Learn how to release areas of tension yourself!
Before starting each movement, please watch to see what it looks like. Please note that in the video I may demonstrate the first movement to my fullest range of motion so you can see the shape easily but actually we don’t want to use 100% of our effort! Thing along the lines of 20% physical effort, 90% mental focus
In some of these sequences, we’re safely contracting an area of the body that is already tight to highlight the tension to the brain. So go carefully. If you've 'put your back out' before, doing these exercises with too much effort may cause your body to protect you by creating muscle spasm and pain. Listen to your own body while you do the movements, notice how it feels, never push into pain or strain. The less effort you put in, the better. Go slowly. It's really brain training that we're doing. Re-setting the brain-muscle connection so that your muscles remember where neutral is, rather than being chronically short and tight
Release, Relax, Re-set
For example if you have forward slumped posture, the somatic movements I recommend and lead you through will slump you slightly further forward than you habitually do, then bring you back to neutral with control, then you'd release any muscle effort and completely relax. This focuses your brain/muscle connection on the front of the body-this window of focus is where changes can occur at the level of the brain, reminding your front body that neutral is with your shoulders stacked above your pelvis, rather than forward of that line. This can improve our posture, taking the strain off our joints and connective tissue. Going from a forward slumped posture to a more neutral posture gives our organs of respiration, digestion and reproduction their space back in the front body! Forward slumped posture squashes and squeezes that region in addition to straining the lower back and neck.
What does somatic mean?
Somatic means an awareness of your body from the inside out. This is why before and after every movement, we take a moment to notice the sensations of releasing, relaxing and re-setting muscle tension.
How does Somatics differ from other techniques to relax muscle tension?
Somatic movement flows involve the brain to relax areas of chronic muscle tension. One of the techniques is to really focus on the movements you’re making to highlight the area to your brain, making the process cortical. With a controlled release, noticing the movement to the very end of your range of motion - for example in the jaw release - jaw fully open, jaw fully closed - the focus of moving slowly and smoothly, using mental focus, is where you begin to gain back control.
At the end of the movements, completely melt and notice the sensations. The brain loves to learn through contrast, hence we take time to notice how the area of the body feels after we’ve released muscle tension, so the changes can occur at the level of the brain.
Please note that there are risks inherent in any exercise programme. The advice of a Physician should be sought prior to embarking upon any exercise regime. The creator of this video disclaims any liability for any loss, damage or injury in connection with any use of this programme or the instruction and/or advice expressed herein. The creators, producers, performers and distributors of this programme make no warranty, express or implied regarding your individual results.
If you feel pain, numbness, tingling or discomfort STOP immediately! Either wait until we move onto the next movement or visualise the movement instead.
HOW TO DO A LESSON
If lying down, have a small stack of hand towels or a small firm pillow to place under your head as needed
Go very slowly
Pause the lesson as needed to give yourself time
Move within your own comfortable range
Do NOT push or strain. You will get more benefit by doing less
Try to let go of doing the movements the “right” way. Remember they're not exercises, they're movements designed to release tension so do them slowly, steadily, gently for best results
Be curious and enjoy the changes
Follow any healthcare restrictions you have been given
These short videos release tension in the area being focused on, but for full benefit, a sequence that releases tension all over the body gets the best results. The shoulders and neck, for example, may be sore and tight due to pelvic asymmetry, so the pelvis also needs to be addressed to resolve the issue
Please watch this before starting any of the somatic movement flows®
These movement flows are general in nature. Please note that for optimal results, the entire body should be addressed - come to class to put it all together to re-discover greater comfort and ease in your body