SOMATIC MOVEMENT PROJECT

Embodiment - Awareness - Empowerment

What is Somatic Movement Project?


We educate, study and celebrate movement and bodywork modalities that deepen awareness, provoke curiosity and promote presence of being. SMP strives to open dialogue, push boundaries and build community. It continually evolves from the belief that embodiment is a state of being that can liberate us from the self-limitations in movement, behavior, emotion and thought.

What is Somatic Movement?

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Intuitive, comfortable, easeful and joyous movement used as a tool to improve an intimate connection to ourselves – an awareness of our whole self connected to our individual parts, to space and gravity.

Somatic Movement is practiced with the intention of an internal experience rather than to the outer appearance. It is a mindfulness practice that uses the felt sense awareness to keep us connected to the present moment.

It is a container for improving our sensing, including interoception and proprioception as well as our empathic and intuitive senses.

 

Somatic Movement uses the body as a tool for fine tuning our awareness. We “learn to listen “ to what we sense and feel in ourselves physically: our breathing, our posture, our weight distribution or degree of ease or discomfort in our movements.  We then expand to listening to the quality of our thoughts, reactions and behavior. Awareness does not discriminate. We can learn to apply this awareness to all of life. We get better at listening to what the world around us is saying without our hearing being restricted by the sound of our conditioned or habitual thoughts and judgements.

 

What is the Feldenkrais Method? 

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A sensory-motor education system designed to promote bodily and mental well-being by conscious observation of neuromuscular activity via exercises that improve flexibility and coordination and increase ease and range of motion.

What is Somatic Education?  

A field within bodywork and movement studies which emphasizes internal physical perception and experience.

 

What is Somatic Yoga? 

An awareness-based approach to yoga. Yoga asana is used to experience somatic movement.

Somatic Yoga begins with simple inquiry, clarifying where we are physically and mentally, sensing parts of our bodies and fluctuations in our breathing or thought patterns. The practice explores functional movement patterns and alternatives to habitual movements or holding patterns. The intention of the practice is to evoke a heightened sense of connectivity, sensitivity and awareness.   

 

Why cultivate an Embodiment Practice?

Because an embodiment practice is a method of developing our awareness.

We practice using tactile senses – our humanness – as an anchor that tethers us to the present moment.

Because awareness gives us options.

“Without learning to know ourselves as intimately as we possibly can, we limit our choices. Life is not very sweet without freedom of choice.”

– Moshe Feldenkrais

By the time we are adults we have already established countless habits. We have habits in the way we walk, talk, eat, sleep, move, think and react. Our habits actually function to make our lives easier. If we had to be aware of every single thing we thought and did all day we would never get anything done!

Some habits, however, become rigid confines that disable any other possibilities. Many habits can become limitations in how we do things, how we see ourselves, how we think and how we behave. They may determine how we see ourselves, they may establish – “I am this way.”

We define who we are from everything from how we walk to what sports we are good at to what time we wake up to our personal preferences from food to music and on. When we get locked down on “this is me,” we immediately eradicate possibilities, choices and options about what other ways we could do things, what else we could think and how else we could be. Furthermore, when we learn to see our complete, present-moment self-image, instead of who we have been or want to be or think we should be, we can make healthy, conscious choices about how to navigate our lives.

Because Awareness gives us freedom of choice.

When we are aware of what we are doing we can choose to do what we want. As we develop our awareness and begin knowing our (present) selves, we begin to free ourselves of limitations determined by our previous self-image. Our work shifts from maintenance of what was to cultivation of what actually is.

Because awareness fosters self-love

Becoming aware of ourselves is an intimate, vulnerable process. The more self-aware we are the more we can trust ourselves. Self-trust is an integral part of self-love. As we cultivate self-love we are no longer dependent on external forces (people or circumstances) to supply or produce meaning, balance, contentedness or happiness in our lives.