What is somatic education?

What is LinSublim Somatic education?

Somatic education is a holistic approach to learning and living that focuses on improving body awareness, movement, and overall well-being. It draws upon the work of pioneers like Thomas Hanna and Moshe Feldenkrais, who recognized the profound connection between the mind, body, and nervous system. It’s done by gentle, slow, flow-like movements which are structured into lessons due to the fact that we’re constantly learning while moving. The history of somatic education is complex and wonderful.

Soma - Embodied Self

Thomas Hanna, the pioneer of somatic education, introduced the concept of “Soma” to describe the embodied self, or the body experienced from within. This term, derived from the Greek word for “body,” challenges the traditional Cartesian dualism that separates the mind from the body. Instead, Hanna viewed the Soma as a unified system where the mind and body are inextricably interconnected.

The Soma, according to Hanna, is not merely a physical structure but a dynamic process of perception, sensation, and movement. It is the seat of our self-awareness, our relationship to the world, and our ability to learn and grow. Through somatic practices, individuals can cultivate a deeper understanding of their Soma, leading to improved movement patterns, enhanced well-being, and a more harmonious integration of mind and body.

Our interconnected nervous system is our Soma’s greathest strength. Since everything somatic education DOES works on the nervous system level. Allowing us to go from the fight, freeze or flight (sympathetic) to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) and vagal encouraging recovery and healing

Hanna identified three key aspects of the Soma:

  • Sensorimotor Integration: The Soma is constantly receiving sensory input from the body, including proprioception, the sense of body position and movement, and interoception, the awareness of internal sensations. Somatic practices help individuals refine this sensory integration, enabling them to make more informed decisions about their movement and actions.

  • Dynamic Alignment: The Soma is not a static structure but a dynamic system in constant flux. It adapts and changes in response to internal and external stimuli. Somatic practices help individuals cultivate a sense of dynamic alignment, allowing them to move with ease, grace, and efficiency.

  • Expressive Potential: The Soma is the source of our movement, expression, and creativity. Somatic practices help individuals tap into this expressive potential, allowing them to move with greater authenticity and freedom.

In essence, the Soma is the foundation of our being, the bridge between our inner and outer worlds. Through somatic education, we can deepen our understanding of this intricate system, empowering us to move with greater awareness, vitality, and joy.

Thomas Hanna’s Pandiculation

Pandiculation is a term coined by Thomas Hanna, a pioneer in somatic education, to describe a natural, reflexive movement pattern that releases tension and improves posture. Pandiculations are often characterized by large, sweeping movements of the arms, legs, and torso, natural pandiculations they can be triggered by a variety of stimuli, such as yawns, stretching, or simply being startled.

Hanna believed that pandiculations play a crucial role in maintaining the health and flexibility of the nervous system, which is responsible for coordinating movement and regulating tension. He observed that when people experience chronic stress or trauma, they tend to suppress their pandiculations, leading to a buildup of tension in the body.

To address this issue, Hanna developed a series of exercises that encourage individuals to intentionally engage in pandiculations. These exercises can be performed at any time and in any place, and they can be tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences.

Sensory Motor Amnesia

Sensory motor amnesia, also known as SMA, is a term coined by Hanna to describe the loss of awareness of the body’s proprioceptive and kinesthetic sensations. Proprioception is the ability to sense the position and movement of the body in space, while kinesthetics is the ability to feel the movement of the body’s muscles and joints.

Hanna believed that SMA is a major contributing factor to pain, dysfunction, and poor movement patterns. He observed that when people are unaware of their body’s sensations, they tend to move in ways that are inefficient, uncoordinated, and potentially harmful.

To address SMA, Hanna developed a variety of techniques that aim to improve body awareness and proprioception. These techniques include body mapping, sensory awareness exercises, and movement exploration.

By incorporating pandiculations and addressing sensory motor amnesia, Hanna’s somatic education approach helps individuals develop a deeper connection with their bodies, improve their movement patterns, and reduce pain and dysfunction.

The LinSublim - Somatic Movement Education

LinSublim is a somatic education approach that integrates the principles of Hanna and Feldenkrais with contemporary research in neuroscience and movement science. It emphasizes the following key concepts:

  • Sensory-Motor Integration: LinSublim practitioners guide individuals to integrate sensory information from their bodies with motor actions, leading to improved movement patterns and coordination.

  • Neuroplasticity: LinSublim recognizes the brain’s remarkable ability to change and adapt, enabling individuals to create new movement patterns and overcome limitations.

  • Whole-Body Approach: LinSublim focuses on the interconnectedness of the body’s systems, recognizing that posture, movement, and emotional well-being are all interrelated.

Importance of Somatic Lessons

Somatic lessons offer numerous benefits for individuals of all ages and abilities. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Improved Posture and Alignment: Somatic education can help individuals correct poor posture, which can reduce pain and prevent future injuries.

  • Enhanced Movement Efficiency: Somatic lessons can help individuals develop more efficient movement patterns, reducing effort and improving overall performance.

  • Reduced Pain and Tension: Somatic education can help individuals identify and release areas of tension, leading to reduced pain, improved flexibility, and increased range of motion.

  • Enhanced Balance and Coordination: Somatic practices can help individuals improve balance, coordination, and proprioception, reducing the risk of falls and enhancing overall physical performance.

  • Enhanced Cognitive Function: Studies have shown that somatic education can improve cognitive function, memory, and focus.

  • Promotes Emotional Well-being: Somatic education can help individuals develop a deeper connection with their bodies, leading to increased self-awareness, self-regulation, and emotional well-being.

  • Calms overractive nervous system so both the body and mind can heal thus potentially helping lower stress, anxiety and depression. The more you practice the better you feel

Somatic education is a valuable tool for improving overall health, well-being, and quality of life. By consciously attending to the body’s movement patterns and sensory information, individuals can unlock their inherent potential for movement, reduce pain, and enhance their overall health and vitality.

See FAQ to see frequent questions and answers.