A powerful way to shift things in your life is by aligning your unconscious thoughts with your conscious desires. Yoga Nidra is a simple and elegant way to do that. Through a guided meditation, you allow the mind to relax and soften and then you insert a conscious desire while the mind is like soft clay. This desire, or vow, called a Sankalpa, helps you align with your deepest truth. Sankalpa translates literally as – the vow made in the heart that is greater than all other vows. We are constantly making vows to ourselves, and some of those vows are unconscious. These could be powerful internal voices that we don’t even realize are ‘vows’. Things like, “I’ll never amount to anything,” “No one will ever love me,” “I’ll never get a job I love.” Even though these just seem like our internal dialogue, they are actually vows that our internal computers read and enact as if they are computer code.
Most of you know that our behavior is run almost 90% unconsciously. This is why we keep getting the same outcomes in our lives, despite the fact that we really, really, really want to change and transform. But change is not always easy. There are energetic flows in the body whose job it is to keep you from change. Even when that change would be good! All the yoga and meditation and running and swimming and dieting and praying and vision boarding in the world won’t help you change if you can’t get your energies to agree to change too! This is part of the power and magic of Energy Medicine Yoga. In this modality, we work with our energies, and help them transform, so that the rest of our bodies and minds can follow. And one of the most powerful practices to help us change is Yoga Nidra coupled with a sankalpa.
Qi Gong is an ancient form of exercise and healing that focuses on breathing concentration and energy flow. The Chinese word Qi is formally defined as “breathing/air”, but can also be used in the context of describing the relationship between matter, energy and spirit. The dictionary definition for the word “Gong” is that of achievement or results. The two words are combined to describe a method of energy cultivation.
There are many forms and styles of Qi Gong originating from different segments within Chinese society.
Dr. Steven K.H. Aung is a pioneer in the integration of western, traditional Chinese and complementary medicine. His efforts have helped to make Alberta and Canada an active centre in the field of integrated and complementary medicine. His unique approach to medicine, combined with the remarkable compassion he brings to all that he does, has made him a highly respected teacher, researcher and physician. He been a geriatric and family physician, and a traditional Chinese medical (TCM) practitioner and teacher for more than thirty years. He has taught medical Qi Gong to thousands of people around the world, and is a clinical professor in the departments of Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. In 2006, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.
The idea of a concise, compelling description of ‘Somatics’ that can be communicated in the short span of an elevator ride makes good sense.
It makes good sense because, as a Somatics educator, I am often asked: “What exactly do you do?” or, “What is Somatics?” and “How does it work?”
So often, I am met by that bewildered gaze whenever I dare mention the “word”.
As a longtime yoga instructor, the elevator pitch has been much easier, if even necessary. Most people have at least some general understanding of what’s involved in the practice of yoga. Somatics, however, is different.