelings. 𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗮 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆-𝗴𝘂𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗮 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱-𝗴𝘂𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵. It’s an approach that encourages inner guidance and exploration rather than external form. This is what somatic yoga is to me.
𝗧𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗕𝗼𝗱𝘆-𝗪𝗶𝘀𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗯𝗹𝘆 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴. When we are deeply attentive to the messages and movements of the body, the mind becomes calm, the nervous system unwinds, and we become embodied. This is healing balm for those who have experienced trauma, are stressed, anxious, depressed, or burned out.
The truth is that most people today come to yoga exactly for that: to release stress, calm their minds, and increase their emotional well-being. Because when we restore inner well-being, we allow spirit to live through us.
We are in such a privileged position today that we have access to so many movement modalities and trainings. For me, working with the body and mind is a lifelong learning journey and I love how there is always more to learn.
In dance circles, they talk about ‘movement research’. 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘂𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘆. This is what unites the body and mind and helps students find a deep source of inner connectedness and well-being.
It makes the practice of yoga more:
And practicing movement this way teaches you to:
✓ Feel and respect your body
✓ Take care of your needs and boundaries
✓ That it’s ok to let go and release
✓ The strength of softness
✓ Enjoy pleasure