This week's topic on #somawithDaphneandLucy is about what constitutes healthy stretch!
Everyone loves a good stretch. However, do you sometimes feel that the more you stretch, the more you need to stretch?
The yoga world is obsessed with stretching. There’s this misconception that the more one stretches a particular area of the body, the “longer” and “looser” it will be, and “looser” feels better than “tight”. Like most things in life, there’s also the “high” of chasing big sensations in stretching, and the belief that there is no gain unless there is some sort of pain.
Being a person with hypermobility, the physical practice of yoga came about relatively easily for me. It doesn’t take long for my joint spaces to open up and I could quite quickly flop into forward bends or use my arms as leverage to pull myself to extreme range of motion. I’d feel spacious and open after an intense stretching session. However, it wouldn’t take long before my body started to feel tight again and needed another round of “fix”. As this cycle perpetuates, my body would feel achy and sore if I have to sit or stand or walk for extended periods; my mind restless.
To many people, I seemed like a dedicated yogi, spending hours on a yoga mat contorting myself into a pretzel. I realised that something had gone terribly amiss when the more I practice, the less I could bear stillness without discomfort - counter to the tenet that Yoga is state of being both steady and easeful (Sthiram Sukham Asanam)
I finally found the answer to this mystifying conundrum when I discovered somatics and mobility practice. I had been stretching wrong!
I was chasing sensations instead of cultivating awareness.
I wasn’t listening to the subtle nuances of what my body was telling me.
My muscles were either switched off or over-contracted in those deep stretches, further stressing my already hypermobile connective tissues - in particular the tendons and ligaments - as I collapsed into gravity or when I leveraged on an external force to pull myself into the end range of motion (ROM).
Even though this might initially trigger the nervous system into a relaxation response, it also destabilises the connective tissues around my joints. My body then sends a “danger signal” resulting in even more muscle tension, creating the vicious stretching cycle.
My practice now includes resistance stretching which requires active range of motion, i.e keeping muscles in eccentric contraction and maintaining integrated postural tone through myofascial continuity (more on a future post!) to express our 3-dimensional relationship with gravity and space, as well as in creating progressive loading with theraband or weights to strengthen and stabilise joints)
Passive stretching is still a valuable practice to down-regulate the nervous system when we use props to support joints without going into the full range of motion such as in restorative poses..
The concept of a neutral pelvis is a topic every movement educator across different modalities would passionately debate over.
This week on #SomawithDaphneandLucy, we’d like to share our take on the neutral pelvis as an embodiment PROCESS, rather than just a shape or a form.
One of the most logical rationales to this principle is that - When the pelvis is in its neutral position, it allows for the most amount of space between each vertebra, as they are then aligned in their natural curves (i.e primary and secondary curves or kyphosis and lordosis). A neutral pelvis means that our spine can act as a “spring” in our bipedal form, to provide a buffer for the compressive forces moving through the body as we navigate through space and gravity.
A simple approach to finding a neutral pelvis is to experiment with the anterior and posterior tilting of the pelvis in relationship to the bony landmarks - the ASIS (hip points), and the diamond-shaped compass of the Sacrum, Coccyx, Ischium, Pubic Symphysis - to find the place in the centre.
These landmarks are incredibly useful in bringing awareness to a vital and yet vulnerable part of the body that we often ignore. Even though we spend so much time sitting on our bum, what we do with our pelvis and pelvic floor are often only brought to our attention when we are experiencing pain or discomfort.
From the bony landmarks, we can begin to explore the intrinsic movement of breath within the inner body, in particular the relationship between the ribcage and the pelvis.
Our respiratory diaphragm sits just beneath the ribs. As our primary breathing muscle, the diaphragm contracts and descends during inhalation, and releases to ascend during exhalation. The heart and lungs rest above the respiratory diaphragm, and our internal organs are below this diaphragm. On the other hand (end), the pelvic floor (also a diaphragm) supports the weight of our internal organs, in addition to sexual and elimination functions.
The respiratory diaphragm and the pelvic diaphragm (not just a floor!) is actually one continuous integrated “being” that modulates our life force! Their ability to move in resonance with each other is important in the healthy and intricate functioning of all our biological processes, such as oxygenation, circulation, motility of organs, digestive and reproductive processes etc.
Creating an embodied awareness on this symbiotic relationship of the intrinsic rhythm of our breath pulsating through the different diaphragms will not only create optimal alignment and ease in the way we move, sit, stand, walk, but also help regulate our nervous system, return us back to health, and cultivate a sense of grounding and safety.
In the next video, we would like to invite you to explore a short practice to sense the resonance between the 2 diaphragms to come into the “state” of a neutral pelvis.
Why do we study the body?
Because movement is a relational dialogue from the moment of conception.
Because movement creates form and precedes language.
Because it tells the stories of how we relate to the world around us.
Because our nervous system records our conditioning and belief systems.
Because our history is written in the cells.
Because our body is the expression of our cosmic alchemy.
Because it is a medium for deep existential inquiries to our mystical origins.
Because in all its fragility we find refuge in impermanence.
This week's sharing on #somawithDaphneandLucy is about coming home to the state of flexion:
We are the only mammalian species on the planet that walks on two feet. This vertical relationship with gravity not only takes our brain further away from our feet, but also requires our back body to work a lot harder in holding up our front body. This relational dynamic with the environment is also an embodiment of our somatic and cognitive desire to engage with the world.
In our quest to move up the evolutionary ladder, we expose our vulnerability to the world through the front body, which contains our soft and vital organs. The front body also forms a big part of our #selfimage (refer to our previous post on this topic) of how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us. Therefore, our nervous system is wired to “think” and “predict” danger to preserve our survival. This sense of vigilance can literally move us away from our anchor and grounding.
When the world we live becomes too much for our nervous system to handle - too much stress, too much uncertainty, too much stimulus, too much grief, can we take this as a signal to retreat, to withdraw, to exhale?
The flexion state takes us back into our embryological being - a time in which we are nestled and suspended in the warm fluids of our mother’s womb, a state where cells divides and organise, a state of balance and homeostasis, in which the order of nature grants us nourishment and protection.
If you’re experiencing physical symptoms like migraine, neck and shoulder tension, back ache, shortness of breath, excessive gas, acid reflux, or even sleep disorder, your body is sending an invitation to marinate yourself in this restorative state.
Check out this video as Lucie explains her experience and a little demo to retract the front line and open up the back line of the body.
Allow your organs to soften and drape over the support of your cushions, bringing breath into the back body and releasing the adrenals from its state of vigilance to one of yielding.
This week's focus on #somawithDaphneandLucy are your precious feet :)
The relative distance of our feet from our brain often causes us to disregard the health and care of our feet. We tend to ignore the messages coming from this very distal part of the body. We wear shoes that are too tight, too loose, too flat, too high... For some culture, there’s even a certain element of shame attached to the feet. Some people might go through years of suffering from sore feet before paying any attention to this part of the body.
The health of our feet is instrumental in our overall health.
Our two feet are made up of 52 bones, accounting for about a quarter of all the bones in our body. They contain 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons and ligaments that hold them together for mobility and stability. Most of the myofascial matrix crosses through the feet as they are fundamental to our evolution into bipeds. Our feet establish the foundation of our vertical relationship to navigate through gravity and 3 dimensional space and create movement continuity through all our body’s systems.
Embryologically, our feet and toes grow out of the limb buds before the legs are fully formed, essentially making our feet an extension of the pelvis, and hence its close association to our pelvic health.
Keeping our feet strong and nimble means stronger grounding and stability, more movement choices and increased neural pathways and plasticity! Training our feet to be able to articulate through different loads and tracking its relationship to different parts of the body will not only alleviate conditions like plantar fasciitis, heel pain, achilles tendinitis, it can also prevent knee injury, relieves lower back pain, soothe neck and shoulder tension and even migraine. Its close relationship with our pelvic diaphragm also means that strong and flexible feet will bring awareness to our core being as we find support through gravity and levity. When we establish better proprioception and interoception we can also help to regulate our nervous system so we are less anxious and stressed!
Does wearing a mask trigger your anxiety? A sharing on the effect on respiration, sense of safety, past trauma, and physiology, including some tips on how to alleviate anxiety in wearing a mask.
They say nolstagia
is akin to a journey back in time
when things made sense
where we knew
our place in the world.
Perhaps it's also when our lives
can't get any more mundane
that we lose our compass
and our ground.
The triumph of waking up
to another groundhog day .
16 more hours
in front of the screen.
Blue light solace at my fingertips
Work, exercise, shop, socialise, youtube
Are they freedom or dilemma?
To stay in or go out?
Solitude will always be served
as the main dish.
6 feet apart.
but be sure to avert my gaze.
My lungs laboured
underneath the cotton covering of
sweaty recycled breath.
Oh, the yearning to be seen
Overshadowed by the anxiety
of ending up as a snapshot
shamed and fined.
A nation locked down
but united in fear.
Fighting the invisible war of numbers
against the enemy crowned virus.
armed with smartphone and app
Incognito but bestowed with power
to defend and protect.
Stand in line for nasi lemak and bubble tea
Essential recharge for our ammo
A balm for the caged mind
in this urban Disneyland
In the silence of empty construction sites,
a figure stooped in his neon green shirt .
The sound of bristles on concrete.
Broom in hand
He looked up
and smiled through his armour
"I'm okay" his eyes spoke.
He sweeps our dwellings
while his brothers locked away
their homes out of reach.
So we march on,
to a promised vaccined land
where business is as usual
An utopia with
Delving a little more into the perspective of not just what is mental health, but also looking at the how and the why through connecting with the responses in the body
This week's sharing on #somawithDaphneandLucy
: YOUR SELF IMAGE
How long are your arms? How wide is your chest? What does it mean to straighten your knees? And how accurately are your answers meeting your physical reality?
It almost comes as a surprise, after living with and in our body for so long, that we're not born with a defined self image. We're not born knowing we have a body.
When a baby is born into this world, their knowing is still of union (with the mother). Through experience they begin to recognise that there's a differentiation between “self” and the “other”. This differentiation is gradually learnt through the senses.
Through touch, movement, and gravity, along with sight, smell, hearing and taste, our sensory system put together a complex map of references, creating and ever refining our self image.
How many times have you seen a baby with his hands and feet stuck in his mouth? Since the mouth is extremely rich in sensory receptors, and the baby’s source of finding nourishment through the oral rooting reflex, it also becomes a key starting point to begin exploring our environment. Figuring out the world by putting objects close to the mouth and the lips to learn about shapes and textures, and also investigating whether that object is or isn’t a part of “self”. Measuring the body's length and size by bringing the distal limbs to the centre of the inner mapping (head and torso), examining the shape of the body through rolling, the ground offering a mirror as the body is being touched by the surface underneath, and thus distinguishing the outside world by touching something we don't feel as part of “self”…Through touch we learn about the environment we inhabit in, and by being touched we learn about ourselves.
Our self image is being crafted and refined day by day. And there's many more factors contributing to it like the vestibular system (sense of gravity, balance, and proprioception), vision, our muscular-skeletal system including the tendons and ligaments, our experiences of pain, emotions, social and cultural conditioning, belief systems etc..
Our perceived sense of what is an “upright” posture, having our arms “straight”, our perception of length, width, distance, depth or even what is “normal” will also differ from person to person.
The knowing that this process is not just inherent but gained through experience, allows us to look at ourselves through fresh perspectives. Is my self-image complete? Do I know where every part of my body is? Is where I think I am relative to space and gravity accurate?
Our sensory and motor neurons work hand-in-hand in a constant feedback loop, always communicating with each other. The way we stand, move, act and execute our desires through our muscular-skeletal system is based on this inner sensory map we've drawn. While we might plan with our body's self image in mind, we execute through our actual body. If our self image is not accurate, there will also be a difference between the intended and the actual outcome of our actions.
In order to improve the quality of your movement, address chronic pain and tension etc. we first have to explore what is actually there. Begin by mapping out your body and you’d be in awe with what you will uncover.
“You cannot change what you do not know” ~ Moshe Feldenkreis.
~ written by Lucie Krobova, edited by Daphne Chua
Social isolation and mental health: sense of belonging
I was on a panel last weekend to share about mental health and the nervous system. So I'd like to share some of the thoughts I had on the different aspects of social isolation on the nervous system from a mind body perspective.
This first one is about sense of belonging to a greater community.
With physical connection to other people being taken away, how has your need and longing for community show up in your nervous system?
This week's sharing from #somawithDaphneandLucy are our favourite HEART OPENERS:
Heart opening poses are a consistent “obsession” for yoga practitioners. Deep contortionistic backbends are pursued like trophies - a trademark of the accomplished yogi.
Backbends or spinal extensions are often mythicised as “Heart-Opening”, since it creates an expansion in the front of the body, particularly in the chest / thorax where the vital organs of the heart and lungs are situated. Spinal extension poses are thought to create lung capacity and invigorate the body-mind. Since these poses also stretch into the front of the belly, it can serve as a reprieve from those who live a sedentary lifestyle of hunching over devices, sinking into couches, with the spine constantly being in flexion.
The energetic benefits of heart openers also include stimulating our life force, instigating our capacity to love unconditionally, and helping us find courage to face challenges.
All these are well and good. The spanner in the works almost always lies in the HOW and not the WHAT. Generally, yoga backbends are done with the alignment cue to draw the shoulder blades back and down (retraction, adduction, internal rotation of the scapulas) in order to create maximum spinal extension. However, the structure of the thoracic spine (with a rib bone extending out of each vertebra forming a “cage”), is the “stiffest” part of the entire spine, and naturally shaped into a flexion or a kyphosis.
Culturally, we are told since young to pull our shoulders back, stick our chest out, and not to hunch our back! We have been so conditioned to contract our back body in order to push our sternum forward, that we might have forgotten that Mother Nature equipped us with a concave “cage” so we can house and protect our vital organs!
The study of the organs system in Body Mind Centering led us to reconsider this whole paradigm. According to its founder, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, our heart is cradled by each half of our lungs. The trio creates an ecosystem of oxygen and CO2 exchange that feeds life force into our cellular matrix, much like the dynamic macrocosm of our external environment.
The pulmonary system responsible for this exchange is actually located in the back of the anatomical heart, snuggled in the space in between to touch the front of the lungs. It is interesting to note that the lower lobes of each side of the lungs form most of the back of the ribs, where as the top lobes are under the upper trapezius.
When we overextend the thoracic spine by squeezing into the traps and leveraging onto our scapulas to push the “heart” forward, we are actually squashing the lungs and the heart, not exactly “opening” them at all! This can over stimulate our nervous system, as well as create strain in our spine and destabilise the balanced curvature of our spine.
The next time you attempt a backbend, can you reach into the spaciousness of the back body, and let the heart rest in the space embraced by the lungs, supported by the circulation of the blood exchange in the pulmonary vessels.
Since the beginning of the lockdown (or Circuit Breaker as they call it in Singapore), I've been closely watching the more unquantifiable vectors arising out of the pandemic, particularly the psychological effects of isolation and social distancing on mental health, and how these measures to protect our mortality relates back to our physiology and our body when we are deprived of the most basic human need to socially engage - to see, touch, feel, laugh, share a meal, make eye contact, with other human beings. And there's also the other polarity of those who are locked into one space with the same bodies day in and day out. While most family homes are safe spaces, some are cages of abuse.
We can't look at the mind without also looking at the body as an integral piece. Most of our interactions outside of our immediate bubble are now screen-based and one-dimensional, our escape from reality is more screen time on social media, over Zoom drinks and Netflix binge. Our bodies relegated to being moving parts so as to carry our brain around. Some might even argue the body is the vulnerable conduit for transmission if we were to come too close to another.
The article I've appended is a valuable long read from the perspective of a psychologist in the UK. She examines the individual body, the corporate body, and the state body. If you're interested in bodies as an inseparable part of our mind's deepest reaches, perhaps you might dwell in her words and draw your own parallels.
"Practice what you preach" or "Preach what you embody"?
Authenticism generally doesn't come about by willing yourself into a preconceived idea of who you should be or how you want others to see you, but an intimate awareness of how truth permeates through all of our being. The walk comes before the talk. Being real is a direct experience, not a label.
#talkyourwalk #getreal #embodiedcommunication
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Moshe Feldenkrais said - Having only 1 option is Tyranny, 2 becomes a Dilemma, whereas 3... creates Choice!
This is another short video follow up on this week's #somawithDaphneandLucy's sharing on variability of movement. An 8 minutes exploration of multi-planar movement with a weighted ball and ankle weights.
This week's sharing from #somawithDaphneandLucy : MOVEMENT VARIABILITY.
Life is Non-Linear. To be relational to our environment and sustainable in mind-body, we train our reflexes to respond rather than react. Non-linear, multi-planar, 3-D spiralling movement emulate the complexity of life and trains our nervous system to regulate - safety in the body.
Movement begins at the moment of conception. The moment in which individual existence becomes relational. Space, fluids, and the inexplicable order of nature that propel cells to differentiate, multiply, organise…
Our vestibular system begins in utero, orientating us to within the three-dimensional womb space, connecting us from our intrinsic being into the mystical otherness. Form arises through movement. Birth’s ignition thrusts us from the safe cradle of fluids into air and gravity, into self-sufficiency and cognitive volition.
From then on, the pathways in civilised life conditioned us in a reality stipulated by polarities - right or wrong, good or bad, success and failure.
Our cognitive frontal lobe drives the speed engine of societies. We are taught to always think before we act. Sensing and feeling belong to the frivolous. Our linear mind drives our body to function in two-dimensions, i.e means to an end. Our goal-driven ego is always looking for results and achievements. We move through life chasing ever greater highs. From substances to social media to Netflix, we have forgotten the nuances in the spaces of stillness and being.
The study of somatics calls upon us to take a break from constantly swimming upstream, to let go of the belief that no pain = no gain, to surrender into the frivolity of sensing and feeling into our three dimensional body that’s still 66 percent fluids.
Can we become curious again during this time of introspection? To come back into our relational being that is kept atop Planet Earth, to remember our multi-dimensional existence that has traversed space and time to come into form.
The connective tissue within our body - an embryological matrix that becomes our blood, lymph, cellular membranes, nerve wrappings, muscles, tendons, ligaments, synovial fluids… FASCIA! They love being moved in novel ways, through different planes, into different shapes. Our nervous system needs this multi-planar movement to stay flexible so it can differentiate and self regulate. Our immune system needs consistent fluid flow to flush out toxins, our musculo-skeletal system needs to be nourished and hydrated to ensure we get through old age without too many fractures.
We spend so much time in front of a screen, especially in these strange times of self-isolation. I invite you to step away from your 2 dimensional blue light reality and step inside your 3 dimensional body - wiggle, roll, shake, jump, dance, play! Forget alignment, forget what you’re supposed to look like, and just MOVE!
A 60 mins somatic practice for the thorax.
Take this time out for some deep sensing and gentle spiral movements to release tension in the neck, shoulder, jaw, and eyes.
The candle burns
A fragment of you
We step out of time
Into the space of being
To find love remains
It's week 4 of #selfisolation and I've been biding my time in offering public online streaming classes.
The main excuse being that I was in the midst of moving to a new place just as Singapore is implementing its lockdown measures.
I've been hunkering down, putting together a physical practice and living space in spite of the limited resources during this time.
I've also been teaching a few private movement and therapy sessions by request, and filmed a couple of instructional videos (on youtube), while running on data hotspotting (and a lot of faith) to stay connected.
But, I have to own up to the fact that it has taken me quite some time to get over my silly brain in talking to a screen, to share practices in em-BODY-ment that are tactile and deeply intimate.
Since today is International Labour Day and I got WiFi, I'm making a decision to step outside of my self-talk, and self-doubt, to make this official.
Starting next week, I'll be offering various livestream classes, workshops and private sessions via Zoom. The offerings will be on sliding scale, and also once a week there's a charity or cause that we will support through this difficult time.
Here's the schedule (in Singapore time, +2 for Sydney / Melbourne, Japan, -1 for Thailand, Vietnam, AM for Europe)
Yoga Therapy for all levels ~ Tuesday 5.30pm to 6.30pm
(Complimentary or by donations. Proceeds will go a specific charity or cause of your choice
Somatic Movement & Self-care Bodywork ~ Wednesday 4 to 5pm
(Sliding scale $5, $10, $15, $20 - Pay as you wish)
Therapeutic Focus workshop ~ Thursday 5.30pm to 7pm
(Different theme each week, e.g Back care, Hip mobility, Pelvic health) $25 - Limited to 10 participants only
*Prices in SGD / USD.
Private therapy sessions to suit your needs by request.
Please email yogadaphne@Gmail.com minimum 2 hours before scheduled class and I'll send through payment details and Zoom link.
This week on #somawithdaphneandlucy
STRETCHING VS PANDICULATION
The fascination and obsession with “stretching” is pretty much why most people came into the practice of yoga. Ever since we can remember we've been told to stretch for our aches and pains. What most people don’t know is that most of the time, we are doing “passive or static stretching when we just hold a stretch and pull with our hands, or submit into gravity, or sometimes we use a prop to help us get “deeper”, with the intent of releasing tight muscles.
Our volitional motor control comes from our central nervous system. Muscles respond to signals from the brain to contract and move. Moreover, the brain can also signal our muscles to involuntarily contract from physical and emotional trauma and repetitive stress. Extended tension can create an almost perpetual contraction of muscles, till they “forget” how to completely relax. The impairment of volitional control of a muscle group and its synergists is called Sensory Motor Amnesia. A sedentary or stressful lifestyle can contribute to this form of musculature contraction.
Passive stretching is done with the intent to pull a muscle into a specific length or state of relaxation. Extended passive stretching can sometimes result in injuries such as tendonitis or even trauma to the joints even though it might “feel good” in the beginning. This is central nervous system not being fully online during passive stretching, thus a feedback loop to the sensory-motor cortex cannot be established.
Pandiculation (like yawning) is an instinctual "re-set" button for our nervous system. It is also an effective way of restoring full muscle function and Range Of Motion (ROM) through concentric, eccentric and isometric contraction of different muscle groups. The sensory motor cortex becomes fully online during this process.
“If you want to untie a knot, you must look at the cord carefully then gently undo the tangle. Yanking on the cord will only make the knot tighter.”
— Thomas Hanna
If you have ever watched an animal arise from a slumber, you’d observe how they might arch their back, drop their belly and lengthen their spine and limbs into a full body “yawn”. We also do the same when we awake, we gently tighten trunk and limbs our arms and legs inward, feel a yawn coming on, and then reach arms over head, then extend our legs long. This process involves a concentric contraction of our muscles, then an eccentric lengthening, and an isometric holding in the “yawn” before coming into full relaxation as the brain integrates into this feedback loop to remind our muscle that they don’t have to stay stuck in contracted, protective state. The result is relaxation and restoration of voluntary motor control and coordination.
So next time you want to stretch, try first contracting the muscle that's tight (less ROM) and then slowly lengthening it (more ROM). Then completely relax. Note the difference not only in sensation and control of the muscle, but also in your range of motion and sense of ease in your body. You may even feel more "connected," less tense. Instead of classic stretching, try pandiculating instead and notice if there’s a shift in your ROM (“muscle length”) and sense of ease in the body-mind.
Video by Lucie Krobová
#somatics #embodiment #embodiedpractice #yogatherapy #soma #somaticmovement #somaticyoga #livingbody #bodyintelligence #innerknowledge #somaticeducation #yogaeducation #yogawithdaphne #exploredancemovement #movingfromwithin20 #yawning #pandiculation #catstreach #myofascialunwinding #fascia #fascialunwinding #yawningbody #listentoyourbody
This is an audio lesson from a previous in-person class that I taught before the lock-down. It's slightly over an hour of body scan, gentle undulating movement and visualisation for fascia unwinding, and nervous system reset. I apologise in advance for some prevailing background noise that was going on during sections of the class. A good practice on how your nervous system is able to integrate them too ;)
Please check it out and let me know how it goes :)
Fire became speech and entered the mouth
Wind became breath and entered the nostrils
Heavens’ vibration became sound and entered the ears
The sun became sight and entered the eyes
Plants became touch and entered the skin
Animals became movement and entered the sinews
Water became the sea and entered the cells
The moon became mind and entered the heart
Earth became blood and entered the feet
Air became cerebral spinal fluid and became the hands
Darkness became sleep and entered hidden places
Light becomes awareness and entered everywhere
Stars become self and entered the centre of our perineum
Life became the in-breath and entered the navel
Death became the out-breath and entered the crown of the head
Space became love and entered our essence
Time began to pulsate and create cycles of being
“The Roar of Awakening” ~ Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
#bonniebainbridgecohen #embodiedyogasummit #bodymindcentering #awakening #circuitbreaker #asongofcreation #yogatherapy #naturessong
Somatics and Embodiment are buzzwords in the yoga and movement community.
With our combined experiences in Yoga, dance, and bodywork, both Lucie Krobová @explore_dance_movement and I hope to contribute a little more to the understanding of Somatic therapy and embodiment in this series of informative posts titled #somawithDaphneandLucy
We feel this is particularly pertinent during this volatile period in which we find ourselves having to surrender our individual agency in serving the greater good of the community we are a part of.
The word “Soma” comes from a Greek origin which translates to “The Living Body”, it’s the cosmic biological intelligence of our life force to self-organise, self regulate through the relational being of our body-mind the moment we are conceived.
Through inquiring into our soma, we begin to explore relationships between the microcosm and the macrocosm we inhabit through processes and body systems. We uncover our self image and gain insights into our habits and neurological patterning to create more choices in our responses to elements and people around us. The practice of embodying our soma calls upon our curiosity to sense and feel and be guided through what is arising from moment to moment.
Working with movement, breathwork, visualisation, touch and sound, this practice helps to regulate the nervous system, boost our immune system, and rewire our brain to move with greater ease and grace through life.
Is there a difference between Somatics and Embodiment?
Somatics is an embodiment practice and to become embodied means we are attuned to our soma. I guess they are inter-related but not exactly synonymous. Meaning that it’s both contextual and conceptual, i.e The embodiment process requires a somatic perspective so that our actions are guided by an authentic, relational intent.
#somatics #embodiment #embodiedpractice #yogatherapy #soma #movement #breathwork #somaticmovement #somaticyoga #visualisation #bodywork #soundtherapy #therapy # nervoussystem #education #livingbody #bodyintelligence #innerknowledge #somaticeducation #yogaeducation #dancetherapy #yogawithdaphne #exploredancemovement #movingfromwithin20
New somatic body scan
Also uploaded on Insight Timer
Are you a therapist?
Therapists are often perceived as the “fixers” of problems. We are often expected to be strong, resilient, exude unbridled health and vitality.
Any decent therapist will tell you that we need to do our inner clearing and resourcing, so that we can hold space and support our client through their pain and trauma.
In times like this where we are drawn into our own drama of fear and insecurities, and the collective trauma of the world’s chaos and sufferings, I would like to offer a little reflection for therapists that has nothing to do with how to set up online streaming and Zoom videos, but to take a pause on acknowledging our own state of affairs.
As therapists, healers, lightworkers, we are now under immense pressure to clean up our own act, keep up an image of positivity, bliss, strength... even as uncertainties and trepidations show up ever more starkly in our consciousness, even as cities go into lockdowns, even as our anchors, routines and security blankets get disrupted and ripped apart to reveal our flawed human-ness and vulnerability...
Can we still show up and be good if we are NOT good?
Can we comfort and support others if our own grounds are shaky?
Can we heal others when we realised how broken we are?
Can we choose love instead of fear when our hearts are now shattered - from losing our jobs or our income, from loss of social support systems, from being separated with loved ones, from grieving the loss of human lives….?
How do we show up and be present to love - without pushing away our pain, without pretending that we are okay, without faking till we make it?
Can we see sorrow as the other side of pain, love as the other side of fear, chaos as the other side of order?
The next time you walk into the therapy room, I invite you to lean into the other side of your suffering, and meet the other person nervous system to nervous system, from one flawed human being to another.
Meet in the heart space of truth and belonging.
Yogini, Certified Yoga Therapist, Movement Educator, Bodyworker, Wanderluster, Homemaker, Student.