Somatic Yoga - what is it and how does it help with chronic illness?

Somatic Yoga - what is it and how does it help with chronic illness?

 Somatic Yoga is about body-mind integration. 

This Neuro-muscular approach helps retrain the brain and nervous system to release chronically held tension patterns. Small, gentle movements are used to re-educate the brain so that it can relax and move muscles more functionally.

Origins of Somatic Yoga

The term Somatic means ‘embodied’ or ‘of the body’. Thomas Hanna developed the field of Somatics influenced by the methods of Moshe Feldenkrais and others. In the 1970s, he and Eleanor Criswell Hanna set up the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training where he practised for many years. Hanna observed the impact of targeted mind-body exercises on individuals with musculoskeletal issues and their ability to regain control over restricted muscle movements. His findings revealed a significant correlation between the specific exercises and improvements in muscle function.

What is Somatic Yoga? 

Somatic yoga is a form of yoga that emphasizes internal physical awareness and mindfulness. It involves slow, gentle movements that help individuals release tension, improve posture, and increase flexibility. Unlike traditional yoga, somatic yoga focuses on the sensory experience of movement rather than achieving specific poses.

How Does Somatic Yoga Work?

Muscles can tighten due to various factors like development, habits, stress, injuries, and illness. Somatics retrains the neuromuscular system to address musculoskeletal issues by changing how the nervous system manages muscles and movement. It's a subtle yet powerful approach to bodywork. Understanding the intricate connection between the nervous system and musculoskeletal functions is crucial for effective bodywork.

In somatic yoga, practitioners are encouraged to move slowly and mindfully, paying attention to the sensations in their body. By moving in this way, individuals can release chronic muscle tension and improve their overall body awareness. Somatic yoga also incorporates breathing techniques to help calm the nervous system and promote relaxation.

Benefits of Somatic Yoga 

Research has shown that somatic yoga can help reduce stress, improve flexibility, and alleviate chronic pain. By focusing on the mind-body connection, somatic yoga can also help individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness and emotional well-being. In fact, studies have found that somatic yoga can be an effective tool for managing anxiety and depression.

Nourish Yoga's Somatic Yoga is certified through Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute. Shannon has adapted these practices to be suitable for bed or yoga mat. Highly adaptable and Suitable for most Spoonies.

Come as you are and enjoy the many benefits this mind-body practice can bring!

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Yes, I do have online zoom classes every Wednesday at 1 PM (EST: Toronto, Canada). I use a blend of Somatic, Therapeutic and Restorative Yoga in classes.

This Jan/23 I will also have a On-Demand Video Library where you can access specific classes for Somatics and other styles and lengths of yoga.

I have a free community class that runs every month – feel free to check it out ❤️

Nourish Therapeutic Yoga

Do you run Somatic yoga sessions? And if so what time, timezone, and days please?


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