by Courtney Zenner, RYT-200
December 12, 2023
I began biweekly SATYA practice online with Tias Little one year ago, several months after I survived an auto accident. At the time I could grunt my way through daily life activities, but injuries to my pelvis and spine left my body incapable of my usual round of morning sun salutations. Sitting meditation was unbearable and pain levels were high. SATYA, which stands for “Somatic Awareness Training for Yoga Attunement,” became a balm for my body and my hypervigilant, overtaxed nervous system. I didn’t know quite how it worked, but even after one session, I knew one thing: SATYA just felt good.
In our hectic, deadline- and performance-driven world, Tias offers a rare and skillful invitation to touch stillness, move organically, and tune into our senses. I lie on my back, follow the instruction to explore small, breath-driven spinal curve moments along the floor; then I stop, rest in Savasana, watch with eyes closed, and feel my neck and shoulders’ responses to the movements. I don’t need to watch anything happening around me. Instead, I listen to Tias’ skillful oral cues. I sense currents of energy, increased circulation, and relief through my spine and down my arms and legs. 30 seconds later, I return to sequential movement, noticing sensations with greater attention and intimacy than before.
With the support of gravity and the earth beneath me, and without something I’m aiming to do other than move around a bit and pay attention, something magical happens: my mind lets go. I feel more relaxed. I feel more freedom and relief in my body than at any other point in my day. As a yoga teacher certified twelve years ago, and as a practitioner of meditation and yoga for over two decades, I’ve found SATYA is deeper — yet somehow more accessible and revitalizing — than any other mindfulness or movement practice I’ve encountered.
No matter what brings people to SATYA, and no matter the body or the health history, I’ve witnessed firsthand that people feel tremendous, increased vitality from these teachings. In my last year as a committed SATYA student I have attended two live Prajna retreats, regularly joined biweekly online classes, and maintained a simple but steady morning practice. In summer of 2023, I enrolled in the SATYA I training, which credits hours toward my 300/500-hr yoga teacher certification through Prajna. Based on my year of experience in the method, I knew SATYA is excellent for my health and my yoga practice in general, and that I might want to teach some of this method in the future.
The SATYA I training was, in a word, phenomenal. The entire group this past summer found it to be nourishing, restorative, and inspiring. But on a training level, the work is deep, intuitive, wonderfully structured, and powerful. The immense knowledge, experience, philosophical grounding, anatomical intention, and somatic innovation that Tias and Surya share in SATYA I are unmatched.
We live in a society in which top performance, endless striving, and high stress are the default mode. This default stress mode sometimes applies to yoga practice, especially when focus remains on the achievement of a particular posture. SATYA I provides a wonderful path toward regeneration, healing, and wakefulness. Our cohort already eagerly awaits the dates for the next SATYA II training.