Why do I practice? What is it about somatic movement that has me committed daily (well, most days anyway — I am human!) Why did this modality grab me right from the start?
My practice gets me to stop. To pause. To listen. It gets me to lie down and feel myself. To honestly and kindly meet myself where I am, then gently take myself to a softer place. And that’s just for starters…
Somatics is my work and my life. But, you may ask, haven’t I ‘learned’ all the movements after several years of practice? Well, yes in a way I’ve ‘learned’ the movements. But do we ever ‘learn’ self-reflection, meditation, or journaling? Of course not — each day I am a different person, my nervous system responds differently to different internal and external input, and each time I practice is an opportunity to learn something new about myself.
In deeply sensing myself in the moment I learn how to sense my immediate, present lived experience. Nothing matters but today. Each movement exploration is an opportunity to ask myself how I feel in any given moment. What a rarity this is these days.
My practice gives me permission to engage in a process of self-inquiry again and again. It is a brave and courageous thing to do, I feel, and a kind and compassionate action of self-care. How am I today, really? I explore how it feels to sense kindness, softness and tenderness. Expansion as opposed to contraction.
Stressors are a part of being human. But when our nervous systems’ ongoing involuntary reactions (reflexes) to stress get ‘stuck on’ is when those seemingly innocuous niggles can gradually turn into persistent (chronic) pain, illness or burnout/exhaustion.
So my practice prevents me from getting stuck. Stuck in any of Hanna’s classic three stress reflex patterns and their relatives. I’d be lost without it. I’ve learnt to know myself at last, through feeling. I’m unfurling. I am a process.
We need to meet ourselves, with kindness and compassion on a regular basis so we don’t get ‘stuck’— stuck in any of Hanna’s classic three reflex patterns so we’re able to move through life with freedom and choice. We need to learn how to feel again