What is Somatic Yoga? | Things You Should Know

What is Somatic Yoga?

In this post, we shall tackle what is somatic yoga. Somatic Yoga is an approach to yoga that focuses on meditation. Specifically, its objective is to increase your body-and-mind sensitivity and awareness. Through somatic realization, we begin to understand our unconscious reactions, and how they impact not only our mental and emotional well-being, but also our physical bodies.

It may be a form of healing and a way for us to become more in touch with the body, so we can think more clearly and move more consciously.

In a nutshell description, Somatic Yoga, therefore, is the empowerment of your mind to take control of your body, thus, anticipating for that purpose the achievement of the required asana as dictated by the mind to attain a better control of the self and your physical capabilities, which, as a necessary consequence, may lead to healing.

Hence, somatic yoga may be a powerful and therapeutic form of yoga that integrates the body and mind. The focus is on the asana as a pathway to the mind taking control of the body.

The asana moves out of its way for this transformative practice, thereby, liberating problems such as chronic stress, anxiety and depression, so that our bodies, minds and spirits can be held without obstruction.

Somatic Yoga works holistically, bringing awareness towards our bodies and their reactions to changing emotions and situations, hence, allowing us to find the strength to move beyond them.

It is is a combination of modern and ancient techniques that can help you decrease stress, feel more empowered and increase flexibility. Somatic yoga may have been the opposite of spiritual yoga. It is physical yoga, or what yogis call asana (the postures).

A few techniques in somatic yoga are adapted from yoga, but they are different. For example, one part of somatic yoga is an exercise called “grounding.” Grounding is a special way of moving energy through your body.

How is yoga a somatic practice?

Somatic is a term that refers to the human body. What distinguishes a somatic practice from a therapeutic one is that, in a somatic procedure, the body is the primary source of information.

A therapeutic methodology, such as physical therapy, often begins with the query about your body and how do you physically feel. The therapist, then, asks series of questions. Thereafter, he uses that information to prescribe exercises.

In the yoga tradition, meditation is the initial goal, and the exercises, or asana, are one method of achieving that goal. Yoga is a physical practice, but not in the therapeutic sense; the goal is not absolutely muscle strengthening but self-realization.

The exercises are a means of refining body awareness. The practice begins with attention to breathing and ends with consciousness of mind. This skill then becomes a springboard for the needed meditation.

What is somatic movement yoga?

Somatic movement yoga is designed to provoke a deep internal shift. It is a way of activating your innate capacity for self-healing. Similarly, it is an approach to yoga that emphasizes embodiment and awareness.

Movement is the basic form of all experience. It is how we move that differentiates us from other animals. In somatic movement yoga, we use movement as a metaphor for how we think. We explore the same as information and as a metaphor for mental processes.

We use the techniques of yoga, such as breath control, visualization, and concentration, as tools for self-awareness.

Somatic movement yoga is an approach to yoga that focuses on awareness. Yoga, as one of its facets, is about mindfulness. Yoga’s philosophy of awareness, or svadhaya [contemplation, meditation, reflection of one self],[1]Svadhaya, Wikipedia is at the heart of somatic movement yoga. Awareness is how we become mindful of ourselves and of the world around us.

The essence of somatic movement yoga, or Somatics, is to learn to pay attention to your body, and to learn to feel your body. It is, thus, an inclination to movement that can be applied to any activity.

What is somatic awareness of movement?

Somatic awareness is an attention of what is happening in the body as you are physically engaging in an activity, yoga or otherwise. It is a type of consciousness that rests on experience and on sensation. As such, it is different from reflective or intellectual attention.

It is an alertness attending to sensations that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant. Hence, somatic awareness is distinct from somatic sensations. The latter are those that arise in our bodies, that we feel in our bodies, and that may not appear in our consciousness.

In the practice of yoga, you pay attention to specific parts of your body and, through gentle movement, you allow your attention to rest in that place. Eventually you can then become aware of the sensations in that area. Afterwards, you may be able to feel the whole of your body moving as a single unit.

Is yin yoga somatic?

Yin yoga[2]Yin Yoga, Wikipedia may be a somatic yoga practice, being a series of asanas, which, in the sense, are physical movements of the body.

When we study the body and of motion, we delve on somatic. Its learning may be a way to know the therapy and specific movement, which emphasize consideration to physical action, body awareness, and learning through experience.

Yin yoga is a collection of physical practices in which the practitioner lies on the floor with a block between their knees, or against a wall, or on a massage table with their knees bent.

They relax as they breathe slowly and steadily. It concentrates on feeling their muscles relax. They notice any sensations in their muscles or joints, and any sensations anywhere in the body, and from any direction.

These are somatic practices. They were not created in a laboratory, or by some guru, but by people practicing yoga because they engage in the physical practice part of yoga.

What is a somatic technique?

Somatic technique is an awareness practice. Like all such disciplines, it has a great deal in common with meditation. In most meditation, somatic technique involves quieting your mind.

In the same vein, it will require you to stay alert on physical sensations. Unlike most meditation, however, somatic technique also asks you to pay attention to your emotions.

Somatic practices like yoga and tai chi are a kind of workout. They help us feel good. But there’s no question that they are also a kind of therapy.

The postures, the breathing, and the meditation are a mix of physical exercises and mental exercises, which together help you get in shape, relax, and concentrate.

Somatic practices came about at a time when people believed that physical pain was a disorder of the body.

When a muscle is sore, you massage it. If it’s knotted, you stretch it. And if your body is overactive, you calm it down.

That idea is still with us, in the idea that yoga or tai chi will help you relax and get rid of stress. But somatic techniques aren’t just a therapy.

They also train the body. Because your body is the instrument you use to experience the world, you naturally want to take care of it.

Your hope is that by exercising it, you’ll be able to experience more of life. You aren’t exercising it just to get healthy, but so that you can experience more of life.

Somatic techniques aren’t just exercises. They are also a kind of technology. They are recipes, which are ways to make your body do what you want it to. Nonetheless, while techniques can be taught, people learn them in different ways.

Some learn by emulating the techniques of other practitioners. Others learn by experimenting, trying out different things to see if they work.

Still others grasp by recognizing patterns in the techniques they use, thereby, using them to form new combinations. Through continuous practice, they will, in turn, lead to new combinations.

Final Thoughts

Somatic yoga, as we have discussed, is an approach to yoga that emphasizes the relationship between body and mind. Rather than attending to postures, as in a traditional practice, somatic yoga focuses on moving mindfully through the full range of human movements: running, dancing, sitting, standing, breathing, and meditating.

The human body is a complex system. It can be difficult to tell where such complex system starts and where it ends. Nevertheless, the body is so central to our lives that we take it for granted. Most of us have forgotten what it feels like to move without thinking about it.

Somatic yoga, using the abilities of the mind, offers a way of re-learning how to move, without getting caught up in either hyper-vigilance or mindlessness. Somatic yoga is not so different from a martial art. The movements are big, expressive, and three-dimensional, rather than precise, formal, and two-dimensional.

Yet, rather than developing strength, as in martial arts, somatic yoga is concerned with nurturing awareness. The emphasis is on mindfulness rather than on achieving a certain performance level.

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