Somatic Movement Exercise Created by Thomas Hanna in the 70's and influenced by Selye and Feldenkrais, Hanna combined his knowledge in philosophy, movement education and neuro physiology to create Hanna somatic education. Somatic Movement Exercise teaches us to use sensory motor learning to gain greater voluntary control of one's muscles and movement.To experience something somatically is to experience movement within your own body. Soma is your first person experience of how to move from within. Embodying movement in this way is very mindful and can be a mindfulness practice in itself. The technique also helps to prepare the body for moving into yoga poses, therefore the practice of somatics blends well with yoga and mindfulness.
Somatic movement exercise combines specific movement techniques to re-educate the sensory motor neurological system to help release muscular tension and to relearn natural efficient movement patterns.
It does this through slow and very gentle movements, so the brain can look to change movement habits that have become stuck in what we call Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA) and affecting the entire body.
All the somatic movements follow a pattern used daily by your our pets called pandiculation. If you have a cat or dog at home watch them the next time they wake up. When they wake up they contract their muscles, and then slowly move out of this contraction to bring length to the muscles and then they rest. We adopt these 3 stages of pandiculation throughout the practice to reduced tension in overworked muscles and help to under worked muscles to start working efficiently again, thus bringing the whole body together in steady and comfortable movement and helping to bring that spring back into our step.