My first introduction to Somatic Movement was with Trina Altman at her Yoga Deconstructed Immersion. Studying with her online led me to some of the Pioneers of Somatic Movement and great readings, as well as classes on how to reawaken the minds control of movement, flexibility and whole body health.
Bartenieff Fundamentals developed by Irmgard Bartenieff focus on corrective body movement. This is an invitation to bring awareness to what is happening internally. When we move our coordination is affected by connections in the body. The center of weight and how this relates to follow through. Movements focus on lower and upper body mobility and stability and push and pull patterns as well as interconnections with the spine and limbs. Sound like yoga? These fundamentals require the use of deep core muscles and the breath.
Somatic movements allow you to move seamlessly, and encourage dynamic full body movements. The term introduced by Thomas Hanna describes methods of sensory-motor education and using somatic movement we can improve motor control and change learned muscular patterns. This can be a way to relieve chronic pain by improving bodily function. The movements are performed slowly and consciously to enforce new patterns of movement and create new muscular habits. They ask you to pay attention. Focus on the internal experience. We can call this Deep Listening.
Somatic Movement is not an aesthetic practice, as you focus on the internal experience of the movement you develop an understanding of the larger movement patterns in the body. Using somatic movement is one way to understand the movement patterns and poses that are practiced in the later part of a yoga class. They provide a new gentle beginning to a class and can offer a shift to your central nervous system.
Look for Somatic Movement in each and every class offered in Hannahs Room Yoga.