Somatics is a program of exploration and learning -- through awareness. It guides you step by step to knowing your body from the inside, and begins the process of unwinding the pain, releasing the tensions, freeing the blocks, and opening space for you and your body to live together in a different way.
Somatics is a particular form of movement education that draws upon internal sensations and awareness to enhance the relationship between the brain and the body, so that the body you live in is responsive and can learn to relax again, letting go of habitual tension.
If you have pain, stiffness, or aches and limitations that you associate with aging, Somatics can help restore the normal range and ease of movement.
About the program: Somatics is not exercise and a somatics class does not leave you feeling drained. Nor do you need to worry that you have enough energy for the class. Somatic movements are gentle and slow, almost like a moving meditation, and most of them are performed while you are lying down. Somatic movements do not impose stress or strain, and leave you feeling relaxed, alert, and calm.
As awareness and sensation are the key to Somatic movements, this beginner level program guides each participant into the type of awareness and the style of movement that will bring the most benefit.
From Thomas Hanna’s book, Somatics:
“The fact is that, during the course of our lives, our sensory-motor systems continually respond to daily stresses and traumas with specific muscular reflexes. These reflexes, repeatedly triggered, create habitual muscular contractions, which we cannot – voluntarily – relax. These muscular contractions have become so deeply involuntary and unconscious that, eventually, we no longer remember how to move about freely. The result is stiffness, soreness, and a restricted range of movement.
This habituated state of forgetfulness is called sensory-motor amnesia (SMA). It is a memory loss of how certain muscle groups feel and how to control them, and, because this occurs within the central nervous system, we are not aware of it, yet it affects us to our very core.
Our image of who we are, what we can experience, and what we can do is profoundly diminished by sensory-motor amnesia. And it is primarily this event, and its secondary effects, that we falsely think of as ‘growing older”. It is important that I point out the following facts:
(1) The effects of SMA can begin at any age, but usually become apparent in our 30s and 40s;
(2) Sensory-motor amnesia is an adaptive response of the nervous system, and
(3) Because it is a learned, adaptive response, it can be unlearned.”