I began somatic classes in September 2018. I’d experienced some somatic movements during Karen’s yoga class and had started to feel benefits, so after consultation with Karen, I decided to transfer from yoga to Somatics. I have shoulder pain due to poor posture and had previously trapped a nerve – this was the reason I’d started attending yoga classes in the first place. I’d previously had physio for the trapped nerve and had been taking painkillers when the pain got too uncomfortable. The physio and painkillers are not long-term options, so I knew I had to start correcting my posture myself.
Somatics give me the tools to correct my posture. I’m now starting to understand my body and how and why it’s gone wrong. It’s not a quick process, each week I learn something new about me and how I move. Each week I also learn new ways to move, my brain is challenged in a good way. I do honestly feel the benefits and can certainly say that physically and mentally I’m repairing.
Since starting somatics, the number of pain-free days have significantly increased to the point that I can go weeks without pain, an improvement on a year ago when I was experiencing constant pain or discomfort.
Karen’s experience as an instructor is evident: over the years I’ve attended yoga and pilates classes, but from my experience, instructors often fail to consider the individual or even help to correct a posture or provide alternative postures if you may have an injury, despite the fact that they take a medical questionnaire. Karen’s classes are different – you feel in safe hands, the guidance is extremely clear each movement is broken down and explained competently. If you struggle, Karen helps you or gives you alternative movements. This is important and reassuring, especially if you are broken. (Dr Sarah Upton)
Having been a netball player and umpire for over 50 years, I began suffering from hip and lower leg pain after matches and was considering giving up the sport altogether. Although I have attended regular yoga classes for many years, the problem wasn’t improving until I started somatic yoga with Karen about 2 years ago.
Karen’s careful explanations of the somatic exercises have helped me to understand the strong connections between seemingly unrelated parts of the body along with the psychology behind why the brain sometimes doesn’t let your body do what it should and could be doing, and more importantly, how it can be retrained. Without really thinking about it on a day to day basis, I am now pain-free after netball matches for the first time in several years and can look forward to being involved in the sport for a few more years yet. Thanks Karen!
Since taking up Somatics with Karen, my lower back and joint pain has significantly reduced, enabling me to reduce my painkillers from four times a day to once a day. I am now more confident in my mobility and feel less anxious.
I have been doing Somatics for almost two years for lower back pain. The exercises are very gentle and have helped me tremendously in keeping me pain-free
I was slightly sceptical about how beneficial Somatic Yoga would be especially as I had been practising ordinary yoga for many years. However eventually I tried it because I couldn’t get relief for my chronic neck and shoulder pain. Firstly, it felt I had received a proper workout and over the following weeks I gradually improved. Now I feel the best I have felt for several years. (Sue)
Keeps an old body working smoothly
I have been attending Karen’s Somatic Yoga classes for around 18 months and they have been a great help with pain relief and increased mobility, and if I miss a class, I can really tell. I have a long-standing back problem and find that Somatic Yoga with Karen is one of the best things I found to keep me off the painkillers. The class is also fantastic chance for me time and relaxation, which has been much needed recently.
I must have been doing somatics with Karen for 2 years and my enthusiasm for it is higher than when I started. Every session I have attended has been beneficial. I suffer from neuropathy problems in my legs and I find the sessions to be just right. Lying on the floor, being encouraged to breathe deeply and the general relaxation of the sessions greatly reduces stress (which can exacerbate my problems). I find that the somatic movements are easily accessible with Karen’s clear instructions (and Karen demonstrates when they are complicated). If I still can’t get it, Karen will speak individually to me to help me.
I like it that each session involves stepped ‘exercises’ that increase in complexity and involve more things for the brain to take on board. At the end of each session, I feel that my body, mind and spirit have been refreshed: my body feels that all the knots and tensions in it have been released and are back in balance; it also feels that in a way it has been in a workout, even though most of the movements are small. My body feels exhilarated by the session. My mind and spirit feel very much at peace. I really regret it when circumstances cause me to miss the session.
Two years ago, I almost crawled into Karen’s class in such pain with my hip that I could hardly walk, stand straight or sit. I had been taking a lot of strong painkillers and attending weekly physio sessions. I had improved from the initial blur and pain of the first weeks after the injury, but could not progress further to ‘normal’ life.
With Karen’s help, I started Somatics. During my first session I cried – it felt as if a little bubble inside had burst, that I’d been falling and Karen had caught me.
Slowly Karen has supported me on a journey, not to a pain-free life, but to somewhere I can almost function fully! Sometimes when I’m struggling she appears next to me and reminds me how far I’ve come – reminds me how I’m so much better.
Somatics has challenged my brain, and made me think about how I move. The hour-long class is the fastest hour in the week, I never tire of it. (Lynn)
I enjoy Somatics because it calms my busy mind & helps keep my body free & flexible.