What is Somatics?
The word Somatics comes from the Greek root, soma, which means “the living organism in its wholeness.” In the case of Somatics, as I understand it, the wholeness we are talking about is that of the spirit, the mind and the physical body. This is the whole that I strive to take into relationships and into the world around me. So, how do we come to know this wholeness? I think partly it is a matter of working to remember that we are not a bunch of separate parts. Although we might think and talk about these separate parts as if they are in isolation, they are really and always have been in conversation with each other. Practicing yoga is a perfect way to wake up and begin to sense all parts of our self in conversation. We can move in a variety of ways, exploring our perception of self in any given moment. To practice Somatic Yoga is to wake up to the vastness and mystery of our whole being, what it means to be an integrated human being. We are reintroduced to ourselves again and again on the mat, as we enter into the process of becoming more responsive, alive and whole. This practice is an ongoing practice of discovery and change, of getting familiar with all aspects of our spirit, mind and physical body. Somatic Yoga is a practice of watching what happens when we pay attention.
What is Body Mind Centering?
Excerpt taken from Body Mind Centering.com:
Body-Mind Centering® (BMCSM) is an integrated and embodied approach to movement, the body and consciousness. Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, it is an experiential study based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical and developmental principles, utilizing movement, touch, voice and mind. Its uniqueness lies in the specificity with which each of the body systems can be personally embodied and integrated, the fundamental groundwork of developmental re-patterning, and the utilization of a body-based language to describe movement and body-mind relationships.
The study of Body-Mind Centering® is a creative process in which embodiment of the material is explored in the context of self-discovery and openness. Each person is both the student and the subject matter and the underlying goal is to discover the ease that underlies transformation.
The Body-Mind Centering® approach has an almost unlimited number of areas of application. It is currently being used by people in movement, dance, yoga, bodywork, somatic studies, physical and occupational therapy, psychotherapy, child development, education, voice, music, art, meditation, athletics and other body-mind disciplines.
What is Movement Education?
The following is my personal understanding of what movement education is, as well as an expression of how I use this understanding as a tool to help repattern my body and to inform those whom I am privileged to collaborate with in my classes and private sessions. Movement education is a process of learning how one moves and how one does not move. It is also a process of relearning or repatterning ones movement tendencies so as to create more healthy movement options. This process is informed by the following tools that help facilitate repatterning and generate a sense of agency and choice: looking at images of our own anatomical structures, visualizing and imagining these structures in our own body, touching these parts of our body (if possible) to help create communication and connection, all the while considering how we relate to gravity, space and breath, and then initiating movement from this information.
When we spend time with the tools and processes of movement education we come to know our bodies better and we begin to realize the range of choice that exists in every moment. This provides us with the opportunity to wake up to more aspects of ourselves and utilize parts of our body that we had not known were there. When we realize that we have choices when we move, the whole body learns new ways of finding support and mobility that allows old patterns that may not have been helpful to be replaced with new patterns. This dialogue between observation, feeling and movement becomes a practice about navigating the dynamic mystery of our own bodies.