“The nervous system does not speak english; It speaks sensation. The body is the voice of the nervous system.” –Christine Lee, Introduction to Somatic Therapy Workshop
In my yoga classes, I often have students reflect on the feelings of their bodies and to tune in deeper to the organs and nervous system. We use awareness combined with breathing to help slow and soothe the body and mind.
Yesterday I learned this is actually somatic work. There is an umbrella of somatic therapies that include yoga, tai chi, qi gong, craniosacral and body talk (as just a few examples- the list can go on and on!). What works for one person, may not work for another.
As someone who has delved deep into Self, and began at a relatively young age, I find it fascinating how people avoid turning inwards and are so unwilling to confront their fears or traumas. I understand why they wouldn’t want to, but being on the other side of the dive, I am here to say, in a safe place with safe people, it is totally worth it. Most of us who have experienced pain or trauma, are dealing with it on some level anyways, usually negative, on a daily basis, but unconsciously. When you are ready, when the daily methods of coping are unbearable, seek professional help (I would highly recommend contacting Christine or checking out her website for resources).
After taking the Introduction to Somatic Therapy workshop, I feel like all these little pieces of a puzzle have come together. As a child I suffered from chronic sweating and migraines. Once I discovered yoga at 16 the migraines subsided. I realized yesterday, the chronic sweating has since dispersed as well. I also learned, that when the nervous system releases the unresolved energy stuck there, the body can shake. I’ve had 3 powerful experiences, when my body began shaking uncontrollably and I had no idea what was going on (now I believe it was releasing trauma from the nervous system). The first time it happened was during a reflexology session, the second time it happened was during savasana in my yoga teacher training (and then I cried for 3 days), and the third time was just a few weeks ago during a powerful closing exercise at the end of The Yoga Code workshop. I have been so fortunate to have ongoing support, and trust in my own body and self, to allow these experiences to transform my life. Every time “something” releases (we don’t have to know what it is) I am left feeling more light and clear then before. Now when I come into savasana, or meditation, I feel peace. I don’t feel afraid of what is inside, or what I might have to “face next.” Instead I welcome it all, knowing it will pass. I am safe in my own body/life.
Part of my “wish” as a yoga instructor is to share the joy of peace that comes with clearing out or letting go… and it’s not something that can be forced, it can only happen through full presence of sensation that occurs in your body, in each moment (sounds like meditation doesn’t it?). It will transform in it’s own time.