Rachel Brandwene, LCSW
4 Ways That Yoga and Somatic Experiencing are Linked
If you’re looking for a path to greater mental, physical and emotional well-being, then yoga and Somatic Experiencing (SE) are two practices that can help you on that journey. With a deeper understanding of the link between them, we can see how yoga and SE, when practiced together, offer the possibility for us to find inner healing and long-lasting transformation.
Yoga and Somatic Experiencing both emphasize working through body sensations in order to gain insight into the unconscious mind. They focus on calming the mind, noticing and exploring the subtle sensations of the body, and practicing a compassionate awareness towards yourself and your body. By using yoga postures, breath, and mindful presence as our gateway, we are able to more fully experience and transform the intense emotions, thoughts and body sensations stored in the body’s memory.
So, what are the ways that yoga and Somatic Experiencing are linked? Here are four ways you can use yoga as a form of inner healing:
1.Create awareness of your body and emotions. Yoga postures create physical sensation in the body, while somatic experiencing helps you to notice and explore those feelings without getting overwhelmed.
2. Breathwork can help regulate and release stored energy in the body. Breathing exercises help to activate and regulate the parasympathetic nervous system, so you can create more spaciousness within your body to allow for new and different sensations.
3. Access emotions in the body. Trapped emotions often reside deep within our bodies, and can be released with the practice of yoga postures, breath-work and meditative stillness.
4. Honor and nurture yourself. Embodied practices like yoga and Somatic Experiencing remind us to be gentle and compassionate towards ourselves, creating the possibility for real, lasting transformation.
If you’re looking to increase self-awareness and find inner healing, I encourage you to consider combining yoga and Somatic Experiencing. Together they offer an integrative approach that is focused on connection, curiosity and compassion.
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