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Somatic Yoga seems to be a trending word on socials, in magazines and in yoga and pilates studios around the world, but what does it actually mean? Is it worth the hype and why the seemingly sudden explosion of the Somatic approach? Let's explore a little further into what Somatic's is and how it can help us in our own daily practice or healing journey. 

In today's fast-paced world, where stress and tension seem to be constant companions, finding avenues for healing and relaxation is paramount. One such avenue that has gained considerable attention in recent years is Somatic Yoga. This unique approach to yoga focuses on the body connection, helping individuals release tension, alleviate pain, and foster overall well-being. 

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “the body keeps the score,” you may be familiar with somatic therapy already, this is the inspiration behind Somatic Yoga, though working with a therapist is always advised for those with PTSD or deeper emotional releases. 

Let's start with the word 'Somatic' used as a alternative therapy: the word Somatic relating to the body as opposed to the mind: Healing through the felt sense. Somatic Therapy is a body-felt practice working with a therapist to release deep rooted traumas, using the body to ease and help surface and communicate with those feelings within the body, it can be highly effective for the individual.  Especially for us Brits who might culturally find it harder to talk emotions and tend to store and bury feelings from an early age within the body, the 'just get on with it' mentality... grief, stress, sadness, hurt, these are all very difficult feelings to talk about, whether it's a registered pain, an event that may be difficult to feel, or a long buried emotion from pre-verbal experiences of childhood or trauma that caused pain or upset in the body.

"Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside us in the absence of an empathetic witness."  Peter Levine

Typical talk therapies such as CBT engage only the mind, not the body,  encouraging people to become aware of disturbing thoughts and behaviour patterns and work to change them. But in somatic therapy, the body is the starting point to achieve healing.

This form of therapy cultivates an awareness of bodily sensations, and teaches people to feel safe in their bodies while exploring thoughts, emotions, and memories. Like meditation can bring focus to certain feelings to the surface, Mindfulness meditation lets any feeling or emotion come into our minds without judgment, as opposed to homing in specifically on bodily sensations that are happening. 

Mental health issues that somatic therapy is used for include:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Stress

Physically, somatic therapy may assist with:

  • Chronic pain
  • Digestive disorders
  • Sexual dysfunction

Because of its focuses on grounding and mindfulness, this therapy can be an effective option for anyone looking to get more in touch with themselves and their experiences in life. To feel more at ease with their body even, to connect the mind and body as one, quite often the mind and body can split as a coping mechanism and somatic therapy works to communicate with the body deeply and your reactions within it. 


A somatic therapist helps people release damaging, pent-up emotions in their body by using various mind-body techniques, helping you to work through these emotions. These can vary widely, ranging from acupressure and hypnosis to breathwork and dance. All can be highly effective and working one-to-one is the safest and most effective way, using the below techniques to work through emotions that might be negatively effecting your body and your health. 

Some of the techniques somatic therapists often use include:

  • Body awareness: This technique teaches an individual to recognize tension within the body and to evoke calming thoughts.
  • Titration: A therapist guides an individual through a traumatic memory while noting and addressing physical sensations.
  • Pendulation: This approach guides an individual from a relaxed state to emotions associated with trauma and back to relaxation.
  • Resourcing: A therapist helps an individual recall people and places associated with feelings of safety.

What is Somatic Yoga?

Somatic Yoga is a mindful movement practice that combines elements of yoga, somatic movement, and mindfulness techniques to connect to the body on a deeper level and using movement to release pent up emotions and feel deeper the body connection to movement, like a dancer or an artist (we know) releases emotionally when they practice their creativity and soulful art. Unlike traditional yoga, which often emphasises external alignment and holding asana poses in the correct series, Somatic Yoga places a greater emphasis on internal awareness, sensation, and the release of muscular tension. The practice involves slow, gentle movements performed with awareness and focused attention on the body's sensations.You can develop your own somatic practice, following on and complimenting other therapy sessions or work closely with your Somatic Movement Therapist for your own safe release. Somatic Yoga is the movement work behind the therapy and can help to open the body, connect deeper to the emotions and feelings deep within us to help - with your therapist - to release deeply trapped emotions or stresses. 

At the core of Somatic Yoga is the concept of "somatics," which refers to the internal perception and experience of the body. By tuning into these internal sensations, practitioners can cultivate a deeper understanding of their bodies and facilitate the release of tension and stress held within the muscles and connective tissues.


How Somatic Movement Can Aid in Healing:

Somatic Yoga offers a range of benefits that can support healing on physical, emotional, and psychological levels. Here are some ways in which Somatic Yoga can be helpful in your journey to healing:

1. Release of Tension: Through gentle, mindful movements and breathwork, Somatic Yoga helps release tension and tightness held within the body. By targeting areas of chronic tension, such as the neck, shoulders, and lower back, practitioners can experience relief from physical discomfort and pain.

2. Improved Body Awareness: Somatic Yoga cultivates greater body awareness, allowing individuals to tune into subtle sensations and signals from the body. This heightened awareness can help identify areas of imbalance or dysfunction and empower individuals to take proactive steps toward healing and self-care.

3. Stress Reduction: The mindful approach of Somatic Yoga promotes relaxation and stress reduction. By engaging in slow, rhythmic movements and conscious breathing, practitioners activate the body's relaxation response, counteracting the effects of chronic stress and promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

4. Enhanced Mind-Body Connection: Somatic Yoga facilitates a deeper connection between the mind and body, promoting integration and harmony. By bringing attention to the present moment and cultivating mindfulness, practitioners can develop a greater sense of wholeness and alignment within themselves


Our lovely friend Lindsay Jay teaches her Flow Dance Meditation technique on you tube and also at Yoga Fit Retreats which run year round in Ibiza. Dancing is a great way to release tensions and emotions, if you like to be led in this path - try out her guided flow dances, they are really fun and a great way to release! 


Where to Find Information and Resources:

If you're interested in exploring Somatic Yoga further, there are various resources available to help you begin your journey:

1. Books: There are several books available on Somatic Yoga and somatic movement practices that provide in-depth explanations, guidance, and exercises to support your practice. Some recommended titles include "Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health" by Thomas Hanna and "The Genius of Flexibility: The Smart Way to Stretch and Strengthen Your Body" by Bob Cooley.

2. Online Courses and Workshops: Many yoga studios and wellness centers offer online courses and workshops on Somatic Yoga. These courses typically include instructional videos, guided practices, and educational materials to support your learning and practice.

3. Certified Therapists and Instructors: Consider seeking guidance from a certified Somatic instructor who can provide personalised instruction and support. Many yoga teachers and movement therapists specialise in Somatics and offer classes, workshops, and private sessions tailored to individual needs.

Our dearest friend Liz Wong from Somatic Wellness in Surrey is a truly gifted therapist and facilitor 'Using Somatic Therapy I will help you settle your nervous system and bring resolution to the parts of you that weren’t seen nor heard, and that have found ways to keep you safe because it was necessary in the past but no longer serve you now. I offer you what you didn’t receive in times of strife, the other, who witnesses and supports you, reminding you that you are not your trauma.' 


Somatics can unlock deeply seated emotions within the body, if you have suffered from PTSD it is always best to start your journey with a professional therapist. 

4. Online Communities: Joining online communities and forums dedicated to Somatic Yoga can provide valuable support, inspiration, and resources. These communities often offer discussions, Q&A sessions, and sharing of experiences to help deepen your understanding and practice of Somatic Yoga. We are always available to chat through or guide you where to look for your own teachers online and in real life! Say hi - Contact Us 


Somatic Yoga offers a gentle yet powerful approach to healing and well-being, focusing on the integration of mind, body, and spirit. By cultivating greater awareness, releasing tension, and fostering mindfulness, Somatic Yoga can support individuals on their journey toward healing and self-discovery. Whether you're dealing with physical discomfort, chronic stress, or simply seeking a deeper connection with yourself, Somatic Yoga holds the potential to transform your relationship with your body and cultivate a greater sense of balance and vitality in your life. 

Journal the effects somatic yoga has on your mind and body after each session, if you feel very positive about your experience it may be a good idea to seek out a yoga teacher that can guide you further into this amazing practice of connection. 

Benefits of a session:

- Regulated Nervous System so you can come out of Stress/Fight/Flight, into Rest/Repair

- Relaxed and settling for body and mind

- Reduced tension 

- More capacity for the day ahead

- More grounded and sense of self

- Present, being in the now

- Less foggy-minded

See if you had a similar effect and do let us know if you enjoy Somatic Yoga or Somatic Movement Therapy and what your thoughts are on the practice below! Let's discuss! 

Wishing you release, calm and peace to your mind and body to let go of what no longer serves you and move forward and connect to the body you have been gifted to know it, move with it and release your past, embrace the present and smile with knowing of the future, grounded in your body right now. 


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Awakening /əˈweɪkənɪŋ/

Becoming for the first time (I). Coming into existence or awareness.

Transcend the ordinary, finite sense of self to encompass a wider, infinite sense of truth or reality.

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