What is Somatic Bodywork?

It is psychologically-centered massage and holistic touch therapy that takes into account that the body, mind, and spirit are very much connected.  I believe the physical body is the physiological representation of the soul.  Therefore, when creating changes, growth, and alignment in the body, you are also directly affecting that person's psyche and spiritual openness.  For example, when I help a client increase range of motion or their body can now do more than it could before, the mind makes a correlation.  If you unblock an area of tension, knots, or emotional holding in the body tissue or musculature, that client is now more capable of doing more with their body. It also allows them to explore what things they can mentally or spiritually accomplish now that they don't have that limitation in range of motion or on an emotional level.  Also, when the body comes into alignment and proper posture and breath take place, the prana(energy level) rises and the spiritual/energetic channels open up allowing the individual to move towards higher awareness and enlightenment.

Benefits of Massage & Bodywork:

Including but not limited to: Increased blood circulation, Improves posture, height, and length, Increases overall well-being, Increases joint range of motion, Reduced pain and discomfort, Improves mental clarity and focus, Improves self esteem, self love, and acceptance, Decreases depression and anxiety, Improves energy level and stamina, Improves immune system, Decreases illness and toxicity in the body, Reduces stress and overall tension, Allows emotional release work, Improves sleep and relaxation, Increases body awareness, and more.

What is Structural Integration/Balancing and Myofascial Release Work?

Imagine your body is made up of connective tissue that is an ice cube tray.  Your bones, bones, organs are the ice cubes.  What I guide you through is various techniques to change the actual ice tray, or mold of your connective tissue, thus creating expansion and freedom from within.  The ice cubes are now permanently changed with more space, freedom, and support, not to mention differentiation between muscle, bone, and tendons/ligaments so that your body is more functional and works in alignment with gravity.  It's a fact that every muscle fiber, spindle, bundle, etc, and layer upon outer layer all the way out to the skin is contained in connective tissue called fascia.  Imagine a beautifully complex sweater, or matrix kind of design, as the fascia.  What would happen if there was a huge snag and one part got tangled, throwing your entire body out of alignment?  The rest of the sweater would shift to compensate.  Now take into account the years of "snags" and falling/sitting/injuries/etc that are inflicted on the spine and connective tissue and you've a misaligned, messy "sweater" that's now too small and doesn't fit right.  What I do is guide you through movements and implement techniques that undo all that damage and literally re-align your body, giving you more length, internal space, flexibility, increased energy, and a sense of balance and symmetry.

Somatic Bodywork/Massage & Rolfing/Myofascial Tissue Release 

Sunni Knowlton


Energy Balancing, Grounding, and Healing

Energy is everything and everywhere, including within and all around us.  I believe we are all spiritual, energetic beings having a very real human, physical experience.  Everything in the universe has a frequency, a vibration, as do we.  What frequency we are emitting, or putting out there, is what we will experience coming back to us in our physical reality.   So why is it that sometimes we feel so depleted, drained, or exhausted?  Well, there are a myriad of reasons why that could be such as overworking, not getting enough sleep, lack of energetic/psychic boundaries where we pick up on other peoples' energy and take it into ourselves, exercising too much, not cultivating enough prana, or life force, being to "in the head" all the time or overthinking, overwhelming emotions, trauma, addictions of any kind, chronic pain, having an eating disorder, running yourself too thin...the list goes on and on.  With this busy and active lifestyle and way of "doing" in our society rather than "being," it's natural for our energy to often be out of wack, unbalanced, scattered, or not grounded.  That's where I come in.  It is part of my passion, purpose, and gift as a holistic healer to help you achieve an increased sense of energetic balance, grounding, being centered, focused, awareness, self-containment (where you keep your energy and don't give too much away to "energy suckers," and feel an overall sense of authenticity, well-being, and actual have more energy to feed your busy lifestyle.  I have studied several forms of energy work to hands on healing to Reiki, and I've come up with my own personal blend and style, which is true in my bodywork and yoga services as well.  There are many techniques and tools I use to balance and heal one's energy.  I feel blessed to have been a student of energy healing,  well manifesting your desires, the law of attraction, metaphysics, tarot, and more for several years.  Come...experience balance, freedom from negativity around you, learn how to protect your own energetic being, and find inner and outer peace.  

​Yoga, Meditation, & Mindfulness

What is Yoga?

The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. 
The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing),pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi(absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).

Yoga is a holistic way of life that integrates all elements of ancient knowledge of Yoga, to make a prayerful discipline uniting the body, mind and soul. Along with the series of simple, yet effective yoga postures and breathing techniques, a greater emphasis is placed on the inner experience of meditation, for the well-being of mind and other hidden elements of human existence. We believe when one is in harmony within, the journey through life becomes calmer, happier and more fulfilled.

Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.Yoga is and ancient practice that is thousands of years old used to attune the body, mind, and spirit to a point of integration that resembles enlightenment, nirvana, samadhi. In the western world, many people think of "doing" yoga versus "having a yoga practice."  The asanas, or physical postures of yoga, are only one of the eight limbs of yoga.  Yoga is truly a spiritual science that helps guide us to connecting to, and revealing, our authentic selves, as well as preparing us for meditation.  The yoga asanas are really the first of the eight limbs that prepare us for our journey into the body, letting go of the mental chatter, turning our awareness and focus inward, withdrawing from the external senses, holding a gently point of concentration that moves us into meditation, and if we are lucky enough, to perhaps experience moments of what we'd consider enlightenment, or pure oneness with the universal force and energy that exists everywhere.  

There are 5 Yamas and 5 Niyamas in Yoga, which are kind of like social contracts with yourself and with others.  They include principles like non-judgement, non-attachment, conservation of energy, non-harm to self and others, non-stealing, cleanliness, self study, austerity or discipline, study of a higher power, and turning over control to that higher power.  I believe in yoga, we don't create anything new...we reveal, layer by layer, what is already there.  Like anything truly therapeutic, we break down the walls we've built up over the many years of being tested and torn by life. Therefore, in yoga, we can unlearn negative thoughts and beliefs, learn how to fully accept ourselves in the present moment, stay present when in bodily discomfort or pleasure through the breath, increase our strength, focus, balance, flexibility, and so much more.  It's especially good if you already have a therapist you are working with as yoga will naturally uncover what's in your heart and allow emotions to surface and barriers to disappear.  Yoga is a journey of the self, to the self, through the self.  I could go on and on and as you can see, I'm very passionate about teaching and sharing the gifts of yoga.  I teach classes of any size and do offer private sessions as well for a more personal, tailored session to address your particular needs.  

Benefits of Yoga 

​​Increased flexibility.
Increased muscle strength and tone.
Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
Weight reduction.
Cardio and circulatory health.
Improved athletic performance.
Protection from injury.
Perfects your posture.
Prevents Cartilage and Joint Breakdown
Increases bone health
Drains lymph and boosts immunity
Activates the parasympathetic nervous system to bring a sense of peace and well-being
Improves mental Clarity and focus
Helps insomnia and regulates nervous system
Decreases pain, depression, anxiety, blood pressure
Increases self-esteem, spatial awareness, clarity and peace of mind

What is Meditation?

Meditation is an enrichment to your soul.  There are many ways to meditate in today's world.  I explore different techniques, used in Kriya and Hatha Yoga especially, and also flow from my own heart and inner guidance.  Learning how to be still is truly the skill of meditation. The process of cultivating stillness begins with the body. In the yoga tradition, I guide you to keep your head, neck, and trunk straight while sitting in a meditative posture (asana). When you have learned to be comfortable in this posture, you should form a regular habit of practicing in the same posture at the same time and at the same place every day.  

While a meditative state is the natural outcome of yoga and the spiritual benefit of meditation is supreme bliss or enlightenment. This can be hard to do.  When your mind focuses on a particular part of the body, the blood flow to that part increases and cells receive more oxygen and other nutrients in abundance. Just simply having body awareness is a form of meditation that can lead to extreme relaxation, pleasure, and relief.

Meditation improves concentration greatly. Many of the athletes and sports professionals regularly employ meditation methods. Studies have found a direct correlation between concentration exercises (meditation) and the performance level of sports professionals. Meditation strengthens the mind, it comes under control and is able to provide effective guidance to the physical body to effectively execute all its projects. Psychological Exercises are a powerful way of improving concentration and improving mental strength.  These principles are especially used in Yoga Nidra, or "Yogic Sleep," where the body is extremely relaxed in a progressive way and the mind may drift to a transcendent state, yet your core is very present and awakened. 

Though meditation is usually recognized as a largely spiritual practice, it also has many health benefits. The yoga and meditation techniques are being implemented in management of life threatening diseases; in transformation of molecular and genetic structure; in reversal of mental illnesses, in accelerated learning programs, in perceptions and communications beyond the physical, in solving problems and atomic and nuclear physics; in gaining better ecological understanding; in management of lifestyle and future world problems. 

Some benefits of meditation are:

It lowers oxygen consumption.
It decreases respiratory rate.
It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
Increases exercise tolerance in heart patients.
Leads to a deeper level of relaxation.
Good for people with high blood pressure as it brings the B.P. to normal.
Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
Decreases muscle tension (any pain due to tension) and headaches.
Builds self-confidence.
It increases serotonin production which influences mood and behaviour. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, obesity, insomnia and headaches.
Helps in chronic diseases like allergies , arthritis etc.
Reduces Pre- menstrual Syndrome.
Helps in post-operative healing.
Enhances the immune system. Research has revealed that meditation increases activity of 'natural-killer cells', which kill bacteria and cancer cells.
Also reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress.


What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being...an awareness of oneself, their surroundings, other people, observing nature, enjoying a sunset or sunrise... Most importantly, mindfulness is about BEING in the present moment, and nowhere else.  It is not dwelling in, coming from, or experiencing life from a past experience or perception.  It is not thinking about the future, or "future-tripping," projecting positive or negative things about the future, fearing the uncertainty of the future, or wondering "why" something happened to you in the past.  So what is it then?  It is simply being PRESENT, in mind, body, spirit, and soul.  It is having a heightened awareness of all of your senses, including intuition so that you are truly having a full experience of the NOW.  

Personal Training & Functional Fitness

I have been a certified personal trainer and fitness specialist for almost 2 decades...I have worked in various settings such as gyms, outside, yoga and postural alignment, playgrounds, etc, and this is what I have learned.  Every person has different interests, daily movements that they repeat over and over, different fitness or body image goals, different styles and preferences in learning, and so on.  I believe working out isn't something we should fear; it's something that makes us feel amazing and united with our amazing body.  Functional strength is what I consider practical strength...strength, endurance, flexibility, and stability that allows us to pursue our hobbies, play sports, run marathons, lose weight, tone & build muscles without limiting range of motion.  Whatever your goal, I want to help.  If you like gyms, I will train you in a gym.  If you don't like the hassle of going somewhere to get fit, I can work with you on how to use your body weight, resistance bands, stability balls, dumb bells, etc, so you are empowered to reach your goals from home. It's never too late to get in shape...you are worth it!