Somatic exercises are based on the principles of Somatics which explore the relationship between your body and mind. Developed by Thomas Hanna, Somatics emphasize the importance of sensory-motor awareness and voluntary control over one's muscles. Unlike traditional forms of exercise that rely on external resistance or repetitive movements, somatic exercises involve internal exploration and a heightened awareness of how the body moves and feels.
Somatics is all about helping us to release tightness that has become stuck in our bodies. When our muscles are unconsciously held tight; it's like a ‘blind spot’ in our awareness and we are experiencing what is called 'Sensory Motor Amnesia' (SMA). This term is used in Somatics when we cannot voluntarily relax muscles, because our brain no longer has conscious control over them. SMA may show up as pain, limited movement, or postural issues.
By moving slowly, smoothly, and mindfully we can refine the control that the brain has of our movements and holding patterns. Somatic exercises can become part of a self-care system that can reduce stress, improve posture, and promote movement with grace and ease, ultimately contributing to a healthier and more balanced life.
- Improved Posture: Somatic exercises target muscles involved in maintaining posture, helping us to release tension and develop a more natural and aligned posture. This can alleviate chronic pain associated with poor posture.
- Stress Reduction: The emphasis on mindful movement and sensory awareness in somatic exercises can help reduce stress. By focusing on the present moment and releasing muscle tension, we can experience a sense of relaxation and calm.
- Enhanced Flexibility and Range of Motion: Somatic exercises promote flexibility by addressing muscle tightness and encouraging a fuller range of motion. This can be particularly beneficial for anyone who experience stiffness or limited mobility.
- Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation: Somatic exercises can be used as a preventive measure against injuries by promoting balanced muscle function. They can also help in the rehabilitation process by addressing muscular imbalances and promoting more efficient movement patterns.
Somatic exercises offer a holistic approach to physical well-being and can positively impact posture, stress levels, flexibility, and overall movement patterns. Incorporating somatic exercises into a regular routine can contribute to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, promoting long-term well-being and a deeper connection with your body.