My new classes starting in February 2018 include a ‘Nourishing Moves’ session. I sometimes find it hard to describe the approach that I’m offering as it is outside of a particular yoga lineage or style. I draw from all kinds of influences when teaching but mainly I like to focus on facilitating a ‘somatic’ experience. But what does ‘Somatic’ mean?!
The word ‘Soma’ describes the living, conscious, breathing, feeling body. So for me it’s more about how a movement feels rather than how it looks; an approach where you are working from the “inside out”. By resting attention beyond the shape of the posture, and even beyond the muscles and bones, you can also invite awareness of the organs, the fluid body, the cells, respiration and all the body systems that create sensations and support in the body. The emphasis in a somatic class is on inquiry into how it is to have a body rather than on pushing oneself to go further or do more as in cardiovascular fitness and exercise. It is a yoga practice that cultivates curiosity and mindfulness which brings attention to unconscious movement patterns and can move us toward conscious, competent and functional movements instead. In other words to bring ease of movement into every day life! All this leads to a stabalising effect in the mind too which is after all the key aim of yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras.
I have long been influenced by yoga teachers who go beyond traditional eastern practices and postures in their teaching and also draw on western somatic practices including Body Mind Centering, Feldenkreis, Thomas Hannah Somatics to name a few. One of my favourite Yoga and Somatics teachers is my Irish friend and colleague, Lisa Petersen. She has a wealth of knowledge which she imparts with incredible clarity, kindness and generosity. I just wish she came to New Zealand more often! Here she is explaining what ‘Somatics’ means for her with particular explanation of Thomas Hannah Somatics.
I do hope you will join me for ‘Nourishing Moves’ on a Thursday morning starting on 15th February. classes page here:
One of the class attendees from last year attending my movement classes said :
“I have developed a positive attitude about what my body can and can’t do, I give no consideration to the others in our class as I feel totally happy just working within my own mind and body”
“It amazes me how different I feel from when I arrive in class to when I leave!”
If you are interested in finding out more about the mix of Yoga and Somatics read this article:
Namaste, Sam x