Gentle Somatic Yoga (GSY) is an exploration of movement that is revolutionary in its ability to improve health, wellbeing, quality of life, and personal performance.
GSY incorporates slow, mindful movements that raise bodily awareness to heal persistent tension-based patterns in the body.
The corrective exercises are called Somatic Movement Flows® , ideal for overcoming bodily pain and dramatically increasing flexibility through the healing power of brain- to-muscle awareness and re-education.
My mentor James Knight and teacher is the creator of GSY, this progressive method is the synergy of mindful movement and meditation. James is inspired by the work of Eleanor Criswell, Thomas Hanna, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Lawrence Gold and he continues to evolve through his work and teacher trainings.
The techniques known as Somatic Movement Flows, are designed for a personal exploration of the mind/body connection. This is achieved through isolating specific muscles, mindfully contracting those muscles, and then slowly releasing them until the tone of muscles return back to neutral.
The main intention with Gentle Somatic Yoga is to sense and explore the movements from within by discovering where the Sensory Motor Amnesia is and by approaching these places with a gentle curiosity.
Gentle Somatic Yoga is considered an educational process that strengthens and integrates the brain-to-muscle connection. The more you can control your muscles, the more choices you have in your body. The more choices we have, the freer we are to live a more pain-free life.
Most muscular pain is caused by Sensory Motor Amnesia and when we experience SMA the brain forgets how to relax tight and contracted muscles.
The Sensory and Motor Cortices are systems in your brain that receive information from the environment and allow us to respond accordingly through movement. For example, the sensory motor systems engage when you are learning how to play a musical instrument, ride a bicycle, and help you maintain balance when you’re about to fall. Your brain receives information (sensory) from your environment, and sends information to the muscles to deliberately move (motor).
As we age, we experience stress in various forms and we develop habits that result in storing pain and tension subconsciously. In effect, the brain forgets how to move the muscles and also forgets which muscles are contributing to the pain. In other words, with SMA, the muscles stay contracted and you feel muscular pain even when you “think” the body “should” be relaxed.
Through practices like Gentle Somatic Yoga, you can retrain the brain to notice (sensory) how you move – or don’t move. Through self-awareness you are able to feel and connect with chronically tight or frozen muscles and teach them how to relax (motor).
With regular Gentle Somatic Yoga practice the positive effects are cumulative and you will notice that over time, you will become stronger, more flexible, and capable of maintaining feelings of peace and wellbeing.