Introductory Somatics Awareness
Somatics is a program of exploration and learning -- through awareness. It guides you step by step to knowing your body from the inside, and begins the process of unwinding the pain, releasing the tensions, freeing the blocks, and opening space for you and your body to live together in a different way. It is a particular form of movement education that draws upon internal sensations and awareness to enhance the relationship between the brain and the body, so that the body you live in is responsive and can learn to relax again, letting go of habitual tension.
If you have pain, stiffness, or aches and limitations that you associate with aging, Somatics can help restore the normal range and ease of movement.
About the program:
Somatics is not exercise and a somatics class does not leave you feeling drained. Nor do you need to worry that you have enough energy for the class. Somatic movements are gentle and slow, almost like a moving meditation, and most of them are performed while you are lying down. Somatic movements do not impose stress or strain, and leave you feeling relaxed, alert, and calm.
As awareness and sensation are the key to Somatic movements, this beginner level program guides each participant into the type of awareness and the style of movement that will bring the most benefit.
From Thomas Hanna’s book, Somatics:
“The fact is that, during the course of our lives, our sensory-motor systems continually respond to daily stresses and traumas with specific muscular reflexes. These reflexes, repeatedly triggered, create habitual muscular contractions, which we cannot – voluntarily – relax. These muscular contractions have become so deeply involuntary and unconscious that, eventually, we no longer remember how to move about freely. The result is stiffness, soreness, and a restricted range of movement.
This habituated state of forgetfulness is called sensory-motor amnesia (SMA). It is a memory loss of how certain muscle groups feel and how to control them, and, because this occurs within the central nervous system, we are not aware of it, yet it affects us to our very core.
Our image of who we are, what we can experience, and what we can do is profoundly diminished by sensory-motor amnesia. And it is primarily this event, and its secondary effects, that we falsely think of as ‘growing older”. It is important that I point out the following facts:
(1) The effects of SMA can begin at any age, but usually become apparent in our 30s and 40s;
(2) Sensory-motor amnesia is an adaptive response of the nervous system, and
(3) Because it is a learned, adaptive response, it can be unlearned.”
"I have lived with chronic pain for 8 years in my neck, arms, & back from several injuries & have been exploring non-prescription options to reduce my pain. I recently participated in a 6 session workshop on Somatics with Jaki Daniels and could not believe how quickly my body responded to the philosophy and "somatic movements" offered in the classes. I've learned how I have "disconnected" from the parts of my body that hurt and by "reconnecting" to my body through gentle, natural movements, I have begun to gain some control over my muscle tension and my ability to truly relax. Even my physiotherapist has noticed a difference in how quickly my muscles will relax in response to treatments! I will definitely register for this class when it is offered again!"
E.P. Calgary, AB November 2015
"I participated in Jaki's first Somatics Class. Somatics has changed my life! After 3 weeks of Somatics, the excruciating pain that I was experiencing from trauchanteric bursitis in both hips had vanished. When Jaki offered the Somatics course I jumped on it! If three weeks of focused awareness on a targeted area could help me that much, how would my body react to full body awareness?? With Jaki's extensive knowledge about bodywork and her loving way of getting her message across, EVERY BODY could benefit from this Course."
D.B. Calgary, AB November 2015
"I didn't completely understand the impact that somatics would have on my overall well being when I decided to take the class. Now I understand how our "normal' movements are so limited and how important it is to consider all muscles and their need to flex and contract. Jaki's introduction to Somatics provides the very basics and opens up our awareness to the minute muscles that also need to have an expression. I have noticed decreased pain in my lower back and it feels wonderful! I would definitely recommend taking this class as the beginning step to renewed health."
D.M. Calgary, AB November 2015
"Somatics is helping me to develop a better relationship with, and awareness of, my body. It is as much meditation as movement, and creates a place of peace within me. Somatics is giving me hope: pain does not have to be my constant companion. I am excited and grateful."
B.W.Calgary, AB December 2015