By Andrea Trank, GSY Staff Writer

Can You Reverse Aging with Somatic Movements?

How often do we blame our physical ailments and conditions on just getting older?

What if I told you that does not need to be the case?

If you think about it, as we age, we get wiser from all the mistakes we made in the past which means we should be able to avoid doing things that hurt us.

I did abuse my body when I was younger.  I pushed through pain during training for the Women’s Four Miler race.  I played tennis with reckless abandon.  There was a point in my life where I had braces on my knees, ankles, and wrist to play my tennis matches.

All these activities created traumas in my body.  For years, every picture of me showed my head slightly cocked to the side, which may have either been the cause of my chronic neck pain or the result of these overzealous activities over many years.

Either way, a dozen years of going to see various neck specialists gave me temporary relief, but not the understanding of the root causes or methods to self-correct my movements which over time created more pain in my body.

The practice of Gentle Somatic Yoga® is reteaching my muscles how to move with ease by working with my nervous system and my sensory-motor cortex—two parts of the brain that work together to send and receive messages from the body.

Also, please take the time to watch and practice James’ 1-hr LIVE GSY Class. Unwind from deep stress holding patterns today! See the video below!

There are Three Types of Involuntary Reflexes that result in Sensory Motor Amnesia

Two of the culprits in chronic muscular pain are known as the Green Light Reflex (Go) and the Red Light Reflex (No), according to the Founder of Gentle Somatic Yoga (GSY) James Knight. 

I am currently learning from James Knight in the GSY Level 1 and Level 2 Training Certification program.

The Green Light Reflex is the urge in some of us to go, go, go.  It shows up in the back body as tension with the shoulders back, an exaggerated arch in the low back, and tight gluteal, hamstring, and calf muscles. If you are always on the go and have a tendency toward over achievement, you might end up with neck pain, shoulder pain, herniated discs, chronic low back pain, and sciatica.  These conditions affect a lot of us.

The Red Light or “No” reflex is our body’s natural startle reflex.  Anytime you startled or are afraid, this reflex is the instinct is to round the shoulders, protect the heart, and draw the head slightly forward.  Also, the inner thighs grip and the toes curl up. This is much like a fetal position

Over time if you have had many occasions in your life where you were startled or afraid, you might end up with very tight muscles in the front of your body, which often result in chronic pain in the neck and jaw, hips, as well as sleep disorders, depression, and fatigue.

Another culprit in chronic muscular pain is called the Trauma Reflex. In this conditioned subconscious reaction to injury, repetitive motion or stress, muscles on your side body are affected. This can result in your body being torqued or other muscles being recruited creating side-body imbalances.

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Think of it this way: A mother always picking up and holding her baby on the same hip, a phone being held under the chin on one side (I did that for years), or an athlete who is swinging the golf club, bat or tennis racket the same way over and over.

Other more serious traumas like car crashes, accidents, and emotional trauma also show up in the side body. All of the above activities can result in certain muscles groups on the side body staying contracted even in a resting state.

Injuries on one side of the body may eventually cause the other side of the body to compensate.  What happens is the natural ease and flow of movement that was there when we first learned to move as a baby, is no longer there.  

Your body becomes like a half working electrical system where some of the lights turn on and others just are not connected to the brain anymore.  In those areas that are not turned on, you either experience pain, discomfort, or even numbness because of this temporary state of amnesia.  

Temporary amnesia is also known as Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA).  In this state, there is a neurological disconnect between the sensory and motor cortex of the brain and the part of the body that has experienced the trauma.  Gentle Somatic Yoga can help to correct this. 

Over time the Trauma reflex can lead to balance issues, a torqued spinal column, as well as one-sided pain such as “sciatica, plantar fasciitis, back, hip, neck, knee and ankle pain, all of which can be debilitating,” according to GSY’s James Knight.

Gentle Somatic Yoga® Helps You “Find the Inner Yes” Again

Gentle Somatic Yoga goes farther than just fixing areas of the body that have experienced traumas.  Knight’s carefully constructed flows are designed to help you return to wholeness through the re-education of the physical, physiological and energetic bodies. 

When your nervous system works together with your muscles and you “regain control of those muscles,” they start to cooperate and function cohesively. I have found lightness and joy again in my daily movements through this practice.  You might too.  As Knight puts it, “once your find your ‘Inner Yes’, you will stop feeling your age as you move through your day with more ease, strength and pleasure. “


Want to learn how to do this?


Next Workshop: Saturday July 24th ~ This month’s theme: Building bone density and muscle strength

Join James monthly for the Somatic Sanctuary, a specially priced one-hour class and 30 minutes of Q and A.  James offers this workshop for a reasonable price as a GIFT to all those who are wanting complete restoration in a collective safe and supportive virtual environment.  Find your Inner Refuge at the sliding scale price of $5, $10, $15 or $20.  Whatever you can afford.

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