“I have found [Elen] to be warm and accessible, extraordinarily welcoming
of students of all levels of yoga experience. She is vigilant about comfort – observing, supporting, adjusting
and accommodating to preferences and limitations.”
Step One: Intake
When you schedule your session, I’ll ask you to complete an intake form and sign a waiver. At your first appointment, we’ll talk through the form, ask each other questions, and I’ll give you an idea of my approach for that session.
Intake will also include me looking at your physical posture and asking you questions about what you are feeling compared to what I’m seeing. For example, I might ask if you notice that one shoulder is higher toward the ear than the other. And you might say, “No! What are you talking about?” Many times what I see doesn’t match what the client feels. That’s important for me to know; it helps me locate where muscles are tight and imbalanced. And that guides my decision-making for your treatment plan.
Step Two: Assessment
When we’re in pain or in a state of lost physical function, our nervous system is working in overdrive. So, to learn to move more freely, we need to start by calming the nervous system down. The first step toward that in our session is to make sure you are as physically comfortable as possible. With my assistance, you’ll find the place where you feel the most relaxed, whether it be lying on your back, your stomach, your side, or seated in a chair. Once you’re comfortable, I’ll guide you through a few breathing exercises to help your body and mind settle into the studio space.
Next, I’ll ask you a series of questions about what you’re noticing in your body, your mind, and how you’re feeling overall. Some of what you notice might be similar to what showed up when you were standing, but there will be new things, too. Any change in our body’s position – upright, seated, lying down – causes a different relationship between our body and gravity. And, gravity determines how the muscles need to function.
Everything we learn in Assessment allows us to begin Step Three, Practice.
Step Three: Practice
Somatics is based on a series of slow, small movements of the shoulders, spine, and pelvis. We use somatic movement to guide how the nervous system senses the muscles to release stress, increase function and reduce pain.
Intake and Assessment help me determine what the root cause of your physical limitations might be. Be ready to learn that the thing that’s bothering you might be a symptom, not the cause. The body is a complicated system and what happens in one part of the body affects all others. We talk a lot about that concept in sessions because what I teach is quite often contradictory to what clients have learned in the medical community.
Somatics gives us many different ways to approach the source of pain and physical limitations. In your first session, we’ll practice a few different movement patterns and we’ll notice which seem to get to what we want to work with.
Breathing, mindfulness, and other yoga-based techniques will be part of what you learn. And, I will guide you, coach you, and support you as you step into this new way of healing.
Step Four: Planning
After one last scan of the state of your body, you’ll spend a few minutes resting and focusing on your breathing. When it’s time to end the session, I’ll take you through what your home practice will be. You can ask questions and give me feedback on your experience in the session.
At this point, I’ll also recommend a set number of sessions as our starting point. My recommendation is usually four or eight weekly sessions, but it does vary by person and situation.
Post-session, usually within 24 hours, you’ll receive a session follow-up email from me. This will remind you of what your home practice includes and will provide short instructions for each movement pattern. You’ll also receive an e-invoice with a link to pay directly online. And, you’ll always have the open invitation to get in touch with questions or concerns between sessions.
What questions do you have that weren’t answered here?
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