• Susie Orr

Lazy Butt Muscles?

SENSORY MOTOR AMNESIA (SMA) is a great term coined by Thomas Hanna, the inventor of Somatics.

SMA describes inefficient patterns of muscular activation that are so habitual you can’t sense or control them. For example, you might be habitually contracted, tense and tight in the neck or lower back, which a massage might relieve for a few days and then the tension returns. Or there may be muscles that aren’t activating such as the glutes (buttock/bottom!), leading to compensation patterns, inefficient movement, poor posture and pain.

How does SMA develop?

The first way is simply lack of movement through our full range. If you don’t regularly use your full range of movement, you lose it which increases the likelihood of injury when you reach to get something off the back seat of the car, as an example.

Use it or lose it

Our bodies evolved to move through various movements such as squatting, throwing, lunging, twisting, turning and reaching. Sitting for longer periods at a time has led to a slouched posture, putting strain on the neck and lower back, contracting the front of the body in flexion, so you perhaps lose a little extension in the spine.

Other ways that SMA develops is through injury, surgery, poor posture, trauma or surgery.

So how do we treat SMA?

By incorporating the brain into your movements, as in Gentle Somatic Yoga® which uses concentration, muscle control and attention to re-pattern lazy or tight muscles.

Gentle Somatic Yoga® combines Hatha Yoga with Hannah Somatics and Feldenkrais using therapeutic movements to release muscle tension, dissolve chronic pain, improve flexibility and re-establish good posture.

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