This online class will be suitable for all levels and experience of Yoga from beginners to the more experienced, and classes will include more advanced work for those with experience from the outset though we will be emphasising good alignment and technique in the first few weeks that you join us if you are new to Yoga.
There will be meditation and mindfulness emphasised throughout but you can expect to increase your physical strength and flexibility (as well as dropping a few pounds) as well as working on your mental agility! Deborah is experienced in teaching Somatic Yoga which you can read about on her blog here.
Did you know…
“Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning to join together. From this, it follows that the purpose of yoga is to unite mind, body and spirit.
Increased Peace & Positivity
The relaxation element of our yoga classes will help to lower your blood pressure and help you to develop a sense of perspective on your problems. Chronically high levels of stress hormones which modern lifestyles can cause will undermine memory and may lead to more long standing changes in brain chemistry resulting in depression and contributing to more serious illness, such as cancer.
Consistent yoga practice improves depression and leads to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. During the meditation aspects of your class, you will learn to increase concentration as well as learning to be fully present in the moment which helps develop an “attitude of gratitude” and an overall love of life!
Want to know more…
Tap the “How can I help you” button at the bottom right to chat with Deborah on Whatsapp
or get in touch via the Contact page
Gentle Somatic Yoga – What Is It?
Since September 2017 Deborah has been trained as a Certified Gentle Somatic Yoga Practitioner (GSY-P2) by James Knight, Creator and Founder of Gentle Somatic Yoga. Gentle Somatic Yoga is an innovative blend of Hatha Yoga, Hanna Somatic Education, Pranayama (breathing techniques) and healing meditations. GSY was heavily influenced by the work of Eleanor Criswell, Thomas Hanna, Moshe Feldenkrais and Lawrence Gold and you will often find these practitioners referred to in class.
Thomas Hannah coined the word Somatics. It means experiencing the body from within. This inner awareness helps us to self regulate and self-heal. This is the definition James likes to use for Somatics. You will find in Deborah’s classes that we work one side of the body in a repeated Somatic Yoga Flow and then take time to experience the change that side of the body has made as a result of this practice. In between each of the movements, a release of the muscle is encouraged. The brain learns by contrast and the rest period is as important as the muscle work. Therefore, this time between exercises as well as the time between moving on to the second side is essential and should never be rushed. Sometimes the difference can be remarkable, some might even say, miraculous! A whole new awareness of the body arises.
In gentle somatic yoga, we do not intend to stretch muscles to achieve results (as Hatha and other styles of Yoga offer) as this can often induce the stretch reflex in which the muscles respond to the stretch by increasing the contraction that the stretch process is designed to eliminate! Instead, we get to the root cause of all muscular pain, the brain, and reprogram old habit patterns of stress held deep within the body. Through therapeutic and corrective exercises, called Somatic Movement Flows, you’ll learn how to heal your own body. The results include being free from chronic pain, increased flexibility, enhanced strength, and improved posture. The results are cumulative with practice and you are left with a profound sense of well-being and peace.
Gentle Somatic Yoga incorporates slow, mindful movements that heal long-held, tension and or injuries. Therapeutic and corrective exercises (Somatic Movement Flows) erase chronic muscle pain and significantly increase flexibility by using the healing power of awareness. Gentle Somatic Yoga is revolutionary in its ability to improve overall health, well-being, and personal performance.
Added to this, Deborah includes a comprehensive guide to understanding your body’s anatomy so that you are able to really focus accurately on which muscles you are being asked to move and free up. This further educates you and develops an awareness of when your body may be requiring changes in everyday activities in order to prevent what is sometimes seen as inevitable degeneration associated with ageing. The experiences you get in your class will radiate out into your daily activities and help you to bring new awareness regarding how you use your body so that you can bring about life-changing levels of control and prevent further degeneration, injury and trauma.
Each week you will receive a comprehensive outline of the SMF’s we completed in class so that you are able to repeat the patterns and develop your own practice at home. This will be emailed to your own email address FREE OF CHARGE. Further to this, Deborah will produce a video playlist of the SMF’s where possible, again FREE OF CHARGE, so that you are guided in repeating the class patterns, facilitating you to revisit particularly helpful exercises easily and as often as you need them.
Tips for your Somatic Yoga Class
All SMF’s are slow, safe and natural. Despite this, there may be times in class when you need to re-adjust the way you are performing the SMF’s to suit your body on that particular day. Here are some tips to make the class as safe as possible for you:
All SMF’s are designed to re-educate your mind to muscle memory. This means letting go of some of the muscle memory where you experience a restricted range of movement. It means enjoying the release that comes with loving ourselves unconditionally and ridding ourselves of what no longer serves us. We can sometimes get in the way of our own healing by being determined to hang on to our history. In Deborah’s classes you will have the opportunity to le got of this and experience new freedoms. As we release old habits of releasing stress and pain in our body we create space for peace and harmony.
All of this can only happen in an atmosphere of safety and connection with your fellow Yogis / Yoginis. We have options for private work if this isn’t your idea of fun! A community class is all about building a community and experiencing the power of lots of people practising together with the same aims. Please attempt to give up your judgement of yourself and of others. An “attitude of gratitude” goes a long way in building community and of course, you benefit from sharing small kindnesses with your fellow classmates.
In a weird way, none of your new freedoms can come unless you give up the idea that there is some freedom to be gained WITHOUT FAIL! There is nowhere to get to! Nothing you have to be! There is only the present moment and what your body is feeding back to you. If something feels good, then keep doing it! If an exercise or particular movement is bringing you pleasure, then enjoy and accentuate those feelings! However, if your body is telling you “no way Jose” then modify the action to suit your body’s wisdom… Never endure strain or pain in any of these movements. Some SMF’s may be challenging or even downright impossible at first. Sometimes the instructions will just be outside your brain’s grasp! Please listen to your body and your struggling mind in these circumstances – ease out of the movement and take a moment to re-evaluate. Where there is soreness or too much tightness, back off slightly. With an attitude of curiosity discover a way to move in and out of that area by adjusting the angle, speed and range of movement available to you in that moment.
The way to reverse old habitual patterns of holding stress in the body is through building internal awareness. Moving slowly and mindfully will stimulate the part of your brain that will bring freedom of movement. Think of the SMFs as a process of discovery and not something to rush through. Wherever possible, keep the focus on the muscle you are instructed to move and let the rest of the body be relaxed. Intend to make the movements smooth. This will often mean you need to slow down further and concentrate more! If you experience jerkiness, skipping or popping noises it most likely means you are experiencing Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA). These are positive signs because they show where your soma wants to be re-educated. SMA can also show up as numbness and/or a tingling feeling in the body. In either case, moving slowly will re-educate the sensory motor cortex of the brain. By slowing things down you will regain function of that muscle group and experience more freedom through movement. One of the unique signatures of Gentle Somatic Yoga is the freedom of empowerment through regaining control of the muscles of your body that may have been giving you jip for years!
During your GSY class, you may be asked to close your eyes if you feel safe to do so. The idea behind this is to encourage focus. Even if you hate closing your eyes you can soften your focus and discourage your brain from being distracted by what the eyes are taking in. The important thing is to focus on the feelings within your body. Deep within. Almost as if you can become a scanner and see inside yourself. Avoid being distracted from the subtleties of these sensations. This will facilitate your brain to re-pattern itself and make healing more available to you. You will notice that Deborah’s GSY classes are always conducted under warm conditions with soft lighting, aromatherapy diffused smells and mellow music. All this is designed to help your focus and provide a calming effect that invites more internal sensation. GSY is a process of neuromuscular re-education that refines your body awareness from the inside out. Deborah will often refer to the movements as a moving meditation.
Breathwork will often be added to the moving meditation but if you are new, there will probably be too much to think about in the first few classes to add this dynamic. Once you have understood the instructions for your body’s movement then observing your breath will offer you an added dimension to your learning and help you to move further into the release in your physical body.
You will notice that we repeat the SMF’s 3 – 5 times. Avoid overdoing things at first. Less is more and slow is better. If you have had enough after one or two, just sit the next round out. There is no judgement from the front or around the room in our classes. Focus your attention on the muscles you are re-patterning. Remember that GSY is a re-education for your mind/body (soma). Your brain needs time to integrate the new learning before you move on to the next SMF.
If you are recovering from chronic pain due to overuse or injury, you may consider performing the SMF’s several times per week. The notes and video playlists are designed to encourage you to do this. Deborah is available for private one to one work during times when you need specific targeted work to help you recover from injury or restricted range of movement.
Deborah invites you to treat your class as “time out” from a busy life of giving to others. It is time to enjoy and celebrate being in your body, time to connect with new friends and time to receive unexpected gifts from the results of the SMF’s. It’s a time to get educated, to have fun and to experience relaxation and peace in a frantic world. Suck it all up and lavish yourself with love! You deserve it!
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