(Video) Five Poses a Day with Romi: Yoga for Inner Balance

Five Poses A Day: Yoga for Inner Balance

This video was filmed in the wilderness in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Utilize these postures to feel more present with yourself and create a feeling of inner balance and calm. This sequence can be completed in fifteen to twenty minutes. Or, add a few of your favorite poses or take some extra breaths in each posture to create a longer practice.

To stay in touch with us about Romi’s upcoming 2018 Yoga Safari in the Okavango Delta, email us at romicumes@gmail.com or call (805) 448-4111

Five Poses a Day with Romi: Yoga for Centering from Romi on Vimeo.

Five Poses a Day with Romi: Centering

Five Poses a Day, September Sequence

Happy Friday!

I have many clients and friends that want to start practicing yoga, meditating, or exercising more, but find the process daunting or unapproachable. Even though I have been practicing and teaching yoga for many years, I can relate and often find it challenging to simply get on the mat. One thing I find extremely helpful with this yoga/exercise quandary, is to simply commit to five postures. That’s right FIVE POSTURES or simple exercises. We can all make time to do five poses and by setting the intention to just do five, we usually end up wanting more and extending the practice. Doing five poses a day is not overwhelming and only takes fifteen to twenty five minutes, depending on how fast you work through the sequence and how many variations you add.

Today is a new moon and a new time to commit to taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. Here’s a sequence that can help you jump start your day and motivate your self-care practice.


Pose 1: PLANK 10-20 breaths if done without variations. With variations, 5-10 breaths each

(Variation 1 and 2 Pictured below)




Additional Pose/Rest: Child’s Pose or Wide Knee Child’s Pose


POSE 2: Low Lunge with Rhomboid Squeeze

5-10 breaths holding lunge. 10-20 shoulder/rhomboid squeeze reps (pulse and squeeze shoulder blades together behind you, keeping hands active)


Variation 1: Gentle twisting low lunge (left arm not visible in photo and can reach above head to activate psoas/hip flexor stretch)

side-bend-1Pose 3: Side Stretch with Hip Opener; keep feet and arms active (both sides, 5-15 breaths)

Variation 1: Side Stretch with Hip Opener and Neck Release



Pose 4: Knee to Chest (both sides, 5-15 breaths)


Pose 5: Spinal Twist (both sides, 5-15 breaths)


Have a beautiful day!








The Magic of You

Sedona, Santa Barbara Healing, Myofascial Release Southern California, Healing, Connective Tissue, Romi Cumes, Healer, healing Santa Barbara, Cranial Sacral, Mind-Body, Fractals, Consciosness, Interconnected, Spiritual Healing

Happy New Moon in Aries and Spring Equinox from Sedona!

Today marks a special phase in our seasonal cycle, as we celebrate a full solar eclipse (was visible this morning in parts of Europe) and the beginning of Spring. This is a day to welcome new growth and transformation and say goodbye to the colder, more binding aspects of the self. During this magical phase, it is a good idea to spend quality time on the land and take in the aromas and sounds of the plant and animal kingdom. As you walk or meditate outdoors, soften your eyes and with practice, you will be able to see the soft outer layer of vibrational energy surrounding the landscape and all living things. This is life force energy and is what we are all composed of. Its essence is high-octane, juicy, energetic, invigorating, and alive.

As humans, we have endured and continue to endure challenging circumstances that take a toll on mind-body-spirit. Such traumas may be pre/post natal, developmental, accident-related, or inflicted by others, and each incidence reaps havoc on the body’s vitality and systems (muscular, respiratory, nervous, emotional, endocrine etc.)  The beautiful matrix of energy that we are composed of, that surrounds us, and that connects us with all living things can become disrupted like an beautiful spider web torn by a wind-swept branch. Repair of our inner web is needed.

sedona low resMetaphorically speaking, this web houses the unseen: emotions, memories, intellect, and mental pathways. Within the physical plane of existence, this web is tangible and wraps around every living cell in our body. It is called fascia (connective tissue) and it is one of the most psychedelic, wondrous substances you can get your hands on. Within us exist a fractal of liquid, crystalline energy that takes the form of collagen fibers. It moves, shifts, tears, and transforms depending on what kind of impact has been placed on the system. It can sustain two thousands pounds of pressure per square inch and either houses, or composes every structure in the body.

Why is this important?

First of all, it is trippy as hell and when you really dive into your body’s inner matrix, mind-blowing things start to happen. But more importantly, once you start to understand what your inner world is made out of, and how it responds to stimuli from the outside world, your path to healing becomes more clear and user-friendly. As you start to understand how to heal yourself, injuries and pain become less frequent, and for some, non existent. This healing process is completely congruent with that kind of presence you bring to your own life, including learning about your nervous system and how it responds to past trauma and present challenges.  

I began studying bodywork and teaching yoga in 1998 while I was in college at U.C. Santa Cruz. I had been a gymnast my whole childhood and started practicing yoga in my mid teens. Like many people starting off with Vinyasa-flow and Ashtanga, I thought that was the yoga path for me. As gymnastics and power-yoga injuries started to flare up, I “pushed through” because I thought yoga would eventually correct those injuries. I was wrong. I continued to practice the same kind of yoga for another eight years until my SI/L4 strain and shoulder instability finally got their messages across. My conscious mind, drive-centered acrobat, and pseudo-yogini ego had a hard time listening to these messages. Eventually, I got it, and now after twenty years of practicing yoga, I have learned to slow down, work gently with the areas of strain, and stop practicing forms of yoga and movement that feel forceful or invasive. I practice for my body and my needs and teach others to do the same. 

I became a massage therapist in 2000, which is when I also began working with healing from an esoteric perspective. For years I studied and practiced energy healing and deep bodywork modalities. Although those approaches offered good results to my clients, the effects were temporary. Something was missing (massage therapists reading this know what I am talking about). People felt better after their sessions but were they really transforming their system, or understanding why they hold their patterns in the first place?

In order to better understand that question, I went to graduate school to learn about the body in reference to psychological processes, and received a clinical degree in Somatic Psychology. I work with all ages, but primarily college-aged young adults between the ages of 17-28. The work is profound, yet does not target the physical structure, just as most physical bodywork modalities target some kind of structural component, but do not address the psyche and patterns of imbalance in the inner matrix.

Finally after twenty years of yoga, movement, bodywork, and in the last six years, psychotherapeutics, I found the missing link for all these beautiful approaches: Myofascial Release (MFR). It is difficult to explain this work, as its true essence is about moving into the unknown, unseen, and non-intellectual aspects of the system, both inner and outer.  It is a hybrid of structural work and deep somatic-emotional release. Myofasical release targets the profound, ever-changing, liquid matrix of our inner selves, both physiologically and psycho-somatically. Transformation is powerful, succinct, never injures, and the body’s inner intelligence is given a voice. This is not unlike a somatic psychotherapy session, where the therapist utilizes subtle, physical interventions to elucidate sympathetic nervous system responses. Yet in addition to having a sounding board like one has in psychotherapy, the inner system has a tangible experience of transformation, as indicated by movement in the fascial system. The entire experience can be completely non-verbal.

In MFR,  the therapist facilitates piezoelectricity in the system, and a phase transduction can occur (like ice to water).  The vibrant, fluid energy that our beings are composed of can flow more freely, like water flowing over rocks in a canyon (John Barnes, 2015). In as little as one myofascial session, clients will feel more ease in their body and a light, magnetic buzz, which is the body vibrating from new-found space and vitality. This work eliminates pain, reduces stress, and supports you to become more aligned with who you truly are. Consistent treatment also ameliorates innate body wisdom, which therefore assists us to eventually treat ourselves without a practitioner.

A whole mind-body shift can occur when we make an active choice to dive deeper into the parts of ourselves that have been injured, neglected, abused, and avoided. I am thrilled to have added this powerful healing tool to my belt and invite you to book a session with me soon.

Much love and Happy Spring,


Book an appointment

Upcoming Workshops:

Introduction to Yoga Weekend

Where: Santa Barbara Yoga Center
When: April 24-26

True Self Exploration & The Art of Somatic and Relational Psychology: Tools for Self Empowerment and Growth

Where: Lucidity Festival
When: April 12th, 2015

Yoga Retreat to Peru: May 21-30



Yoga Weekend Immersion and Intro Course w/ Romi

Welcome Health and Vitality into your life with Yoga in 2014

My next Introduction to Yoga Course and Weekend Immersion will begin February 21st.

Like Transformative Heaing Arts on Facebook to get regular updates about workshops, retreats, and classes, as well as receive informative blog posts and writing pieces.

The Introduction to Yoga course at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center is offered as a three week (six classes) or one weekend course (three classes). The format creates a safe and fun space to begin your exploration of Yoga, and make Yoga a more consistent part of your life. A short series of slower paced, informative classes will provide you with a strong foundation in the practice of Yoga, while preparing you for ongoing beginning and mixed level classes. This course is also suitable for more experienced practitioners needing to redefine their skills and improve focus.

SB Yoga Center: 32 E. Micheltorena St. Call (805) 965-6045 to Sign up. Drop ins possible, please arrive early Friday
When: February 21-23 – Friday 7-9pm, Saturday/Sunday 2-4pm
Romi Cumes M.A. draws from fifteen years of yoga teaching and body therapy experience to offer you in-depth somatic education. She is also a marriage and family therapist intern and healer in private practice in Santa Barbara. For more information visit her


The Course Includes:

-A brief discussion of the historical and philosophical background of Yoga

-Detailed instruction of fundamental Yoga postures including correct body positioning, anatomy, structure and alignment

-Detailed instruction on how to combine breath, energy, and movement

-Hands-on adjustments, bodywork, restorative yoga poses, and Aromatherapy

For more information CLICK HERE

Santa Barbara Yoga Cooperative Information (Where workshop will be held)546000_332034840192443_331521610_n

July Workshops

Introduction to Yoga: 3 Week Intensive
July 9th -25th (Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00pm-9:45pm)
$70 for six, two hour classes


Introduction to Somatic Psychology: Tools for Empowerment and Healing
July 12th 6:30-8:30pm
$20 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds…)
Facebook Link with Full Info (or scroll down)

Both Events will be located at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center (32 E. Micheltorena St.)

Introduction to Yoga Starting July 9th: Three weeks of Detailed Yoga Instruction

The Introduction to Yoga Course at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center is the perfect place to begin the exploration of Yoga, or reawaken your practice. A short series of slower paced, informative classes will provide you with a strong foundation in the practice of Yoga and prepare you for ongoing beginning and mixed level classes. Also suitable for practitioners of all levels needing to brush up their skills and awareness.

The Course includes:

-A brief discussion of the historical and philosophical background of Yoga
-Detailed instruction of fundamental Yoga postures including correct body positioning, anatomy, structure and alignment
-Detailed instruction on how to combine breath, energy, and movement
-Hands-on adjustments, bodywork, restorative yoga poses, and Aromatherapy
More Info

To Sign up: Call: (805) 965-6045
Or stop by the Santa Barbara Yoga Center at 32 East Micheltorena St.
July 9th-25th (every Tuesday and Thursday)

For more info visit Romi’s Website
Or Santa Barbara Yoga Center

About Introduction to Somatic Psychology

The word “somatic” means of, or relating to, the body and is especially distinct from the mind and mental capacities. When we give the body our full presence, its inner wisdom becomes visible. This visibility offers us tools to deconstruct
protective and repressive mechanisms, often manifested as body armor. This workshop will assist you to get in touch with your most authentic state of Being. From a place of somatic authenticity, we become more present, and can therefore show up in the world in a more peaceful and powerful way. This workshop will offer both lecture, and experiential exercises to support participants to tap in to innate body wisdom. We will also work with asana (yoga postures) to explore how somatic awareness is inextricably linked to yoga and other mindfulness practices.

Key Points

-Review of Polyvagal Theory (evolutionary stress response, social communication, self soothing behavior)
-Tools for interpersonal connectedness and harmony
-Utilizing somatic awareness in your yoga and mindfulness practices
-Partner exercises exploring nervous system response
-Relaxation/Guided mindfulness practices

Romi Cumes, MA founded Transformative Healing Arts in 2004, which offers yoga instruction, bodywork, performance art, counseling, workshops, and international retreats. She holds a masters in clinical psychology,emphasizing on somatic psychology and is in private practice in Santa Barbara, CA. Romi has been teaching yoga since 1998, and at SB Yoga Center since 2000. Yoga Students receive 25% off their initial bodywork, counseling, or healing sessions with Romi.

Heart Moves…

Dear Friends,

I have recently begun facilitating a movement exploration called “Heart Moves” at Yoga Soup (28 Parker Way) studio in Santa Barbara. This is a work-in-progress and is co-created by the people who show up. My intention for Heart Moves is to create a conscious space for self-exploration that invites in all facets of the human experience pertaining to healthy expression of the body. This space if for anyBody who enjoys movement, craves movement, fears movement, or requires movement to release the parts of their structure often inhibited by lack of motion.

It has been a challenge for me to hold this space when only a few show up and I am grateful for the opportunity to test my own edges around facilitation, movement, and group dynamics. Often times it feels almost easier when we (facilitators/teachers/students)  have a “full room” of individuals to move or experience healing with. In the safe container of a fluid mass, it is easier to hide or be bold, observe, or ignore. When we have no mass to peek around and must show up dynamically as ourselves, the work can go much deeper.

Moreover, I am thankful for the early stages of class development here in Santa Barbara and beyond, where us teachers often surf the proverbial security wave as our numbers ebb and flow. It is not about how many, but about how we show up. What we do for three people is as powerful as what we do for fifty. Crowded groups are powerful as well, as they hold a collective Spirit and support us to interact with community and the group Field. Participating, or facilitating large numbers of people has its own flavor.  So when the tide reseeds, pulls back and reveals just a few stones and bits of plant matter, new forms show their faces and add to the Spirit. Emptiness can be experienced as spaciousness and when I surrender to the spaciousness, I feel more full.

In great respect for the ebb and flow on this path to wholeness

~ Romi

Heart Moves @ Yoga Soup Every Monday and Wednesday 8:10pm

More Content About Heart Moves

Heart Moves* Somatic Movement Exploration
The term “Somatics” has become an umbrella term for approaches that focus on the development and deepening of the self within the body. Heart Moves supports creative movement and somatic approaches that work to balance the body-mind and acknowledge the internal, kinesthetic experience. Moving and dancing mindfully in a safe group setting can assist us to explore our inner landscape, as well as can elucidate how our inner experience pertains to the environment surrounding us.

This movement exploration is loosely structured and non-linear. With the support of beautiful and evocative music, Romi facilitates participants to explore their physical form from the inside out. Somatic movement involves the lived experience of the body and deepens our sense of authentic embodiment. Ecstatic dancers, professional dancers and yogis are warmly welcomed, however dance experience or yogic proficiency is not necessary. Within the dynamic and subtle energy waves inherent in the nature of human experience, there are endless pathways to Self-discovery. Come as you are.

Romi Cumes is a Santa Barbara native with a deep passion for movement and healing arts. She is a yoga instructor, massage therapist, dancer, earth lover, and performing artist. Her interest in mind-body connection and healing led her to discover somatic movement practices, and she is currently working towards a Ph.D in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in somatic-based therapies. Romi draws from fifteen years of yoga, acrobatic, and dance study to offer eclectic yoga classes and movement workshops. She founded Transformative Healing Arts in 2002. For more information, visit www.RomiCumes.com

Lightning in a Bottle Festival 2010!

Thank you Do Lab and those of you who came to the festival and showed your support! We had a wonderful time doing doing movement and Yoga in the sunshine Friday and Sunday morning