Somatic yoga differs from traditional yoga by placing a stronger emphasis on internal awareness and sensations. While traditional yoga often focuses on external alignment and achieving specific poses, somatic yoga prioritizes exploring and understanding how your body moves from within. It’s like a journey of self-discovery, using slow, mindful movements to release tension and create a deeper mind-body connection. Somatics and yoga may differ, but they complement each other very well.
Somatic yoga is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. In fact, it’s particularly beneficial for those who might have limitations or challenges because it’s gentle and adaptable. You don’t need to be super flexible or experienced to start; it’s more about tuning into your body’s unique sensations and working with them in a way that feels comfortable and safe.
Somatic yoga can be a powerful tool for managing stress and anxiety. By moving slowly and mindfully, and by focusing on your breath, you activate your body’s relaxation response. This helps calm the nervous system and reduces the levels of stress hormones. Plus, as you release physical tension through the practice, it often leads to a release of emotional tension as well, bringing a sense of calm and balance to your mind and body.
While not a replacement for professional therapy, a somatic approach is a trauma sensitive yoga and does have therapeutic benefits. It can be a gentle way to work through stored tension and emotions, including trauma. The slow, mindful movements and emphasis on self-awareness create a safe space for processing and healing. If you’re dealing with trauma, it’s recommended to work with a certified somatic yoga therapist who’s trained to provide appropriate guidance and support.