Redesigning The Programming
Much of what drives our day to day existence is done without the awareness of our conscious minds; this means we are often acting out of old subconscious patterning that is not supportive of the direction we want to be going. Through somatic practices, meditation and self inquiry we begin to become intimate with the intricacies of who we are and what we want at a Soul level and we begin to gain the courage to live from that place while we shed what isn’t authentically our own.
The nervous system is used to conforming to herd mentality; we feel unsafe doing something different from those around us, even when “fitting in” causes personal harm. We can strengthen the nervous system, like a muscle, to begin to act with agency and independence while we expand and grow regardless of what’s happening in the world around us. feel.focus.flow. builds this strength and resilience.
Building a Resilient Nervous System
Our nervous systems need an update. We live in a world that has 24 hour access to world news, real and perceived threats to our safety and security are abundant and our nervous systems are still running an operating system that was designed for humans who only needed to worry when a neighboring tribe was attacking or they encountered a threat while walking through the woods. Not that long ago humans did not know what was happening in the villages beyond their own and these days we know of tragedy across the globe and feel it as our own within minutes. Our primitive nervous system is meant to help us fight or flee when a threat is imminent, it’s much like an on/off switch. Threat=ACTIVATE while non-threat=REST. We can see this best in the animal world; when an animal needs to escape a predator they either fight, flee or freeze. If they escape from the predator the animal shakes it off, discharges the energy of the attack and goes about their business. There is no trauma in the wild animal world (animals raised in captivity, like humans, do exhibit symptoms of trauma).
In our modern world, many people get stuck. The nervous system doesn’t know that the movie you are watching is not real and your heart rate and cortisol levels increase regardless; when your boss is angry at you your palms may get sweaty and you may fear you will lose your job; another day you may worry about a loved one coming home in bad weather and feel anxiety until they arrive home safely. These are all involuntary reactions from our nervous system; we perceive a threat and our nervous system is at the ready in case we need to react. The problem with this in our day and age is that, physiologically, we are “over-reacting” to threats that are not immediately life threatening. Our world is a disturbing place to be sometimes but an activated nervous system isn’t going to help us navigate. What will help is the ability for our nervous system to work in tandem with our consciousness so that we can discern between immediate and perceived threats. Our nervous systems must evolve to this new level of interacting with the world around us; we must strengthen our capacity to be with reality so we can make decisions that will serve the highest good. feel.focus.flow. practices help to increase the nervous system’s capacity to be with experience. Through cultivating awareness we can sense when the nervous system becomes activated and employ regulating practices that allow us to move out of conditioned reaction into intentional responding.
What is Yoga?
Atha yoga anushasanam
Now, the teachings of yoga begin.
—Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.1
Yoga is union; this merging of body, mind, breath, consciousness and soul is our natural state. This union occurs in the here and now, in the present moment.
How is feel.focus.flow.™ different from a typical western yoga class?
About halfway through a feel.focus.flow.™ class everyone in the room is doing something different because they’ve tuned in and are responding to their own bodies, they are guided into deep listening while being held in a container of safe exploration where they are encouraged to respond to what they discover. No one’s experience is exactly like another’s.
We are on a mission to help de-colonize yoga and equalize the power dynamic in teacher/student relationships while providing a safe space to heal from the effects of our conditioning. As a collective we are uncovering the prevalence of uneven power dynamics in life and yoga class; feel.focus.flow.™ empowers the individual practicing to express their own authentic energy and become their own guru.
Other ways it’s different
Less directed asana and more intuition
No peer pressure to conform to the other body shapes or abilities in the room
Emphasis on personal responsibility and honoring your body’s needs
Offers healing from the conditioned ways we relate to external authority
You begin by honoring yourself on your yoga mat and then end up telling your boss no 😉
feel.focus.flow.™ Is meant to be
An opportunity for uniting the Sacred With The Mundane
Origins Of The Practice
The philosophy of feel.focus.flow.™ is rooted in the spiritual traditions of yoga, tantra and Vedanta while seeing and speaking to the common threads in ALL spiritual traditions around the world. Foundational to this practice is the recognition and integration of the five Koshas...the 5 layers of each individual: The Physical Body, The Energetic Body, The Mental/Emotional Body, The Consciousness and The Soul.
feel.focus.flow.™ evolved from Lori Glazebrook’s own personal practice, a practice that needed to shift and change along with the changing tides of life. Lori's Yoga practice saw her through divorce, being a single mother of three, college and grad school, marriage, CPSTD, nerve damage and chronic pain. After years of practicing power and vinyasa flow she found that her body and nervous system needed more restorative practices yet she was also craving movement and flow. Around the same time, Lori realized it was time to go deeper into her own healing journey and found Somatic Experiencing® therapy. As a result the practice of feel.focus.flow.™ was born. When she began inviting somatic exploration into her yoga practice she found an even deeper level of healing and integration was possible. She used the practice and philosophy of feel.focus.flow.™ to heal from childhood trauma, sexual and emotional abuse while finding freedom from the binds of chronic pain. This practice has gifted her with a deep seated sense of joy while developing deep self awareness and freedom.
What is Somatics?
From the Greek word for “in the body”. In Vedic thought the word Soma refers to the nectar of immortality and most likely influenced the later echoing of the term in other languages. We discover the nature of our true Self THROUGH the body rather than by transcending it. feel.focus.flow. Is a practice that allows us to experience the true nectar of life without negating our worldly experience. Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar says “Soma is nothing but nature’s intelligence at every level of existence. It is the subtle link connecting Matter, Energy, and Consciousness. Soma is understood as the purest and subtlest form of material expression, which connects mortality to immortality.”
According to somatic psychologists, such as Peter Levine and Bessel Van der kolk, trauma is not an experience we encounter but rather the unexpressed energy left over after an event that our brains can’t reconcile. This energy can manifest as our body language, posture and expression. In some cases past traumas may manifest physical symptoms like pain, problematic digestion, hormonal imbalances, sexual dysfunction, auto-immune disease, depression, anxiety and addiction. In addition to traditional therapies, somatic practices such as feel.focus.flow. can help these energies and past experiences be integrated and heal.