What is Soma?

Welcome to The Functional Yogi's blog! In celebration of the launch of the new website and revitalized blog, I wanted to start at the beginning by offering a reading from Thomas Hanna, the creator of somatics.

What Is Soma?

Soma is living: it is expanding and contracting, accommodating and assimilating, drawing in energy and expelling energy. Soma is pulsing, flowing, squeezing and relaxing-flowing and alternating with fear and anger, hunger and sensuality. Human somas are unique things which are belching, farting, hiccuping, fucking, blinking, pulsing, throbbing, digesting.

Somas are unique things, which are yearning, hoping, suffering, tensing, paling, cringing, doubting and despairing. Human somas are convulsive things: they convulse with laughter, with weeping, with orgasms. Somas are the kind of living, organic being which you are at this moment, in this place where you are. Soma is everything that is you, pulsing within your fragile, changing, growing and dying membrane that has been chopped off from the umbilical cord which linked you-until the moment of that severance-with millions of years of organic genetic history within the cosmos.

Somas are you and I separated without asking from the warm, protective, ever beloved bodies of our mothers, feeling a little alone and a little confused, wondering what it is all about, this sixty of seventy years of pulsing physiological autonomy that was given without asking and will be taken away without asking. Somas are the consistently stupid and incomparably intelligent automatons, which bear either your name or my name.

Somas are you and I, always wanting life and wanting it more abundantly. Somas are you and I, brothers of a common membranous enclosure, a common mortality, a common environment, a common confusion and a common opportunity, right now, to discover far more than we have ever known about ourselves.

~ Thomas Hanna

, Bodies in Revolt, 1970