What is SomaYoga?
SomaYoga is the blending of Hanna Somatics, Therapeutic Yoga and Classic Asana.
The practice of Somatics increases the awareness in your brain of sensations felt in your body through very gentle pandiculation (contracting, lengthening, relaxation of muscles) movements. When the brain cannot connect to the muscles to voluntarily relax them this is called Sensory Motor Amnesia. The brain’s awareness of how acutely or chronically tight muscles feel during pandiculation leads it to regaining the voluntary control of reducing the tension in the muscles and increasing your mobility, stability and strength. This allows you to truly discover what your pure range of motion is leading to improved functional movement.
Once the brain has reconnected with the muscles through Somatics, Therapeutic Yoga is blended in with the Somatic movements. Therapeutic Yoga movements are complimentary to the established freedoms of movement attained in Somatics, delving into deeper mobility, stability and strength. Here, larger movements that are practiced in Classic Asana can be broken down and explored. For example, in Downward Dog an exploration of what functional movement without the load of the body on the shoulder girdle through to the hands may be explored. If the range of motion is limited one would address this through the introduction of appropriate movements to improve the function of the shoulder girdle. Functional movement improves as one practices appropriate movements for their body.
As you heal from your health issues you will be better prepared to practice Classic Asanas, should you wish, with an awareness of moving in a pure range of motion to avoid injury and fully receive the benefits cultivated from Classic Asanas.
“I have been working with Alana for a year now, simply because somatics has been the only way for me to control my lower back pain. I have scoliosis and have struggled with back pain since I was about 10 and have seen my fair share of physiotherapists, chiropractors and doctors. I came to Alana first with the issue of lower back pain and later being unable to sit for extended periods of time without extreme pain. After even our first session, I could feel an enormous improvement with the pain I felt, or rather, not feel. Since that first class with her, we have come up with tools that I can use when I feel an ache in my back, and even other places all over my body as well as a preventative routine that I have worked into my everyday life. I have gained an awareness of my body and have ways to respond and react if I ever feel uncomfortable. Alana has made herself available for me, if I ever need help or have a question, especially since I now live out of province for school. She is someone who truly cares about her clients and their well-being and I am so grateful that she has come into my life.” — Moira
“Two years ago I broke my back and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage. Little did I know that the pain was just beginning. I tried physiotherapy, acupuncture, medications and massage but nothing seemed to relieve me of the intense lower back pain I was having. Then I discovered SomaYoga taught by Alana Burton. Within one session I already could feel a difference throughout my body and a reduction in pain. The more I went, the less and less pain I began to have. After only 6 months of practicing SomaYoga, I am almost 100% pain free and on the days where my back does begin to feel sore I am equipped with the tools that allow me to feel better. The movements are simple and easy to remember yet they make such an incredible impact on your body. I am so happy that I discovered SomaYoga because it has allowed me to return to all the activities I love, pain free. I would highly recommend it to anyone with any kind of pain. It is truly a miracle and I am forever grateful.” — Beckie