Back to podcasts

Back to Podcasts

Episode 016

Somatic Plant Medicine Integration

Atira Tan

Publishing Date

September 7, 2023


We speak to Atira Tan, an integration specialist, about her somatic plant medicine integration model, her views on integration, and why integration and support along the way is a crucial process for transformation.She shares her views on integration and how it is often misunderstood as just a series of practices or activities after a plant medicine ceremony and that integration is a sacred process of transformation that ultimately involves embodying the insights and learnings from the plant medicine experience into everyday life. Atira also discusses the pitfalls of not doing integration properly, including the lack of support and the risk of exacerbating trauma imprints.



Learn about new episodes
Sign up

Learn more about her well reviewed and respected integration coaching program, the Plant Medicine Somatic Integration Program, starting September 29th 2023.

Use the code ‘Nectara’ for a $50 discount.

Main topics:

  • Integration as a sacred process
  • The nervous system and the body as guides
  • Misunderstandings about integration
  • Importance of finding the right layers of support
  • Pitfalls of not doing integration properly
  • Measuring change in behaviors and actions
  • Making integration a joyful and creative process

Show notes

Our guest

Atira Tan

Atira is a somatic trauma specialist and educator, author, activist, and philanthropist, is committed to guiding people back to their essential and innate power and wisdom through somatic trauma approaches, embodied trauma education, and spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation, held with deep compassion, self-acceptance, and love.

Born in Singapore and raised in Melbourne, Atira holds a strong vision for all beings to live in freedom, sovereignty, and power. Her deep devotion to life, coupled with the rigors of decades of feminine practices in yoga, meditation, and service, are the foundations for her dedication to bringing more safety, wisdom, and peace to the world.

Atira is the head of integration at Aya Healing Retreats, senior yoga and meditation teacher, art therapist, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, a somatic trauma specialist in sexual abuse recovery and trauma educator, TED speaker and #1 best-selling author. Currently, she is completing her Ph.D. studies in Expressive Art Therapies.

As the founder & CEO of Art to Healing, an Australian registered charity committed to supporting the recovery of girls and women who have experienced sex slavery, exploitation, and abuse, in Asia and the Pacific, Atira has created and delivered numerous trauma-informed and psychosocial programs in art therapy, counseling, yoga, and mindfulness, from the slums of Kathmandu to the refugee camps in Burma.

She has supported thousands of women and children since 2005 to live lives free from sex slavery and exploitation. Her Sacred Activism work includes creating and directing Yoga for Freedom, a global Yoga and Social Change movement, which has raised over $65,000 for various global social justice issues since 2016.

15 years ago, Atira was diagnosed with cervical cancer. After her first operation, her doctor informed her that cancer had spread. In disbelief, she refused chemotherapy, choosing instead to listen to the loud inner voice of her intuition: she had the power to heal herself. She set out on a powerful journey of healing.

In this time, Atira uncovered and healed the feminine wounding and trauma of her ancestry, her sexuality, her body, and emerged the other side: healed, whole, and 15 years cancer-free. She has been honored to share this knowledge of reclaiming sovereignty, healing ancestral trauma, and embodying freedom with other women and men all over the world.

Atira is passionate about supporting other BIPOC women to heal their bodies, recover from trauma, reclaim their power, and live, love, and lead from their hearts.

Episode transcript

 [00:00:12] Pascal: Hi, welcome to One Degree Shifts. I'm your host, Pascal Tremblay, and I'm the co-founder of ncar. We're psychedelic support integration ecosystem. And today I'm joined by the lovely and friendly ton who's a somatic trauma specialist. She's an educator, she's an author and activist, a philanthropist. A lot of beautiful things that just up to in the world, and I'm really happy to, have you on the show today, naira.

Thanks for being here. 

[00:00:40] Atira: Yeah. You're so welcome, Pascal. Thank you so much for having me here, and I'd like to also welcome the audience to our conversation today. I'm really looking forward to this discussion. 

[00:00:52] Pascal: And today we're gonna talk about something that we're really passionate about, which is integration, and you're also very passionate about it.

And today we're gonna speak specifically about your somatic plant medicine integration model. Something that you've been developing over the years. You now train people for it, and you're holding space for people to go to their own integration. Can you tell us a little bit more about that model and how did you arrive to this specific approach to integration and, also what is integration for those out there who don't?

Really know about this. 

[00:01:21] Atira: I am very, passionate about integration because I've worked as the head of integration for eye healing retreats for about six to seven years.

And I often feel that the path of integration is very misunderstood because when people come to me with the integration stories, it spans many kind of different categories. Say practices or resourcing activities that we make time for after a plant medicine ceremony. So practices such as breath work or meditation or say movement practices can be very helpful for the [00:02:00] integration process.

But in my opinion, the phase of integration is so much more than practices. What I love to advocate for is the profound healing experiences that people have with plant medicines. They don't actually finish at the end of this ceremony. At the end of that alter state of consciousness experience, this is where I believe that the quote unquote kind of real work begins after the ceremony.

Pascal, I'm not sure if you've read of this read this book by Jack Cornfield, which used to be the kind of my Bible in my twenties. It's, he wrote this book that was called Path of Heart, which I absolutely love. And then he wrote another book that said that was called, after the Ecstasy Comes the Laundry.

So I love that kind of parallel that he was talking about mainly his experience of being a Buddhist monk. But there are parallels with the plant medicine experience after something very insightful. Even something transcendental, we still have to put in the real work.

Yeah. The effort that comes after. To actually mine the gap between the insights that we've received from the plant medicine into our embodied living reality. My kind of perception of integration of what I call embodied integration a lot of, I think, way farers on the path are seeking transcendence.

What I understand of integration and the meaning of life is, It's really about wholeness and transcendence has a, piece to play within our journey into wholeness. And the journey of wholeness invites us to bring together the transpersonal and also our bodies and our body's wisdom and our experiences that [00:04:00] we've lived here, right in this vehicle of consciousness and its wisdom into one whole.

How we integrate the insights that we've learned from the plant medicine the application of the tools, the perspective that we receive. This is ultimately the integration process, which is a sacred process of transformation. So moving from insights, ideas, experiences, but into embodied living reality.

 Integration could include changing patterns of our nervous system. So especially for trauma survivors that come to plant medicine experiences they might have some patterns that have been laid down in your nervous system, like fight, flight, freeze, fawning, folding.

 So something that might be scary before we might experience less fear. We might feel safer in our bodies. It could look like a change in affect or a change in emotions. Something that was previously overwhelming. And we might have been flooded by emotions, could change our thought patterns, our behaviors and our actions and how we respond to different situations in our lives.

Also might change as well. So there are so many di dimensions in integration, and when I look at integration, one of the first questions that I do ask clients is this question of what was your intention when you came in for the ceremony? And then through that intention we ascertain or identify the dimension of integration or the category of integration that the person might be in, and the model that you named the somatic plant medicine integration model.

Really our role as practitioners in that model is to offer layers of support to our clients so [00:06:00] that they can be the embodiment of their plant medicine insights, their intentions, and their learning. It's, and when we work with the somatic intelligence with our bodies, it's really, I believe, the missing piece and integration because in my perception plant medicines really don't stop working for the person once the retreat is over or wants the ceremony's over.

And it is my belief that the intelligence of the plants also work with our own bodies. And our somatic, our nervous system intelligence. So when I talk about intelligence, I'm talking about the intelligence that is breathing us, right? Without our egos or our minds having to necessarily control our heart rate breathing, our kidneys, working ourselves, regenerating itself.

 So that same intelligence, which is governing, you know who we are, works with the, intelligence of the plants as well. And when we can really hold that space that, so that both those intelligences can work together in tandem and in support of each other. Really what I've seen with my clients is that the change can be really quite profound and powerful.

Yeah, deeper than say perhaps what I've seen integration models that are mostly mind based or top therapy based. When we can bring the language of the nervous system in, the holding space in integration it can be really deep. So I'm big advocate of this work. 

[00:07:43] Pascal: Yeah. Thank you for sharing about your perspective and, yeah, you're right.

So much of this psychedelic experience can bring us to the, higher realms of things, but ultimately, like coming back to our body and our nervous system is really ground zero for healing. I also believe the same thing around [00:08:00] the importance of really grounding in the body. And I love that you talked about this as a sacred process.

And I love that you share that because so much of the, people that are entering these experiences, especially these days as the mainstream is getting called to try these things they see the experience as this singular unit of, experience that is, Transcending and and bringing people into different dimensions.

But ultimately it is the integration that really lands the, gifts and the insights into everyday tangible change. And yet it's still new that people talk about this as the ,ceremony after the ceremony or the lifelong process. 

I'm curious What are the pitfalls of not doing integration properly?

I'm still integrating my first ceremony from eight years ago. And that's the case for a lot of people because they are full of content and full of things that you catch yourself one day being like, oh, actually I haven't been integrating this. Can you tell us more about that sort of cultural shift around like the, experience versus this lifelong journey and what do you see in the future for that?

[00:09:13] Atira: I can definitely resonate with your own personal experience. I remember my first kind of ceremonial, psychedelic, ceremonial experience. And I must say that I'm still integrating that experience as well. And what I metaphor that sometimes I share with folks is that sometimes the plant medicine experience can take us to, let's say, a hundredth floor of a skyscraper.

Where you see a different perception of life. You might see a different perception of ourselves, of others, of our relationship and that we have this bird's eye view where we open up in a whole different way where our protective kind of strategies and adaptations [00:10:00] dissolve.

But after the altered state of consciousness experience, we still come down to the ground floor of life, right? So even though we've had this experience of reaching the hundredth floor, I think the journey of integration kind of beckons us into an adventure of upleveling ourselves, making our way from the ground floor to the hundredth floor, but in a way where the perception of a hundredth floor is not just a memory, it's actually what is happening in real time.

And that climb from the ground floor to the hundredth floor, that takes work. It takes effort, it takes commitment and time. And through that process, we actually, I believe we start to cultivate the qualities Yeah. That we perhaps had a sneak peek in our plant medicine experience. And it also helps us to develop qualities like curiosity, compassion, care.

So that, we don't leave behind parts of ourselves that are maybe even stuck in the basement, for instance, or parts of ourselves on the ground floor so that when we climb up to the hundredth floor, we are doing it in unison and as a whole with all the other kind of parts of ourselves. So that's a metaphor that I share with people and I think that one of the biggest kind of pitfalls it really depends because there are many different categories of integration depending on the intention that people come with and also the experience that they have in the plant medicine experience.

Now, I, in my courses, I teach the three kind of categories of integration and within, one of the categories of integration is what I would call shadow work. Which is when sometimes in plant [00:12:00] medicine ceremonies there are trauma imprints that come up into our consciousness.

Psychedelics can be a really potent activator of the conscious. So bringing perhaps trauma imprints that we might have disassociated or split off from forgotten memories. Plant medicine can also help with the dismantling of all psychological defenses. And with that kind of dissolving of these psychological defenses, it can be very common that unpleasant emotions such as a sadness that we were protecting ourselves from start to come into the forefront.

A pitfall that I see that I feel actually really sad about, and that's why I created these programs that I offer, like the Trauma-Informed Plant Medicine Facilitation program and also the Somatic Plant Medicine Integration Program is because I see a lot of a lot of suffering that can happen without A proper understanding of what integration can be.

Number two is the lack of support or layers of support of allies on the path. And the worst case scenario really is people going to psychiatric hospital due to a brief psychotic episode. Or emotions or memories flooding in. If a person is a survivor of, let's say complex P T S D, or if they are going through complex and developmental trauma where they don't actually have the resilience to integrate these trauma imprints that have arisen to their consciousness and these parts of ourselves, these imprints, they really wanna heal.

They come into our our consciousness again, because they really want to be seen and heard and held, but they need the [00:14:00] repair, right? They need repair that they didn't receive during the traumatic event. The biggest, pitfall around the misunderstanding of integration is that a lot of these clients, because they're not really having the layers of support to work through these trauma imprints, they get more and more activated in their lives. I've seen clients who are in a brief psychotic episode but mostly high levels of anxiety.

Flashbacks that come back a lot of shame that they are moving with a lot of confusion, a lot of shock from the trauma imprints that they have remembered and when that is not held with care either because the facilitator hasn't perhaps maintain a certain kind of ethical duty, a duty of care, a standard protocol of working with trauma.

When these things are really not held with compassion, then the person feels alone and instead of the trauma imprint being healed, it actually exacerbates and reinforces the, that trauma imprint more and more. So people will start to get what we would call the somatic experiencing global high intensity activation.

And sometimes that can last for years depending on the plant medicines that we're working with. It leads to unnecessary suffering. Another pitfall that I see is that instead of taking time off from psychedelics and plant medicine to heal that core wound that has arisen in the plant medicine ceremony, what people are wanting or maybe a misconception, Is that the more plant medicine that they take, the more psychedelic experiences that they have, then they will heal that trauma.

 It might [00:16:00] be like that for some people. But in certain cases, especially in more complex kind of trauma imprints, that is definitely not the case. And what I've also seen is that people can be in that loop of going to the next plant medicine ceremony and then the nervous system gets blown out.

They, do experience some kind of belief in the short term, but the kind of patterns in the nervous system don't change. 

 I'm thinking about this client that I saw that for she was a survivor of child sexual abuse.

And she had a lot of implicit memories that would come up for her in ceremony. And she felt that by doing more plant medicine ceremonies, she would release or get rid of the pain that she was experiencing. So she was actually experiencing a lot of symptoms of chronic pain in certain parts of her body, certain kind of sensations that were very scary for her.

And after two and a half years, she came to me. And she was like I am now suffering from more chronic pain than I did before I started the ceremonies, and I'm just in a loop that I can't get out of. So with this particular client, we made a commitment to pause the plant medicine work, just to interrupt it.

And to work with me just in healing and resolving the child sexual abuse experiences. And a lot of it was related to the plant medicine experiences. And within six sessions, the chronic pain went away. The implicit kind of memories. Of fear that felt sense of danger or what we would call neuroception went away for her.

And yeah, she had resolved that particular imprint in her body through taking a break from plant medicine work and [00:18:00] focusing on her integration healing. So yeah, I hope that this case study can help you know, the audience to understand the importance of integration in some kind of pitfalls on the way, and also the importance of layers of support and not just any kind of layer of support.

I think that in integration, that many different flavors and textures in integration and to find the right layer of support is so important for people to. Yeah. To resolve the trauma to perhaps uplevel the, newly upgraded self to take the gifts out into the world, all of that. When we are supported. Through the, right kind of support, that journey is so much more useful. That help is really out there. 

[00:18:52] Pascal: Yeah. Yeah. And it's so essential as well. And thank you so much for sharing the pitfalls of not addressing integration as a sacred process. 

And just for additional context, that it was a large research that was released earlier this year around ayahuasca ceremonies. And, they found that 53% of people after the ceremony had some moderate to severe emotional or psychospiritual challenges after the ceremony, which is quite a large number, 53% and that doesn't even account for the loss of potential insights and, transformation that happens from not doing integration. 

Touching on the layers of support I, find that integration is like you said, there's so many different facets to it. 

There's so many different modalities and ways to approach integration. How do people know that they're doing integration well? 

[00:19:44] Atira: Yeah, I completely agree. To answer that question what I see as good information is the it depends on the intention and depends on the category of integration that people come with.

[00:20:00] But what I ascertain is marking or measuring change in behaviors, in actions, in patterns of the nervous system in affect so for example, if a person has an intention to heal a certain trauma imprint in a plant medicine ceremony, If the person is still struggling, I think with nervous system patterns or being flooded with emotion or noticing that behaviors or actions haven't changed, then I would say that the person would need layers of integration support.

So if you are still struggling with the issue that you came in with, In the plant mess. Usually what I find is that for about four to six weeks after a ceremonial experience, this is for about, I would say 65 or 70% of people that I see in integration is that they are on a high right?

But however that high kind of falls away and it just dissolves a little bit after four to six weeks, and when they come back into their normal routine, when they come back into maybe the relationships in their lives. They realize that, oh I, that was missed that piece was missed.

Or I'm still continuing with this certain kind of pattern. So if I think a person notices that within themselves, then that is a cue, a self cue to say, okay this is really good information. We are not gonna be hard on ourselves. We are going to. Just take this as good information.

We are gonna be very neutral and equanimous very kind and compassionate to ourselves. And this might be the time to reach out for support. Yeah. Because with the right layer of support [00:22:00] that change can actually happen a lot more gracefully and a lot more easefully. So to answer your question, the good information that we can retrieve from our own nervous system, from our own patterns and our own behaviors noticing ourselves and how we are in the world if we are not if we don't see the change that we really would hope for or wish for.

That is not matching the insight that we received in the plant medicine. I would say that it's a good good signal that we might need some support to deepen that integration process. 

[00:22:39] Pascal: Yeah. And that, that four to six weeks period after a ceremony is what we call in the, in our professional circles, the life smacking you in the face phase where you leave the beautiful retreat in the jungle and you got rainbows and unicorns, and then you gotta pay bills and your kids are screaming and it's it, really is where the rubber meets the road, and right. 

So many times I've come back from ceremony and. Two days after, because I didn't take the proper life. And those things can re-trigger you pretty quickly and, really bring it back into a, cycle of, suffering really. And so yeah, it's very important after the journey to really take time and space to gently and gracefully land back into daily life.

And this leads me to my next question, which is related to making integration a more, a joyful and easeful experience. Like we mentioned a sacred process earlier and grace and Easefulness. And then we talked about trauma and print and getting triggered and anxiety and depression and those type of things.

How do you view integration also as a joyful, creative process, and how can people make it engaging or, enjoyable for themselves? It's probably different for everyone, but how do you make it more enjoyable for yourself? 

[00:23:53] Atira: Yeah. That's such a great question.

In the somatic plant medicine model that I teach we [00:24:00] believe that plant medicine experiences can actually be hugely resourcing for folks. There are certain categories of what might appear in that altered state of consciousness state, and some of them might be trauma imprints. But I think for when we get really familiar with the medicine, those experiences start to change and we start to connect with different parts of ourselves, mu start to connect with parts of ourselves that are so loving.

Or so wise or our higher selves or an experience of love that we've perhaps never experienced in an ordinary state of consciousness or an understanding of how life works beyond the three dimensional reality that we live in. And all of those experiences are hugely, resourcing.

And in my opinion with the somatic medicine model, these. Experiences can, are accessible to us at any time through the intelligence of the body. And maybe this might be a really great segue to start talking about what I'm so passionate about the somatic approach. 

The plant medicine works with the same intelligence of our bodies, which I believe is the intelligence of life, right? The intelligence of life flows through Every single cell, every sentient kind of being. And this intelligence also governs the sacred of plants that we work with in conjunction when we actually commune with them.

And this works as well with our nervous system. And I believe that plant medicine works with the nervous system as well, which is why there are so many sensations when we do take plant medicine, such as nausea or heat, or chills or shaking or burping. And this is the, intelligence kind of merging [00:26:00] together, right?

What can be very helpful for folks out there who have resourcing experiences and through the Somatic Medicine integration model, is that we can actually come back to that felt sense experience of that resource, and we can really amplify the resource and really expanded in our nervous system. 

So it's not just like a memory or a thought. That kind of feeds into the background, but through the somatic plant medicine integration model, we can start to anchor those resources as inner resources. And there are many different things that can come out depending on the client.

But one thing that I've noticed with clients is that when we anchor that resource in the nervous system, We start to have a dialogue perhaps with certain parts of ourselves, like maybe the higher self. And we start to build a solid relationship with these other parts of ourselves that perhaps we were out of touch with anchoring 

[00:27:13] Pascal: that system and rewiring stories as well. Rewiring stories, rewiring relationships rewiring the nervous system really it's, quite fascinating actually what can happen in that moment. 

[00:27:25] Atira: Exactly. Exactly. So for folks out there that do have resourcing experiences I really recommend working with a practitioner when there is a space that's being held, with someone else dropping in out of the mind and into the body. To reconnect to that felt sense of that resource and to amplify it and to expand it can really work wonders in our integration process.

[00:27:57] Pascal: My friend Sasha Cuff, who's a somatic therapist [00:28:00] likes to say that we're not stuck in our psychology, we're stuck in our biology, and that rings so true of what you're sharing around the intelligence of the body. 

How do you approach, that, connection between the journey and then the body after they leave the journey? How do you work with that for integration? 

[00:28:16] Atira: It's quite interesting to share. I think that when we are working with perhaps a skilled practitioner that has a deep relationship with the medicine, there is a holding therapeutic presence space that.

Is between the client and the practitioner. And within that holding space, let's call it, you know what I like to imagine it is like a wound space other practitioners can imagine it to be a different space with that kind of space and protection. And if the integration practitioner is anchored within the felt sense of their body and connected with tracking the sensations in their own body, We can start to open up a field with the client where they can enter that plant medicine experience.

Whether it's through their imagination. If we are working, the somatic model is very much through the felt sense, so it's reconnecting the client to a certain kind of insight or a certain resource that they obtained in the plant medicine experience and. The, antidote really is around getting people to slow down.

Because we live in a culture which is very much in the mind space, but there is a certain that's why we call it I think, intelligence, right? Where we can create that. I think the holding space for the intelligence to unfold organically and when we have our minds out of the way.

And when we are in that place of presence, this is [00:30:00] really a place where the intel plant medicine, the intelligence of the plant medicine and our own somatic intelligence starts to work in unison with each other. And magic is in this place. So as a practitioner or even as a client, it's really around the holding and that, atuned therapeutic presence that creates this kind of, Organic unfolding where this intelligence can start to move into the forefront instead of a person's mind, which is the manager or directing everything.

But when the mind can soften and the plant mess and intelligence and our own somatic intelligence of our bodies can take more of a forefront in the driver's seat than there is magic that starts to happen in the place. There are many things that start to happen. Resources start to amplify with this model through the technique, but then also other things like the resolution of trauma imprints, because sometimes when the medicine is over is not enough sometimes it's finished and the imprint doesn't reach resolution.

It doesn't get what it was missing. However, in integration, when we create that holding space, the imprints might come up. And then through that space of holding and through the technique, it starts to reach resolution through our organic somatic intelligence. Of the nervous system. And following what the nervous system wants to do and not overriding what's happening, which I think is the first thing that really interrupts. This intelligence is us and our minds overriding telling ourselves narratives, stories like, this is not okay, it's not okay for me to be a certain way, and so on and so forth.

But [00:32:00] if there is somebody there that is really holding and providing repair and the missing link, what was missing during the trauma imprint or in the resourcing experience. Suddenly this innate intelligence starts to work in our nervous system, and it wants to heal. It wants to work through its resolution.

\ So I've seen this happen many times. I actually share what it looks like for, because many Different people it things appear differently. But what I do know is that I have great faith and great trust in the somatic intelligence of who we are, sentient beings.

And it's just about creating that holding space where it can do its magic. So get out of the way and usually what interrupts the process. Yeah. Get out of the way. Don't override. We need to slow down and really take pauses. To reconnect with our body emotions. Sensations are the language of the nervous system.

So paying attention to what I call the inner atmosphere of the inner landscape, which is here Yeah. In our bodies is really important. And also having this kind of mind and body dialogue. I think that with the somatic piece, many of us live our lives mostly disembodied. And there are many people in our culture that live from the neck to the head upwards without really paying attention to, you know what, else is here?

I'm a recovering 

[00:33:39] Pascal: brain. I'm a recovering brain only person. So I'm like, I think moving down to the bo down to the body is connecting the heart and mind and also the gut as well is really important for us as a society. And shocking to the brain to hear that it can solve everything and the water relief it can be to just let go and surrender to the rest of [00:34:00] our intelligence and attune and listen more to that, those other parts.

[00:34:04] Atira: Yeah. I, look at it as again, coming back to this philosophy of kind of wholeness, right? And I think that in our society there is a huge kind of mistrust or misunderstanding of our relationship between our minds and our bodies. And I'm not saying that the mind has to surrender completely, but I do feel that the first step is to have a conversation.

Like I'm having a conversation with You If I don't know you, Pascal. How do I then we don't have a relationship, right? If I don't ask, if I'm not curious about you, if I'm not empathic, if your feelings and get to know you as a whole being, then we don't have a relationship, right?

So I think the first step is to build that relationship, not for the mind to give up control altogether. But those two parts really need to work together. And to negotiate. Sometimes sometimes the mind can say to the body, I don't trust you. And then the body can say, oh, tell me more. Tell me about what happened.

And tell, us how we can work together as equals instead of the mind driving forward with the bus and usually the body's left behind. Yeah. Or working with the heart we, wa you know, wholeness, we are body, mind, heart, soul, and spirit. So how can we wa walk together and not leave any part behind?

So it's not one part starts to trump the other, but if we can work in unison with each other I think that's an, important perspective maybe to, to. To investigate. Yeah. [00:36:00] And in this model we talk about that, all of them being equal parts, but we have to have a relationship with each part so that the mind doesn't trump the body, the mind doesn't trump the heart, but we are listening and paying attention to all the parts.

Yeah. And making a decision from that place. 

[00:36:20] Pascal: Beautiful. And for people out there that are entering or leaving a journey, maybe they're planning one or they've left one recently. What are simple practices or ways that people can connect to their body and start to have that relationship with their body like?

[00:36:35] Atira: There are so many different ways to connect back to the body, and I think it depends on different people. So I really do encourage folks out there to find modality that works well for them. In my own personal experience, I've been a long-term meditator.

I started doing yoga when I was 17 years old. And for me, actually the best way to connect to my felt sense experience is through stillness. Spent many, years decades even doing the vippassana practices such as the pasta body, mind centering continuum practices.

But what really works for me is to be in a meditation posture and to bring my awareness inside my body and to notice and to acknowledge the sensations that are here. And to explore what my inner landscape is. And when I talk about inner landscape, it is the inner landscape of sensations, emotions, energy, and thoughts.

Yeah. But everybody has a different way of reconnecting to their bodies. So I encourage people to find their own way, what's really worked for me [00:38:00] our movement kind of practices. As I mentioned practices such as yoga, ecstatic dance, or any kind of slower kind of form of movement where it brings your attention more towards the inside instead of form and structure.

The, biggest tip that I would give people is to slow down, is to carve out time in your day, whether it's five minutes or 10 minutes. And to find some kind of place or environment which is peaceful, where you can start to really slow down and just take a pause. I think that is the biggest antidote actually in what we are experiencing today is the antidote of the mind driving forward and as we slow down and take a sacred pause.

The invitation is to bring our focus and our awareness into that inner landscape of the body, and to notice what is here, what is present, what are the sensations which are here, what are the emotions that I hear? What do I notice in my feet, in my big toe, in my ankle? In my bones, in the mirror of my bones.

What am I noticing here? Yeah. I think the biggest tip for the audience is slowing down and taking a sacred pause and asking yourself, what am I noticing in this inner landscape? If I could draw an image of my inner landscape right here and now, what would that look like? And are there any parts that I'm noticing in my body that need tending to, that need compassion, that need care?

And instead of pushing those parts away, can we acknowledge those parts instead from our mind into our bodies? Yeah. And [00:40:00] this practice of reconnecting to ourselves in a compassionate save and loving way with neutrality, with equanimity is what I would really encourage folks. Yeah. As a practice that will change your life.

[00:40:16] Pascal: Beautiful. And so I'll take a sacred pause after hosting this podcast and I invite everyone to also try that and see you as a little practice for us today. And before we go, I wanna talk about your program for practitioners. Heard really good things about it. 

What's unique about it and what do you teach in the program? 

[00:40:37] Atira: Yeah. Thank you so much, Pascal. I really appreciate your support with this program. And what I really love about this program is it's a 40 hour program.

So after the program folks that. Do participate and meet the re requirements of the certificate will enable them to be integration practitioners with the somatic inter plant medicine integration model. And what I really love about this model is, as I mentioned, is a technique where practitioners can help people to reconnect to that somatic intelligence of the body.

We focus very much in the first level of the training of. Amplifying resources so you know that people have experience in the plant medicine experience. Anchoring that in the nervous system, developing a healthy relationship with the parts that we need in psychedelic experiences and resolving trauma imprints as well.

So this is a model where practitioners can take to help their clients who go inside. Other things that I really, love about this. This training as well is an in-depth kind of foundational understanding of somatic psychology. How does this body mind connection work? What is happening in the neurobiology of integration, [00:42:00] right brain, left brain?

What's happening there? How do we. Walk as integration practitioners with this bottom up, top down approach, which includes the whole of the trying brain, the wholeness of who we are. So it's not just based on the mind, but it's working with the trying brain and different levels of the brain, different parts of the brain, as well as the nervous system.

What I really, also love is really supporting people to become practitioners. And cultivating the therapeutic presence, but also the embo, what I call embodied communication. How can we create a field, a holding space of safety and protection, which is extremely kind of trauma informed to allow a person's blueprint to blossom in a session.

This is something that I think is very much missed in integration work as well. It's more the kind of unseen field. It's not so much oh, we have to do I'll teach in the, training all the techniques and the steps and so on and so forth. But what I also pay attention to and, teach is the invisible kind of holding space, the presence at human the interpersonal kind of field, which is in between the practitioner and the client.

And what needs to be there in order for that blueprint to really blossom the integration process to open like a flower without forcing or without fixing, but for it to bloom it's, time. I. So those are the things that I personally really, love teaching. We also teach about the categories of integration, trauma-informed principles that I believe is very important for the safety of clients in the session as well.

Helping people to understand trauma and the nervous system, and linking that as well with [00:44:00] integration. So there's so many things that I love about the training. It's really like one of my favorite trainings that I teach because I get to really deeply share my passion actually for the body and our body somatic wisdom and how we can as practitioners work with that intelligence as one.

I believe that it's a very life changing training because in order to enter a trauma informed space as an integration practitioner, it's a state of being right. And the state of being can be taken. I think when it gets taken into our relationship with ourselves or our relationship, our families it just changes the, nuance of that, attunement with people and attunement with ourselves, which can be.

Yeah, really transformative and powerful. 

[00:44:53] Pascal: Yeah. Beautiful. I see your passion and I'm so grateful for your passion because you've dedicated so much time and effort to promoting integration and, somatic work and trauma resolution. And so yeah, thank you for all your work and for all your energy and passion that's going into these things.

And how can people learn more and when is the next training happening? 

[00:45:15] Atira: The next training is happening in fall, so the 29th of September. Registrations will close on the 15th of September for that program. And if you're interested, you can jump on my Instagram. AAN orma website, and we are currently offering a late bird offer of a hundred US dollars discount payment plans available.

So it's really accessible for people to join us. Yeah, and we really hope to see some of the audience there. We love to welcome you on board. 

[00:45:48] Pascal: Yeah. Right on. May we all bloom as beautifully as this orchid One day if you're watch or listening on audio, there's a beautiful orchid next to me and I'm just smitten by it.

And thank you so much, Atira, and thanks [00:46:00] for, being with us today. I really appreciate it. Thank you. 

[00:46:02] Atira: It's been my pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me, Pascal. 

[00:46:06] Pascal: You're welcome. Take care. Bye-bye. 

[00:46:10] Atira: Bye.

Read transcript
All podcasts



Grid ViewList View
Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Psychedelic Podcast



Ethics, Responsibility, and Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness
Somatic Plant Medicine Integration
Re-Indigenizing Consciousness
The We Space
Minority Perspectives
Psychedelic Storytelling
Ethical Stewardship
Indigenous Reciprocity & Interbeing
The Science of Sound Therapy
Being in Right Relationship
Breath as Medicine
Journeying Safely with 5-MeO-DMT
Psychedelic Safety and Preparation
The Eastern Medicine Perspective
Scarlet Heart Living
Exploring Men's Work
Adventures in Medicine

September 22, 2023

Rev. Dr. Jessica Rochester

Ethics, Responsibility, and Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness


Learn more

September 7, 2023

Atira Tan

Somatic Plant Medicine Integration


Learn more

May 12, 2023

India Mayorga

Re-Indigenizing Consciousness


Learn more

April 17, 2023

Gibràn Rivera

The We Space


Learn more

April 6, 2023

Raad Seraj

Minority Perspectives


Learn more

Accept cookies to help us improve our website? We will always respect your privacy. Privacy Policy