Somatics is a movement therapy, a way of re-educating the way our brain senses and moves the muscles.
It is an incredibly subtle but effective way of working with the body. We have yoga classes which are influenced by somatics as well as somatic exercises you can use alongside your yoga practice.
The term Somatic means ‘embodied’ or ‘of the body’. Thomas Hanna developed the field of Somatics influenced by the methods of Moshe Feldenkrais and others. In the 1970s, he and Eleanor Criswell Hanna set up the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training where he practised for many years. Hanna observed how certain body-work procedures helped people who had postural difficulties to regain control of the muscles that were holding them in these restrictive ways. He called these processes Hanna Somatic Education.
Philosophy and Principles
Somatics is about body-mind integration. Our muscles can become tight or restricted due to development reasons, habitual patterns, emotional stress, injuries or trauma. Small, slow and gentle movements are used to re-educate the brain so that it can relax and move these muscles more functionally. These can be specially prescribed by a body-work practitioner or used as general principles to complement other practices.
Related forms of somatic therapy are Body-Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method and Somatic Yoga developed by Eleanor Criswell.
- Improves mobility, strength and posture.
- Reduces neuromuscular pain and symptoms related to chronically-tight muscles such as headaches, frozen shoulder, and breathing difficulties.
- Creates greater body awareness.