Rachel_Beaumont's Avatar
Member since Oct 2015
Mind Body Movement
Loughborough | Yoga
A new way of moving!
I have had the pleasure of working with Cheryl for the last few months. I was completely ignorant of somatics when I joined her yoga class, but I really enjoyed some of the elements that she brought into the class, seemly simple, but actually as I realised the more I practised, they require a very different mind-set. I was used to pushing my body to its limit in yoga, and with somatics it was about listening to your body, focussing on muscles that we don’t normally pay any attention, and specifically not forcing a stretch and certainly not causing any pain. But as ever the little voice inside says, but how can this really help?

What I discovered from working with Cheryl in her workshops and through one to one sessions was that these apparently innocuous movements can make a huge difference. The first thing I noticed was that when I was lying on the floor the arch in back was smaller. The lovely luxurious movement of arch and flatten and then arch and curl was helping to ease years of having a ‘dodgy lower back’. Lying on my back on the floor was easier and so much more comfortable.
My somatics conversion was cemented when I was moving a piece of furniture and I twisted awkwardly and immediately felt a pain in my back as the muscles went into spasm. At first I was unable to move, but when I could I immediately laid down on the floor, and to start with did some gentle pulling rope, then as I was able to do more, I did the washrag and gradually moved to arch and flatten and back lifts. I didn’t need any pain killers and by the next morning, I was able to move around normally without pain.

I have used somatics on several occasions since then, when I have tweaked my back or been pulled or twisted unexpectedly by my excitable dog, and each time I’ve been amazed at the difference it makes. The side bend has really helped with the twists.

As if I needed any further proof, in one of my later sessions with Cheryl we did a lot of work on my shoulders. Cheryl always takes before and after photographs and the change in my posture after the session was almost unbelievable. My overall posture was more aligned, with my head more balanced over my body, my shoulders were no longer tipped forward and generally everything looked more square and equalised. It was another revelation about the power of these amazing movements.

An important aspect of somatics is that you can do these movements yourself at home. So Cheryl sends you support materials for the movements so you can practise at home. She is also very understanding of how life gets in the way of our very good intentions, so we’ve talked about how to maximise the time I have available to do somatics, including doing some of the movements in bed before I get up. An amazing way to start the morning!

Finally, working with Cheryl is an absolute pleasure, her knowledge and passion for somatics and how mind and body are inextricably linked is completely obvious and very infectious. Her absolute intention is to empower the individual to be able to make these changes themselves at home. In getting to that point, this has been a fun and enlightening journey that I hope to continue. With deep gratitude to Cheryl for introducing me to somatics.
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