Somatic yoga: What is it, Benefits and Who Should Avoid


Somatic yoga includes movements that allow you to focus on your breathing and inner self. Here are the benefits of somatic yoga and why you should include it in your regimen.

They say if you are healthy within, it will show on your body but how does one achieve that? While it might sound cliched, you have to treat your body like a temple if you want to stay fit and healthy. For this, you need to reconnect with your body and mind. Amidst the chaos of deadlines, digital notifications, and the constant hum of societal expectations, sometimes it becomes difficult to reconnect with the essence of your body and mind. Enter – somatic yoga! Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What is somatic yoga?

Somatic yoga is a combination of somatic and yoga. Somatic is a physical practise that is all about performing movements designed to embody how you feel in your body through slow movements. “It centers on internal body awareness during movement, emphasizing mindful sensations and intrinsic experience,” explains yogini Juhi Kapoor.

Woman doing yoga
Somatic yoga is about being aware of the movement. Image courtesy: Freepik

In other words, this type of yoga that involves moving smoothly and mindfully, paying close attention to your body and to breath. It majorly includes stretches and focused breathing.

To perform somatic yoga, engage in slow, intentional movements, focusing on the sensations within your body. It majorly includes mindful breathing and gentle stretches, adds Kapoor.

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Cat-cow pose, moving bridge, wide leg fold, supine twist, and slow spinal flex are some of the poses that are a part of this type of yoga. The trick is to take inspiration from these poses, but then listen to your body and follow your instincts.

What are the benefits of somatic yoga?

Performing this type of yoga regularly can help you in more ways than one. Here are the health benefits of somatic yoga you must know:

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1. Improves flexibility

Somatic yoga incorporates gentle, fluid movements that increase flexibility, release muscular tension, and improve mobility. It enhances overall flexibility through mindful movements, says the expert.

2. Reduces stress

Stress is a part of everyday life, but practising somatic yoga can help reduce the symptoms. This type of yoga includes gentle, mindful movements that help relax your mind and reduce stress. Including this type of yoga in your routine can help relax your mind and help ward off stress and tension.

Also Read: Yoga for stress relief: Try this 5-minute yoga flow daily for the ultimate relaxation

3. Enhances body-mind connection

It cultivates a deeper connection to bodily sensations, says Kapoor. It does so because the focus of this practice is on cultivating awareness of bodily sensations, movements, and breath.

4. Relieves pain

Somatic yoga includes mindful movements and releasing muscular holding patterns that help you get rid of chronic pain, especially in areas affected by stress and tension.

pain in winter
Somatic yoga can help you get rid of pain. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Improves posture

This type of yoga often incorporates awareness of body alignment and posture, contributing to improved overall posture. As individuals become more attuned to their body’s natural alignment, they can carry this awareness into their daily activities, reducing the risk of chronic pain and injury.

Also Read: 3 yoga asanas to help you fix your posture

Who should avoid doing somatic yoga?

While somatic yoga is safe, Juhi Kapoor warns that people with an underlying disease or injuries should seek advise from a healthcare professional before starting. It is important to listen to your body and avoid pushing too hard.

However, pregnant women and those with severe musculoskeletal issues should seek guidance from a qualified instructor or healthcare provider before performing this type of yoga.

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