Soma Yoga

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Soma Yoga Mean?

Soma yoga is any number of practices that incorporate the movement healing system of somatics. The idea behind somatics is that slow, gentle exercises re-educate the nervous system and allow the release of tight, restricted muscles, thereby promoting healing. Yoga practices based on somatics blend this concept with appropriate yoga asanas.

Soma is a word derived from Greek that refers to the whole body, but it also has meaning in Indian traditions. The Sanskrit word, soma, means “moon” and is also the name of the Hindu moon god who is known for kindness and gentleness.


Yogapedia Explains Soma Yoga

SomaYoga and the International SomaYoga Institute in Minnesota were created and developed by yogis Ann Maxwell and Molly McManus. They use therapeutic yoga and traditional asanas, focusing on both freedom of expression and functional movements, as in somatics. They teach that body awareness helps free mind and spirit, as well as the body.

Another type of Soma yoga was developed by Seattle yogi, Jean Hindle of the Soma Yoga & Dance Studio. She integrates classical Hatha yoga and somatic movement education.

The field of somatics was developed by Thomas Hanna at his Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training, which he founded in the 1970s.

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