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Movement of the day

what is somatic movement?

So now you have done the first movement exercise of this mini-challenge, and I told you it is somatic movement. But what does that mean?

For me somatic is the approach to the movement or practice. To put it simple, I like to think movement in 3 different categories: 


  1. Movement with aesthetic approach: Movement which you are doing with focus on how it looks like, rather than how it feels like. The attention is outwards, you might check your posture on the mirror and probably follow strict anatomical guidelines like “place your foot on 45 degree angle”. Think about ballet for example.



  2. Movement with focus on the results: Movement that you do with a specific result in your mind. This could be doing push ups, for example. You are not doing them because it feels particularly good at the moment, but you want to get stronger upper body. Your attention is already in the future, and you are probably also thinking about your technique with great detail.



  3. Movement with somatic approach: When you are doing the movement, you are fully concentrating on how the movement feels in your body, at the moment. Attention is inwards, deep in the body. 


So almost any movement could be somatic movement, as it is the approach you take for it rather than any set sequence. But why then we have specific somatic movement exercises?


Somatic movement classes have a specific structure and exercises to help you to connect deeply with yourself. It just wouldn't work the same if I would tell you to move in any way you feel like and try to feel your inner sensations! If you are taking a full class with me, we always start the class with practice of shifting the attention inwards (interoception) and start moving slowly from the place of awareness. With time we start to approach more complex movements and rhythms, but by starting with simple and slow movements we make it easier to stay in the experience of interoception. As a result we can experience our bodies in a way we haven’t done before, connect with parts of ourselves we might have forgotten and really feel like being at home within ourselves. 


In my somatic movement classes we also go through themes like nervous system regulation, stress responses, fascia release, intuitive movement and more, to bring additional understanding on how we function in daily life and how we can live more in ease, while still participating fully in this busy and loud world!



To think about:


  • When you feel most at home in yourself?

  • Under what categories your movement habits fall into? How they make you feel like?

  • During your movement practice (somatic or any other), take a moment to tune in and just listen to your body. If it could tell you something, what it would say to you? Just listen.


Until tomorrow! 

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