Instead of stretching muscles, GSY utilises the technique of pandiculation to reprogram muscles to their most optimal length in a resting position. The restorative sequences, called Somatic Movement Flows®, are ideal for unwinding stiffness, pain and postural imbalances and can significantly increase flexibility through brain-to-muscle re-education. From this place of new-found freedom, we naturally return to our generative state of peace and well-being.
Gentle Somatic Yoga® is dedicated to researching, pioneering, and facilitating the most leading-edge neuroscience in movement education.
In traditional Hatha yoga, asanas (postures) are often practiced with the intent to reach a “full expression” of any given pose - we can be striving for alignment and flexibility. For some, there may be so many muscles actively engaged at one time during asana practice that it can be challenging for the brain to integrate all of the information that the various body parts are providing.
Gentle Somatic Yoga®, in contrast, strips all of this away from the outset. The therapeutic yoga and somatic movements provide corrective exercises and sequences of movement that seem so subtle, and yet it is that subtlety that provides a deep and profound experience(s) of your own anatomy.
These techniques, also called Somatic Movement Flows®, are designed for a personal exploration of the mind/body connection. We do this through isolating specific muscles, mindfully contracting those muscles, and then slowly releasing them until the tone of muscles return back to neutral. It is through the practice of isolating and focusing on particular muscles in a way that provides the brain with information that it can synthesize and use to create a more integrated experience of body and mind.
The main intention with Gentle Somatic Yoga® is to sense and explore the movements from within by discovering where the edginess (Sensory Motor Amnesia) is and by approaching these places with a gentle spirit of investigation.
While yoga can be considered and used in therapy, 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 as whole and complete human beings.
Sensory Motor Amnesia is the root cause of most chronic musclar pain. It is when the brain has lost the ability to relax tight, contracted muscles that are in effect functioning on “cruise control”.
The sensory and motor cortexes are the aspects of the body’s nervous system (brain and nerves) that instruct your muscles on how to function. For example, the sensorimotor system informs you on how to ride a bicycle, play a musical instrument, and how to rebalance yourself when you’re about to fall. Your brain receives information from your environment in the form of sensory input, and sends motor information to the muscles telling them how to move.
With Sensory Motor Amnesia the brain, which controls the muscles, forgets how to relax our tight muscles. When the brain forgets how to engage the muscles, it also forgets which muscles are even involved in the pain. The muscles stay contracted and we feel muscular pain even when we think we are “relaxing”. It can be corrected with therapeutic yoga and somatic movements.
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).
Gentle Somatic Yoga® was created with therapeutic yoga & somatic movements to allow you to access the sensory motor systems by practicing therapeutic corrective exercises called Somatic Movement Flows®. Using these slow and mindful exercises, you will learn how to regain conscious control over your movement while erasing pain and stiffness.
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.
"Like it or not, our bodies are a map to our whole entire life experience mentally, emotionally, physically. We temporarily forget how to use our bodies because the muscles can become unconsciously contracted even in resting states due to a reflection of stress.”"