Emotions are PHYSICAL sensations we experience in the body that comes with a physiological wave of hormones, nervous system energy, and muscular activation. If we are taught as children that we are allowed to experience and express our big feelings, then we can learn how to bring ourselves back to regulation and live our lives with resiliency. Too often, we are taught the opposite. Instead of expression, we are taught suppression and instead of experiencing, we are taught avoidance. We become adept masters at shoving everything down and become haunted by a lingering fear of what we will experience should we ever slow down.
Feelings are what we experience as a result of our emotions. More specific and tied to our stories and past experiences, feelings can be more complex and often require cognitive support such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). But what happens to all of those other physiological experiences that coincide with an emotional response?
The short answer is that they become stuck in the body's tissues. Our nervous and endocrine systems become wired to trigger more quickly and for longer periods, leaving us in a place of extreme pendulation between activated and exhausted states. Tension patterns become locked into the myofascial tissues and we experience chronic tension and pain in our muscles. The body even begins to take on the shape of this chronic holding.
Somatic Yoga Therapy is how I support my clients in releasing trapped emotions from the held tension in the body, inviting nervous system regulation and resilience, and reducing endocrine system-related stress.
In these sessions, we recognize the challenges of slowing down including the associated fears of what might come up, and use sensory modulating tools that include somatic meditation and breathwork to cultivate co-regulation and a sense of ease in your body and breath. I use passive Integrative Thai Yoga Massage to support you in accessing movement and release. I also integrate Ayurvedic Marma Therapy and therapeutic asana to facilitate the movement of stuck energy, which helps you get out of freeze mode. Specifically, the postures that we use are oriented toward the myofascial meridian regions of the body, which in East Asian medical systems are understood to be somatic-emotional pathways.
You can see the integration of Ayurvedic Marma Therapy, asana, breathwork, and Thai Yoga Massage and how these supports facilitate the movement of stuck energy and trapped emotions in the video below.
Emotions are held in the tissues of your body and trauma leaves an imprint on the body energetically. Somatic Yoga Therapy focuses on releasing stuck emotions and inviting embodied healing emotionally, energetically, physically, and mentally. It is a yoga therapy system that honors the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mindfulness-Based Somatic Meditation, and Krishnamacharya's lineage of adaptive yoga therapy through the practices of Viniyoga, Vinyasa, and Restorative Yoga. Created by Stefani Wilton, a practicing Somatic Therapist C-ISTP, Yoga Therapist C-IAYT, and Registered Massage Therapist, this system integrates the wisdom of myofascial bodywork and Integrative Thai Yoga Massage. The training in Somatic-Energetic Yoga Therapy explores Ayurvedic Marma Therapy and how to release the myofascial meridians for emotional release, energetic alchemy, and embodied healing.
You can experience this work with me in 1:1 sessions, group therapy, and masterclasses. I train future Somatic Yoga Therapists to facilitate this work in our 800-hour Somatic Yoga Therapy Training. Acceptance into this program is offered yearly with applications being received between January and May.
If this work interests you and you want to know more, you can book a time to speak with me or attend an info session. You can also attend an introductory course so that you can get a feel for my teaching style and what you will learn.