Gentle Somatic Yoga - Renee McLaughlin

Gentle Somatic Yoga

Gentle Somatic Yoga® (GSY) is an exploration through movement that is revolutionary in its ability to improve health, wellbeing, quality of life, and personal performance.

GSY incorporates slow, mindful movements that amplify body awareness. This allows us to self-correct and permanently release persistent stress-based patterns from within our body (Soma).

The restorative sequences, called Somatic Movement Flows®, are ideal for unwinding stiffness, pain & postural imbalances, and will dramatically 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 wellbeing.

Gentle Somatic Yoga class helped diminish, less and even eliminate these chronic conditions…

  • Chronic Lower Back Pain
  • Poor Posture
  • Sciatica
  • Stiff Neck & Shoulders
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches & Migraines
  • Knee Injuries
  • TMJ
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scoliosis
  • Joint Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • PTSD
  • Hamstring Tightness
  • And many more…
What makes Gentle Somatic Yoga different from other kinds of traditional Yoga?

While the word “yoga” is in the name of this movement, it’s actually very different from what you might thing a “yoga” call is

In traditional Hatha yoga, asanas (postures) are often practiced with the intent to reach a “full expression” of any given pose. In other words, modern day yoga classes can be experienced as very athletic and the student is striving for alignment and flexibility.

In some cases, especially in an environment of competition and/or comparison, performing traditional yoga poses can lead to sacrificing a more intuitive and intentional relationship with the body. In other instances, 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 this away from the outset. It provides 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.

Gentle Somatic Yoga (yoga actually means union…bringing together body, mind, emotions and spirit) is the ultimate anti-aging method of movement!

What is Sensory Motor Anmesia?

Sensory Motor Amnesia is the root cause of most chronic muscular pain. It is when the brain has lost the ability to relax tight, contracted muscles that are in effect functioning on “cruise control”.

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”.

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.

How do you reverse Sensory Motor Amnesia?

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 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.