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SAY: Self Awakening Yoga

Self Awakening Yoga - the Art of Living Retreat Center

The practice of Self Awakening Yoga (SAY) is a creative learning process and expansion of your consciousness.  As with all yoga – bringing union, moving from darkness to light – this practice allows an “un- learning” of old habits and inefficient patterns our bodies may have adapted to from a past illness or injury (physical and/or emotional).

Injuries, illness, toxicity, and trauma are a part of life. Our bodies have an amazing way of adapting both physically and emotionally.  However, we can unconsciously get locked into inefficient or unskillful patterns that affect our ways of being, thinking and moving.

What happens in a SAY practice?

During a SAY practice, you will move in interesting new ways: unwinding, rolling, tapping, thumping, to name a few.  The process is to awaken prana, (the intelligent life force that flows within all life forms) to bring awareness to and unlock any of these unhelpful patterns. You are encouraged to be a “C” student during class, to release the pressure of doing it right.  This creates a level of new trust in your being through self discovery and kinesthetic inquiries. Your own experience is the teacher.

After a serious back injury left me unable to move in even basic ways, (a pars fracture of my L4 vertebrae), going back to my yoga practice was a scary experience at first. After the injury, my walking gait was that of a shuffle, and moving from sitting to standing was slow and guarded.  When the time was right I decided to return to my mat, and I began with Self Awakening Yoga.

The process of healing

I immersed into a 100 Hour program at the Nosara Yoga Institute with the creator of SAY himself, Brahmanand Don Stapleton, PhD.  For two weeks we practiced this form up to three times a day in two hour classes. Not only did I find the freedom of letting go, but it was like I supercharged my healing process. There are over 100 movement inquiries and meditations –- everything from accessing primal sound to focusing on the breath.  

What if?

Try this simple movement inquiry: lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Slowly begin to let your knees sway side to side, one knee at a time dropping down to the ground, repeating the movement over and over.

Along the way ask yourself the questions: What if?  What if I moved like this? What if I change the direction? What if I moved more spontaneously? What if I slowed down? After a few minutes of repeating this movement stop and pause and stillness. Notice the sensations.

This method of inquiry is called “AS IS” –  Awareness of Sensation through Internal Scanning.  It feels primal and supportive. Simple and yet powerful.

My love for this style of yoga has grown through my own experience of it.  Self Awakening Yoga now is a part of every class I lead. You can experience this uniquely nurturing and accessible form of yoga during our Return to Source Retreat from May 10-16, 2019.


Stacy Seebart is an experienced yoga teacher, massage therapist and educator. Her yoga journey began at the Nosara Yoga Institute (NYI) in Nosara, Costa Rica fourteen years ago. Stacy has trained yoga teachers around the world and was faculty of both Kripalu Center and NYI. Her approach is heart- centered, grounded and transformative.

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