From the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association, "The field of somatics has developed over the last century through a process of inquiry into how consciousness inhabits the living body. The term is derived from the word "somatic" (Greek "somatikos", soma: “living, aware, bodily person”) which means pertaining to the body, experienced and regulated from within. According to Thomas Hanna, who first coined the phrase, “somatics” is the study of self from the perspective of one’s lived experience, encompassing the dimensions of body, psyche, and spirit."
Somatic practices include Bartenieff Fundamentals and Developmental Movement, Feldenkrais/Awareness through Movement, Alexander Technique, and Body Mind Centering, among many other profound and experiential bodies of knowledge. What differentiates somatics from other kinds of movement practices is it's emphasis on integration and sensorial exploration, as well as the body's intrinsic relationship to nature and our environment.
For me, somatic practice has become a state of being and exploration within the body, or a way of inhabiting the body itself. This somatic consciousness places a great deal of value upon the fundamental philosophy that the body has it's own innate wisdom and deep intelligence, and that more often then not our minds get in the way of the ability to drop into this body of wisdom. Somatic exploration provides a road back into the self, and is especially inclusive of practices which are comparatively recuperative and restorative. Somatic practice also emphasizes the fundamental natural rhythms which occur in our bodies, and in nature, embracing the notion that movement is cyclical, and exists along a continuum.
My training in somatic practice includes being a Certified Movement Analyst through The Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NYC, which is a graduate level training program in movement education, repattern-ing, and analysis. My program was directed by Karen Bradley, with teachers Lynn Wenning-Adelman, Laura Cox and Karen Studd. In graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College, I had a specific concentration on somatic practice, with ongoing study of Feldenkrais/Awareness through Movement with Barbara Forbes, and Alexander Technique with Daniel Singer and June Ekman. I also have a range of experience and practice with Body Mind Centering and Skinner Releasing Technique.
This "somatic consciousness" is an integral and foundational part of the philosophy from which I move, teach, and create.