Romi Cumes M.A., M.F.T.I., L.M.T. has been committed to consciousness-based work for over twenty years, including: yoga, mindfulness practices, bodywork, intuitive healing, indigenous shamanic studies, somatic and relational psychology, music, and performance art. She founded Transformative Healing Arts in 2004, which offers private and group yoga instruction, bodywork, performance art (fire-dancing), coaching, workshops and international retreats. Romi is dedicated to supporting others to ameliorate their understanding of the body and explore the profound relationship between somatic (body-centered) awareness and emotional/physical healing. She encourages others to tap into their authentic self so they may heal and flow through life in a way that serves their highest potential. Romi’s private practice is based out of Santa Barbara, where she also teaches yoga classes and workshops about somatic and relational psychology. She travels nationally and internationally facilitating workshops and healing retreats. Click here for upcoming retreats.
Romi’s bodywork and healing approach is deeply rooted in somatic and relational psychology. She integrates clinical knowledge with intuition to initiate greater transformation and healing for her clients. Her empathic style is nurturing and direct. She encourages individuals to proactively work with pain, distress, trauma, and spiritual blockages in a way they can understand. Within each of us exists innate body wisdom and intelligence. Romi supports others to explore this space with authenticity and compassion and invites you to enter each session with a clear intention for your health and spiritual well-being.
I have practiced physically and spiritually provocative art forms for as long as I can remember and movement has been one of the most profound sources of soul-nourishment in my life. Within the dynamic and subtle energy waves inherent in the nature of movement, there are endless pathways to Self-discovery. My mindfulness practices are pragmatic and often nature-based, and I am passionate about causes that support ecology, nature-based education, and sustainable living systems. I strongly believe there is a direct relationship between nature and one’s individual healing process. How we treat the earth directly impacts the individual and global psyche. Healing Arts (yoga, counseling, bodywork) are a metaphor for living in harmony with the natural world, and the limbs of this proverbial healing tree extend into every aspect of life.
I began practicing yoga in 1995 and I completed my first teacher training and massage program in 1998. After working with massage and yoga clients for over twelve years, I had a calling to understand more about patterns of imbalance in the body, as they pertain to the psyche and spirit. In 2012, I completed a Masters degree in clinical, somatic (body-centered) psychology and the journey has opened me up to many new realms of self and other-awareness. I am currently working towards my California Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license and am a student counselor part-time at Santa Barbara City College.
My graduate school thesis was about the neurobiology of mindfulness as it pertains to embodied practices and interpersonal relationships. I discuss the work of Charlotte Selver who was a pioneer of a somatic-based mindfulness practice called “Sensory Awareness”. Like yoga, Sensory Awareness advocates various body-centered experiments to assist people to get in touch with their most authentic state of being. Just as a Buddhist practitioner focuses on Loving Kindness, or a Yogi practices Dharana and Diyana (concentration, meditation), a Sensory Awareness practitioner focuses on Conscious Sensing. Somatic practices (body-centered mindfulness) bring us into deeper knowing of our true Self, and I am committed to assisting others to evolve this innate wisdom.
For centuries, yogis have known what psychologists have only been able to explicate in the last fifty years. Similar to many reputable yogis, Charlotte Selver believed that we benefit when we, “learn to give up this doing” (Sensory Awareness Foundation, Journal 1, p.36). After practicing yoga for almost twenty years, my most advanced accomplishment has been my ability to learn how to take in. I spent many years trying to “move out” stuck energy, be it through gymnastics, dance, yoga, or meditation. Today I feel most aligned with my inner wisdom when I listen to what my body says, take a moment to feel it, and quite simply…take it all in.
An individual’s physical abilities have nothing to do with their ability to become more somatically aware. Be it breath work, nature awareness, dance, a thirty-minute asana practice, a one hour therapy session, or a strong Ashtanga practice, there are myriad forms of body-centered exploration that can transform the self. When we choose practices that support us to observe our experiences, our interactions with others, and our feelings during such experiences, we are more capable of seeing ourselves holistically, and more likely to cultivate inner attunement and equanimity. I choose to move through with this in mind and body, and I will support you to do the same. For more writing about somatics and other topics, feel free to visit my blog.
“A call for world wide fellowship, is a call for all embracing power of love; is the key that unlocks the door of ultimate reality. Love is a God. Everyone who loves, knows God.”?
-Dr. Martin Luther King.