There is a lot of hype about somatic movement at the moment.

It sounds more complicated than it actually is.

Somatic means ”affecting the body”. Another word for somatic could be physical.

Yoga is somatic in nature as the practice is all about the mind-body connection. Other movement types you may hear described as somatic could be Tai Chi, Pilates and Dance but the possibilities are endless as long as the mind-body connection applies…

What does somatic movement actually mean?

Somatic Movement means to connect your movement with how you feel in your body rather than focusing on your end goal. If we are bringing that into our stretches, we breathe into our stretches and notice how that feels in our body. 

 The benefits of somatic movement

Studies have shown that somatic movement can :

-improve flexibility, mobility and posture

-help connect you with your emotions

-reduce anxiety and boost mood

Ok, that’s great  but how can we apply it  in our Movement Practice, I hear you ask.. I will use a Yoga Posture & Breathing Technique as my examples to demonstrate (as that’s where my expertise lies as a Yoga & Mindfulness teacher.)

1. A Yoga Somatic Posture: Child’s Pose

 The child’s pose is a relaxing posture taught in Yoga. you are asked to sit on your knees and bring your head to rest on the floor, stretching your whole body and letting go.

2.  Diafraghmatic Breathing

Sit or lie down; the choice is yours. Place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen. Inhale through your nose for three seconds and feel your stomach expand. Hold your breath for two seconds before releasing your breath for five seconds through your mouth. Repeat for around 5 minutes. As you breathe, mentally take note of how you are feeling physically and mentally.

 

The takeaway: Any movement can be somatic if mind-body connection is applied so my advice is  to practice the movement that makes you feel good…

What’s your favourite somatic movement type? Let us know in the comments. Ronah