Gentle Somatic Yoga FAQs

What is “Somatics”?

The “Somatic” portion of the name “Gentle Somatic Yoga”  has its origins in Hanna Somatic Education, as developed by Thomas Hanna. Hanna Somatic Education works with the whole person to restore voluntary control to the muscles and re-pattern the brain-to-muscle connections to dissolve embodied stress and restore the person to freedom in movement.

What are the benefits of Gentle Somatic Yoga?

Practicing Gentle Somatic Yoga can bring:

  • Pain-free movement
  • Freedom from back pain
  • Improved range of motion
  • More resilience and ability for self-regulation
  • Increased mental clarity and focused thinking
  • Improved reaction time and coordination
  • Reduced fatigue and improved sleep
  • Reduced symptoms of physical and mental stress
  • Happiness and peace of mind

How often should I practice?

If you are practicing Gentle Somatic Yoga to maintain freedom and flexibility, we recommend practicing several times a week.

If you are recovering from pain or injury it may be sufficient to perform specific exercises once a day. Always consult your physician or health care provider before starting a new exercise routine.

The benefits of Gentle Somatic Yoga are cumulative. Each time you practice the Flows– even if only in small amounts – you should notice improvement.

What are Somatic Movement Flows?

Somatic Movement Flows® (SMFs) are therapeutic corrective exercises, arranged in a particular sequences, with a specific anatomical focus in mind. SMFs are designed to erase Sensory Motor Amnesia and strengthen the brain-to-muscle connection.

What is Sensory Motor Amnesia?

See the main page and scroll down to find this topic.

What is pandiculation?

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, pandiculation is “a stretching and stiffening especially of the trunk and extremities (as when fatigued and drowsy or after waking from sleep).” Think of a yawn and the movements you make when waking, or the way animals move and stretch their bodies. In Gentle Somatic Yoga, pandiculation is the intentional contraction and mindful engagement of groups of muscles followed by a slow release of the tension, and ending in a full relaxation.

What is the difference between pandiculation and stretching?

When you stretch, you create tension through some type of force to lengthen a muscle or group of muscles, placing tension on the surrounding connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, etc.) When you pandiculate a muscle, you alternate muscular engagement with relaxation to release muscular tension. The immediate effect is increased flexibility, mobility, and coordination.

What is the primary intent behind Gentle Somatic Yoga?

Enlightenment! According to spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle, “The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt Oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form.”

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