What is Somatics?
‘Soma’ is a term attributed to philosopher Thomas Hanna, who says
“A ‘soma’ isn’t a body and it isn’t a mind; it’s the living process…The soma indicates both mental and physiological events, all functions of the body – as a single process, a process that is called soma.” (read more)
Somatic movement practices use movement as a means of experiencing our own soma, heightening body awareness and providing tools to listen to the wisdom of the body. Most somatic practices believe that YOU are the expert of your own body and mind, and that your experience of yourself is most important in your life. Somatic movement practices facilitate your ability to listen to your own body and teach you tools for ‘tuning in’ as well as engaging with the world from an embodied perspective.
What is Body-Mind Centering®?
Body-Mind Centering® (BMC) is a Somatic practice begun in the 1970s by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, and developed over subsequent decades by her work with many students. BMC grounds its work in the understanding of cellular intelligence, that is, a knowing of truth that exists on a cellular level, an intelligence that exists in the cells. In BMC, we work with the cells and the community of cells that we call tissues — these have familiar names such as bone, muscle, organ, gland — and communities of these tissues we call systems — the skeletal system, the muscular system, the endocrine system, the organ systems, etc.
Often in our culture, we talk about intelligence as if it lives solely in the brain. We imagine our brain as a big boss telling the rest of our body what to do. When we have pain in our bodies, often we use our brains to help us figure out how to ‘fix’ the problem. We encounter, as well, a common difficulty in our brain also acting as a dictator, running us over as we over-think. You may be familiar with meditation or other mindfulness practices that support a calming of the mind and bringing awareness and attention to the present moment.
Body-Mind Centering® brings the attention of a mindfulness practice to focus on our own bodies, and offers methods and tools to help us sense our bodies and perceive their inherent intelligence. BMC offers ‘ways in’ to the body, inviting an ever-deepening sense of embodiment.
When we are fully-embodied, we are aware of our sensations and perceptions in the moment, and meet the challenges and joys of the present. When we are able to listen to the wisdom of the body, we can adapt and adjust our movements to bring more ease and less pain. Adjusting our movements for long-term ease is a process we call ‘re-patterning’. As a certified Somatic Movement Educator, I can offer support for your re-patterning, in group classes and in private sessions.
Community Meditation Class (Silent) (30 min)
Thursdays, 12:15-12:45, Body Wisdom Healing Group, free of charge
Using a Body-Mind Centering® approach, this class offers an opportunity to check in with your body, breath and mind. Each week will offer a brief philosophical idea, a tool for checking in with the body, and 10 minutes of silent meditation. This class is a great way to get a taste of Somatic Movement Education while getting in a meditation.
Arrive early and/or stay after and chat with fellow members of the community!
Community Meditation Class (sounding) (30 min)
Friday, 1:00-1:30 pm, Body Wisdom Healing Group, free of charge
In this meditation class, we use various sound-based techniques, such as humming, chanting or singing. Using sound helps us better attend to our breathing, improve our breathing techniques, and uses the resonant power of sound to uplift our nervous systems. This process is guided, and we will explore different sounding systems throughout the year. NO “SINGING TALENT” required!
Arrive Early to settle in! Stay after to chat, and for the 2 pm Yoga Class with Kate Varney!
Somatics for Movement Teachers and Bodyworkers (90 min)
Body Wisdom Healing Group, $20
This class is for those who work with bodies all the time. Sharing tools and skills from Body-Mind Centering, we will work on your body questions – both your own and those you encounter in your clients. Using a combination of anatomy study, movement research (a movement proposal which you research in your own body for a time), and hands-on, this class is a learning lab for your own development as a practitioner.
Next Session: "Knowing Our Limits: Working with Students to Know Themselves
Friday, February 22nd, 2019; 6:00-7:30 pm
Dancing from the Gut: A Body-Mind Centering® Class
Get to know your guts! Using methods and tools offered by the somatic practice of Body-Mind Centering®, this class will introduce you to your guts and how they can be a great friend in supporting your dance and movement. We will use anatomical images, embodied mindfulness and movement improvisation to tune into our guts.