Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a guide and some answers to some of the questions you may have in regards to the multitude of movement and somatic practices that Shannon offers.
What is Iyengar Based Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga was created by the late B.K.S. Iyengar. This form of yoga is alignment based and is prop heavy, using chairs, straps, blocks and more, to help those with limitations as well as to help those to deepen poses and have longer holds. Shannon studied with The Yoga Room Berkeley, whom her teachers directly studied with the Iyengars, but formed their own unique style with more focus on breath, and the inner subtle body alongside with the teachings of Iyengar. This form of yoga is scientifically based with emphasis on slowing down and mapping the body from the inside out, as well as focus on intelligent sequencing that promotes vitality and life force in ones body while calming the mind.
What is Somatic Yoga?
Somatic Yoga is yoga with an emphasis on somatic awareness, or the awareness of the inner terrain of the body. The emphasis is not on performative or exercising as many yoga forms have become, yet, we are mapping our bodies with our intention, breath and awareness. It is a form of movement therapy that works to re-educate the way our mind senses and moves our body. Somatic meaning, embodied, somatic yoga is staying curious and engaged with the yoga practice moving towards what feels most alive, this practice is about building a relationship or a bridge with our body, mind and spirit through the practice. We dive deeply into the mystery and intelligence of our system, getting to know ourselves more intimately, with a safe and informed practice to our ever changing needs as dynamic living organisms.
What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative Yoga is yoga that is extremely gentle, cooling, calming and soothing for the body, mind and soul. It can be adapted and used by anyone. The focus is quieting and calming. In restorative, the focus is on restoring, rejuvenating, with deep rest and support of the body. The poses have specific intentions which can help specific meridians and organs and systems of the body to repair. We use many props to support and hold the body so the body may receive the benefits of the posture in deep rest. The poses are often held longer with focus on decreased sensation and effort, and more sensation on deep relaxation, receptivity, slowing down and allowing the body to unfold, open and integrate while documented to reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep, digestion and respiratory function.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a movement system developed by Joseph Pilates which was developed to help physical ailments and back pain while improving flexibility and mobility, while building strength and core integration. Pilates helps with posture, alignment, coordination and balance. Some principles of the Pilates method include, breath, fluidity, precision and control, centering, flow, postural alignment and balance between ease and effort while finding functional form and movement. Pilates uses resistance or springs on equipment, which trains the body very differently. Exercises and movements are done without force or momentum, while also focusing on eccentric and concentric muscle contractions. In Pilates we focus on finding new patterns and ways of moving that help one move out of pain and finding power and strength from the central core, which includes abdominals, spinal muscles, lats and shoulders, hips and hamstrings.
What is Tamalpa LifeArt Process?
Tamalpa, a movement and expressive arts school and system was founded by dance and movement pioneer Anna Halprin in 1978. Tamalpa uniquely combines dance, movement, expressive arts, therapy and somatic education. The LifeArt Process focuses on embodied healing and transformation through movement, storytelling, voice and sound, drawing, dialogue, creative writing, reflection
and performance ritual. The system explores the relationship between body, feeling, image/imagination, and thoughts and beliefs. We explore body mapping, and rewriting our personal myths and stories through deep creative process, movement and inquiry.
What is Somatic Therapy?
Somatic Therapy is a form of body-centered therapy that uses both psychology methods and physical therapies for holistic healing. It is a holistic form of therapy that is grounded in the relationship between the mind and body. Somatic therapy can be affective and useful in working with trauma and PTSD, as it can help reduce discomfort, strain and stress in the body, helping to create a greater sense of self, building resilience and greater capability. The focus is to live more fully, fully embodied which means aligning body, mind, heart and soul. Somatic therapy involves bringing awareness into present moment while exploring body tension, gestures and sensations. Through connecting and listening to the messages carried within the body, guiding clients towards more agency, choice ease and freedom in their lives.