In Somatics we notice and sense from the inside the means by which we move or hold onto ourselves, where we feel ease or constriction, and from this first-person experience, we are cued through a slow, smooth process to let go of constricted, habituated movement patterns and move freely.
The process we use is “Pandiculation”: to pandiculate is to contract and gently extend or stretch in a yawn-like manner.
1) We slowly and smoothly contract muscles further than our usual habit. This novel, deliberate, exaggerated movement engages the brain;
2) We slowly, smoothly and consciously lengthen from our centre out through our contraction to our periphery;
3) We let go to what feels like neutral;
4) Then we deliberately pause, notice and sense changes: for instance, in sensations of length, lightness or heaviness, pulsing or space.
There is a sensual, yawn-like quality to this movement and a surprisingly pleasant and satisfying aspect. In all this, it is essential to ignite our natural curiosity, our interest in the process, without this the movement is mechanical and non-productive.
Motor-sensory amnesia (MSA)
Motor-sensory amnesia (MSA) is an important concept to grasp. It describes various degrees of chronic, unconscious muscular contraction that over time can severely restrict mobility. Original and real causes of healthy stress reactions may disappear. Our sensory motor system reacts in a learned way to any further stresses that remotely reflect the original. We can find ourselves in a posture which is curled forward, backward or sideways. We find ourselves restricted in our ability to rise up and go forward to meet our movement needs. We cannot make ourselves change our posture or gait from the outside, it is an inside job and Somatics is a way to achieve that.
Come and explore Somatics in an Introductory Workshop open to all ability levels: January 20th, 10-11:15 or 12-1:15 pm.
Location: Somalila Sanctuary, 1584 Stamps Road, Duncan.
Cost: $18 each session or $30 for both.
To register or if you have questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.somalila.com
Somae Osler MA is a clinical Somatics Educator in training.