Intro To Somatic Yoga with John Sander

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As yoga teachers, we understand the mind/body connection. 

We all probably have personal experience with stress affecting our autonomic nervous system and physical health. 

According to somatic therapy theory, sensations or memories associated with past trauma or other stressful events may become trapped within the body.

Today, we are chatting with John Sander about Somatic Yoga.

πŸ‘‰ What is somatic yoga?

πŸ‘‰ How somatic yoga works.

πŸ‘‰ How is it different than yoga therapy and regular therapy?

πŸ‘‰ Certifications and requirements for somatic yoga?

About John Sander

John became a therapist and a coach to help people navigate the struggles inherent in being human. Given his training and personal experience, he is uniquely qualified to guide and empower you to lead the life that you desire and deserve.

He has been in the business of helping people for 10 years. His training and experience is diverse, with an emphasis on neurobiology, neuroscience, attachment, mindfulness and somatic psychotherapy. He believes in the importance of an integrative approach and supporting you as a whole person. 

In addition to his training as a psychotherapist, he holds two certifications in yoga and one as a personal trainer. He has extensive knowledge of nutrition and understands its importance in emotional and physical wellbeing.

Work with John and invite him to a present as a guest workshop or teacher training presenter:Β

Key Takeaways

[00:01] Intro to John Sander

[01:21] What is Somatic Yoga?

[03:52] The job of somatic psychotherapy

[06:50] Somatic movements vs. somatic psychotherapy

[07:56] The difference between Yoga Therapy and Somatic Yoga

[09:11] How somatic yoga made John a better yoga teacher

[09:29] Teaching yoga using the guns, the koshas, and becoming more sattvic

[14:25] The subtle body and somatic yoga

[16:28] Music in our yoga classes- distracting or helpful?

[22:58] How to get started working with somatic yoga

[24:10] John’s book recommendations

John’s Book Recommendations:

Yoga & Psyche: Integrating the Paths of Yoga and Psychology for Healing, Transformation, and Joy by Mariana Caplan

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hanson

The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation by Stephen Porges

Getting Our Bodies Back by Christine Caldwell

Quotes from this episode

Somatic yoga basically emphasizes the practice of internal physical perception or the body as perceived from within. 

The way that we understand ourselves, honestly on a spiritual level, on a personal level, and mostly subconscious level comes out through our bodies.

So the job of somatic psychotherapy is to seek out through the body those pathways that have become either blocked or disconnected, to bring them up, to work with them and to put them back in a more optimal way. 

We’re trying to work to let the body inform the mind instead of the mind inform the body.

We believe that the memories, or the mental state, actually exists in the body first and then it imprints on the mind. 

When we become more embodied, or when we understand how we are from the inside out, we become better teachers. We are more connected to ourselves, more connected to the process, and more compassionate in the way that we put together classes.

The idea in yoga is to become united or free from those things that impede your freedom and walk more freely through the world. 

As a yoga teacher, you have students that encounter the same physical challenges again and again and again. It’s like butting your head up against a wall. And often times it’s not the physical body. There’s so many different layers of emotions and mental states.

As yoga teachers, the words we use, the tones we use, the tone of their voice affects the physical experience of our students and it’s literally processed in the lens of safe or not safe. Right? So we’re actually creating an experience for people that we don’t have a ton of control over, but we can be more conscious of what our impact can be on people simply by opening our mouth. 

I have a vision for what the human race can be and what I would love people to feel in their lives. And I think that in order to get there, it has to start moving beyond the distraction and beyond the outer layers and into the inner stuff. And that takes slowing down and less intensity. 

Raising the Bar of Yoga Teacher Professionalism

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Let’s become the change in the industry we want to see!

Kristen recognizes that yoga teachers have a significant impact on others’ lives, and because of that, we have a responsibility to raise the bar of professionalism.

Join us as we talk about her journey and what she believes makes a professional yoga teacher in Colorado.

And make sure to check out Kristen’s FB Group- The Business of Yoga – a place where teachers connect, share and inspire each other without feeling they are competing against each other.

Tune in every Wednesday at 2PM for our FREE FB LIVE series with Yoga Teachers of Colorado. RSVP to receive a reminder FB message:

About Kristen:

Kristen is a Denver-based Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, Embodiment Coach, Yoga Teacher, Teacher Trainer and Mentor.

She supports her students in their own transformation so they can Live. Life. Better. Whether this means creating space around old wounds, healing from a relationship, discovering what it is that is blocking your movement forward, dealing with a life transition, or the essential emotions of anxiety, fear, sadness, or pain.

She works with clients in-person or online. You can schedule a yoga therapy session, couples session, life mentoring, or check out the upcoming Course in Transformation, as well as other group events by clicking this link:

Check out Kristen online:

Key Takeaways

[00:00] We are chatting and finishing up a conversation. πŸ˜‰

[02:01] Live interview starts

[03:39] Kristen’s Yoga Journey

[06:25] How can we express our professionalism to our students?

[09:56] Does the competitiveness between teachers and studios need to be there? Why? And if not, what can we do?

[16:14] Yoga is just a practice.

[17:38] There’s continued room for growth and we are all uplifted and inspired by the increasing professionalism in the yoga industry. 

[21:23] Qualities to help us raise the bar of professionalism. 

[22:31] Holding the values of yoga as a yoga teacher.

[27:48] To raise the bar of professionalism……. 

[28:36] Thoughts on the yoga journey (this is a good one!!!)

Quotes from this episode

β€œI feel like yoga teachers are incredibly wise and insightful people……they really have a lot to offer.” – Kristen Boyle

β€œLet’s work together as teachers and professionals. Let’s support each other instead of this raging competition of “these are my students and this is my studio.” Rather it needs to be a little bit more fluid and open.”  – Kristen Boyle

β€œTo strive towards a more non-competitive attitude…..I think a deeper understanding and studying of Yoga means a paradigm shift in your thinking. Rather than a contractive way of thinking we need an expansive way of thinking.  When I make a choice, I’m not only making a choice for myself, but I’m also holding that in perspective of the greater whole.”  – Kristen Boyle

β€œIf I were to define yoga into one word that word is awareness, just awareness.”  – Kristen Boyle

β€œWe can talk about the rival yoga studios and all the friction and the negativity that’s out there. We also need to acknowledge the hope and where it’s going and all the good things that we see happening. There are teachers that are stepping up to that level of professionalism and I really want to appreciate, value, and acknowledge them in this conversation as well.”  – Kristen Boyle

β€œWe need to hold ourselves accountable to the ethics of yoga as much as we hold others accountable.”  -Allison Rissel

β€œThe yoga journey – the bad news. It never ends. The good news is I think you learn to journey better.”  – Kristen Boyle

β€œI think through the practice we become process oriented rather than goal oriented or aim oriented. And we learn to be in that process which is mindfulness. Being in the moment means I’m not at the end, it means I’m in the moment in my process moving towards that.”   – Kristen Boyle