What is Somatic exercise?
Somatic Exercise is gentle movements done slowly and consciously. Most of the exercises are done lying down.
The classes are taught slowly. You may find it best to close your eyes and feel the movement from inside your body. I will teach you through a sequence of movements which you will explore with curiosity. You will learn and discover which muscles you are habitually tensing and you will be able to release them, thus relieving muscular pain.
How will I feel after?
You may feel a little bit spaced out after the class. You will feel relaxed and calm - the kind of feeling you get after a massage.
Even though it is gentle, you may feel something in your muscles the next day.
Is it just slow yoga?
No, it is a bit more technical than that. What we are doing is neuromuscular re-patterning. We are changing habitual movement patterns. If you can fully immerse yourself in the class and connect with your body, you will be able to release muscular pain yourself.
The next day or thereafter you might notice something that you haven't noticed about yourself; perhaps you unconsciously hold one shoulder up higher than the other; or you realise you are leaning to one side.
The classes are about discovery and are quite empowering.
The discipline of Clinical Somatic Education (also known as Hanna Somatic Education) was developed by the philosopher Thomas Hanna (1928 - 1990). He devoted years of research exploring the links between physical and psychological well-being, and to the capacity that we all have to alter both behavioural and bodily health through awareness and control of the way in which our bodies move.
He founded the Novato Institute of Somatic Research in 1975, specifically to study the impacts of "movement awareness". He drew together the teachings of the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, and in doing so identified the phenomenon of "sensory motor amnesia".
Once identified, he developed the process of Somatics which enables an individual to replace sensory motor amnesia with sensory motor awareness. It is that awareness which lies at the heart of Somatics and which offers a permanent solution to pain removal.
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