Change is Coming, are you Somatically ready?

Last week I mentioned I wondered who'd care about Somatics classes as the world is breaking up. 
I mean, I strongly believe a personal Somatics practice can powerfully impact our collective consciousness and wellness. I'm just not always sure how what I say lands with others.
Then I got a powerful reply from a new online student. He graciously told me I could share his experience with you too. I stumbled across clinical somatics work, and your classes, a few months ago, and I quickly could feel the powerful effect somatics has on my emotional life and myability to free myself from old patterns of thinking and acting. Somatics has really supercharged my inner work, and because of those two things combined, I have beenable to move through a lot of the anxiety and guilt (as a white male) that kept me from being able to pay attention to protests in the past. I can finally start learning fromour fellow citizens who have been treated so poorly, instead of hiding from the issues, and t…

Make Masks for Those In Need

I recently listened to a story on OPB, my local public radio station, about how farm workers in the Yakima Valley, WA, want to --need to-- work, but working conditions are unsafe during the pandemic. Workers are close together, hand washing is limited, masks that employers do provide are too few and too flimsy, etc.

Meanwhile cases of COVID-19 in Yakima are rising too.

I thought, well I could sew some masks! 
I reached the reporter of that story, and he put me in touch with Christina Ortega with Latino Community Fund. She said workers would love to receive masks!
So who's with me?! Would you help make masks for farm workers in Yakima?

The more of us who can help, the better. Here's how you can help.
1. MAKE MASKS There are tons of mask tutorials online. Maybe you already have a design you like.

Here's a simple face mask tutorial I like, though I don't put in a nose wire.

This video shows a way to avoid fogging up your glasses, and it's an alternative to a nose wire…

Connecting movement of life to the whole body

Let's talk about rotation of the body.

Envision a sprinter running.

She runs with her whole body, not just her legs and arms doing the action.

Her torso has a lovely contralateral, rotational pattern to it, that makes her running quick and easy.

As one leg and hip swings forward so does the opposite shoulder girdle and arm. The opposite diagonal swings backward.

But most of us don't move that freely from our centers, i.e. our torsos.

You could even try this little exploration we often do in classes. 

stand upput your left finger tips on the front of your left shoulderright fingers on the front of your right hip bonenow take a walk around your room and notice if there is any movement in the shoulder and/or hip areadon't try to "make it happen" just notice what happens as you walkthen switch to the other diagonal--left shoulder to right hipwalk with that diagonal as your focusyou may find there is no movement, or one region moves less or more than the other, or maybe…

Mind, Body and Emotions

Last week, the Take It Outside Fitness classes -- which ironically are now online during the pandemic -- focused on sensing our shoulders
The feedback after class was really interesting.
Many said they went from feeling grumpy and unmotivated to happier and ready to face the day.
Why did this happen? 
How your body holds tension plays a role in your mood and emotional state. And vice versa. 
Right now the world is shut down, closed up, and in a state of uncertainty. 
Many people's moods are mirroring the state of the world.
What does your body do when you are startled or scared? The front of your torso contracts. The belly and chest tighten. Your inner thighs tighten, your feet roll inward, the back of your neck tightens.
In the bombardment of stressful events, without releasing and letting go of that stress and those contractions, our bodies start to habituate the tension patterns of the startle reflex. 
What does that tension do to your body and overall health?
You can't breathe wel…

FAQ: Can Somatics Fix My _____________ Problem?

I get this question all the time. People want to know how to fix their parts and address their specific conditions.

And, yeah, I know. I do tout Somatics classes focusing on areas of the body. But I do that pretty much to appeal to your current beliefs about pain relief.

So, yes, Somatics can absolutely help you, but not in the way you have been conditioned to address your pain and problem areas.

Somatics is not about fixing parts of your body, such as your inflexible hamstrings, a sore knee, or your tight lower back.

Nor is about fixing your particular diagnosed condition, such as TMJ disorder, plantar fasciitis or scoliosis.

The typical approaches to fixing you are looking at your body as a bunch of parts. That mindset is just paying attention to the area where you feel your problem.

Somatics is different.

Instead of addressing areas of your body, as a Clinical Somatic Educator, I look at how you move and stand and sit, as the whole being you are.

Where are your full-body tension pa…

Be aware, save lives. The pandemic from a somatic perspective.

The other day I was stopped at a red light. There were two cars were in front of me. The first car turned right on red. Totally legal, no big deal. The second car continued into the intersection, turning left, while the light was still red. Luckily for her, traffic on that typically busy state highway was light, thanks to people following the stay home/save lives message.
Awareness is your safety net. I mention this because awareness is your safety net. After a month or so of staying home, many people want life to "get back to normal" whatever that is. Many think they are "smart," they're healthy, and by damn, they should be allowed do whatever they want.

As a Somatic Educator, part of my training included stepping into a client's shoes, so to speak. Part empathy, part sensing what they might be feeling in their bodies. Seeing the world through another person's lens.

Another part of our training is helping people identify their sensory motor amnesia (SMA…

How can we become more self sufficient, feeling more empowered, not less?

These days seem to be full of more questions than answers. The uncertainty can leave many of us feeling like we have no personal agency, much less what will happen in the coming day, weeks, months, even years.

A lot of wise words from my elders roll through my head these days. Be Grateful. My mom always reminded us kids to, "Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole." What do you have to be grateful for? Do you have housing? Are you fed? Are you healthy? Be grateful. You can share that health, by keeping your distance, so you and others around you can also stay healthy.

Because viruses just look at human bodies as hosts to keep the virus spreading, we can fight back, by avoiding the opportunity for the coronavirus to jump a ride on a fellow person. We are literally all connected by this, either by infecting each other, or by caring enough to isolate/social-distance for the foreseeable future. What you do does matter. Just Do Something. Many people are telling me they are stres…