Somatics helps free tight muscles that may be holding you back, depleting your energy, or causing you pain. Specific practices outlined by Thomas Hanna in his book, Somatics: Reawakening The Mind’s Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health, engage you in finding reflex patterns in the body, and reorient the body toward an ability to release held tension. This work is especially helpful if/when the body is stuck from habitual and repeated (or lack of) movement patterns. Somatics educates us on pattern recognition and muscle differentiation. When you pair this work with learning functional movement, the step-by-step process allows for a new perspective on how you ‘hold yourself up.’
Therapeutic Yoga is structured with invitations for you to find the ‘just right’ posture in the moment. In setting up stable postures, you may use props or variations on yoga positions to support the body well. Learn how to find ‘true’ range of motion in your structure, where there is genuine ease and little to no added strain on the body. It is at this edge we can grow our skill, flexibility and strength. Therapeutic methods encourage finding stabilizing postures and improve functional movement patterns. When you engage with this practice, you will find new muscular integrity and release unnecessary tension.
SomaYoga practices are designed in a way that offer new skills and the space to build better habits, learn to pay attention, and progress kindly with your whole self. As I have practiced asana in the last 10 years, it has been the refinement of the body and mind connection that has been most interesting to me. Technical cues and encouragement to feel deeper (and listen closer) for a response from the body keeps this practice new and novel, again and again. Through SomaYoga practice, I have a better sense of what it means to ‘get current’ with myself.
The ripples of body awareness have brought my mind to new ‘ah-has’ and clarity around the next ‘right’ action in service of self and others. Together we will discover the functional and interdependent relationship of our combined strength, mobility, and stability! We will use the brilliant technology of our bodies, and harness the positive affirming power of our minds.
“We are what we repeatedly do.” ~ Aristotle. You become your practice, indeed. I have felt this. Invite this experience for yourself. Attend an upcoming workshop or SomaYoga class to learn supportive practices and methods for releasing and supporting specific muscle groups for sustained relief. Feel more ease in your Soma, your “living body,” the self-sensing, internalized perception of oneself. If you are interested in a subtle and impactful exploration of the body and mind, try this experience. Reach out for more to practice.
Alison (Ali) Zuba is a Yoga Therapist in training with the International SomaYoga Institute at Yoga North in Duluth, MN. SomaYoga is a unique methodology that blends Somatics, therapeutics, and Hatha Yoga. She is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher and started her studies in 2016 with Alex Pfeiffer at The Studio in Madison, WI. The practices she offers are gentle, accessible, and suitable for any level of experience.
Ali believes that daily practice on and off the mat shapes our unique awareness of our authentic self, and benefits our health and wellness on many layers. Yoga fosters resilience and regular practice encourages balance, builds strength and greater mobility. Invite more ease into your life + practice yoga!