Psoma yoga therapy offers a mindfulness-based integration of two modalities - Hakomi (which I've been teaching internationally for more than 30 years) and yoga (which I've been practising and teaching for more than 50 years). For anyone who wonders about how to facilitate a more embodied healing experience in psychotherapy or wanting to learn a simple yet powerful way to support your own or another's personal transformation, psoma yoga therapy is a unique and powerful approach. Soma comes from the Greek for body. Ps (psyche) comes from the Greek for mind/spirit. So “psoma” yoga is my way of naming this integrated body/mind/spirit approach.
There are three main applications of psoma yoga: first as a personal practice for self-awareness and stress management, second as a way of offering a group learning experience of applied mindfulness either in a yoga setting or as group therapy, and third, as a way to work with someone else to support them on their personal healing journey.
My workshops and trainings have been offered for many years at retreat centers like Hollyhock (www.hollyhock.ca) and Hui Ho’olana (www.huiho.org). In my Hakomi trainings and sessions, in person or online, I also include an experience of psoma yoga. Participants are always invited to practise at their own level and to use their experience to inspire and enhance their personal and/or professional life and relationships.
One of the powerful discoveries that we can make in a yoga practice for self-awareness is the connection between asana (posture) and state of mind. How we habitually hold ourselves and move in our bodies expresses the models we hold of who we are and what kind of world we think we’re living in. Until these beliefs and habits come into conscious awareness they remain on automatic and not only limit us physically but also keep us living in old realities and ways. They can even cause unnecessary suffering. Bringing these embodied beliefs and attitudes into consciousness and exploring other possibilities allows us to experience something new and can be life-changing.
Psoma yoga therapy is inspired by Hakomi and the work of its creator, Ron Kurtz, who called it mindfulness-based assisted self-discovery. It is deeply informed by yoga as a practice of mindfulness-based self-awareness. It is also inspired by the genius of Moshe Feldenkrais and his Awareness through Movement, and by Kum Nye (Tarthang Tulku). My book on Psoma Yoga Therapy will be published before the end of 2020 by Stone’s Throw Publications.