Tuesday, April 30, 2030

Somatics is not a "thing"


As part of my 3-year clinical training I had to write a philosophy paper about Somatics. Thomas Hanna was a philosopher in addition to a Hanna Somatics Educator. This is my paper. So while people ask "what is somatics?" maybe an understanding of what it is not will help people better understand what it is.


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 If I can impart one key message about Essential Somatics it is this: Somatics is not a thing

Things can be gadgets, modalities or gurus. Things can be revered as special ways, maybe even mysterious ways to do something to achieve something. We seek these things for our problems, from losing weight to being better business owners to getting rid of pain. The point is these things are outside of ourselves. 

Somatics is not a thing.

Think back to when we were kids. We didn't know anything. Everything was new and exciting. We had a gazillion questions about everything. We touched things. We stuck things in our mouths. We tired to convey to others what we were feeling. We were aware of things that adults take for granted and go unnoticed.

We were using our brains and senses to figure things out. 

Let me say that again. 

We were using our brains and senses to figure things out. 

Fast forward to adulthood. If you are involved in adult education, the experts tell you, relate what you teach to something the (adult) student already knows.  

Which explains my dilemma. 

Since Somatics is not a thing, it can be challenging at first for some adults to “get” it.  We are adults after all, and have well entrenched beliefs and think we know pretty much everything, or at least enough to get by. That’s not meant as an insult. If we were to discover something that goes against our current beliefs we might not want to learn/believe/experience something new. That rigidity can be our enemy. Kids don’t think this way. They don’t have any preconceived notions, yet.

When people ask me what I do, to keep it short and sweet, I often just reply, "I teach people how to use their brains to get rid of their pains." 

Which usually breaks the ice--I mean everyone can relate to pain, right? So they want to know what exactly it is that I do.

So I explain what Somatics is and how it works, then they ask questions like:

"Is it like massage?" 

No. 

"So its like pilates, right?" 

Not even close. 

"Yoga?" 

“Welllll....there could be some distant philosophical similarities."

Yoga is a perfect example of something that has become a thing. I don't claim to be a yoga expert, but what I like to call "western yoga" pays just a teensy tiny homage to “real yoga”. Western yoga is now sold as a physical exercise program. Some yoga schools have trademarked poses, sell special gear, heat yoga spaces to 100+ degrees 24/7 and play bass rock at the threshold of pain. In reality the yoga poses practiced in gyms across the US are just a fraction of the original physical, mental, and spiritual practice of yoga that originated in ancient India. Just one example of a thing, but I digress.

When I chat with clients and total strangers about Somatics they tell me all kinds of things they do for pain. 

“I have the best massage therapist! I've been going to him for years. He can fix me right up. Well, I feel amazing for a while, but then the pain comes back…."

“I was in an auto accident and now my left leg is shorter than my right, so my doctor told me to wear orthotics. I don’t really like them, but I need to wear them.”

There is some sort of all-knowing, ubiquitous “they” that doles out advice that becomes part of our beliefs, because we’ve heard these “tips” so many times. 

They say we should walk with our backs like this.” 

“I’ve heard I should do this with my shoulders.” 

“I’m trying to get my pelvis to do X." 

These shoes will make me run like this.” 

“I try to engage my abs to X percent.” 

“My pain is because I have arthritis/compression/stenosis/etc.”

You’ve probably got your own. I know I sure did! 

After a Somatics for Wellbeing class at Portland Community College, a man came up to me and said, "This class has been amazing. I’ve been going to a chiropractor for over 30 years and never felt like this! Who do you suggest I go see to continue this?" I looked at him, and said, "Uh, me? Since Somatics has been so great for you, how about you come in for a hands-on session with me, a Somatics Educator?" He looked at me like I didn't understand and replied, "No, I mean, can you recommend a good massage therapist. Or maybe I should go to an acupuncturist." I didn't press it, but he really back pedaled from pursuing Somatics. 

It dawned on me, he thought he needed a thing to fix his pain. It didn’t make me mad. It actually made me kind of sad. Sad that he had less faith in his own personal experience of himself, than some thing. 

I can relate though. After I was hit by a car while riding my bike I did pilates. A figured a “tight core” would help me, which is what we hear all the time, right? Now I know a tight core is the complete opposite of freedom of movement, which my body was lacking. I got acupuncture, which I really did enjoy, but the pains I had never went/stayed away. The chiropractor I saw was worthless but I wanted to believe what everyone said, that it would help. Physical therapy made my pain worse. I explored a bunch of other things, but nothing lasted. I will say cranio sacral work and osteopathic treatments were helpful, but slow going. 

Then I found a Somatics. The first time I explored the movements I got instant and lasting relief in my left hip and that was 4+ years ago. I was sold. I signed up to learn how to teach the movements in that book, and became a Certified Somatics Exercise Coach. 

I taught the movements to clients and they absolutely loved them! They felt things in their bodies that they hadn’t felt in a very long time, or maybe even ever. Cool!

Then I started reading Thomas Hanna’s books, Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health; Bodies in Revolt;The Body of Life, and articles in Somatics Magazine. 

Thomas Hanna (1928-1990), who developed Hanna Somatics, was a philosopher who’s shining philosophy was how humans can become and remain physically and intellectually free. The driving force of his work as a Somatic Educator and philosopher was to help people realize the potential we all have, and with that potential we can take responsibility for our own bodies, lives and minds.
Humans, unlike other animals, have neo-cortexes—the thinking, executive functioning part of the brain— that make us human and give us free will. It’s when you understand that, then everything changes. And you realize Somatics is not a thing.

So if somatics is not a thing, what exactly is it, you ask?

You are not a thing either. You are a soma. Your body is what you see in the mirror and what others see when they look at you. Soma is greek for living body, which Hanna further defined as the body experienced from within and where we experience mind/body integration. So what you feel from within you is you. No one else can have that experience and that should just send chills down your spine if you think about it. You and your brain have a world in and of itself. No one can be you. No one can feel what you feel. And surprise! There is no mind-body “connection.” The brain and body are one, two sides of the same coin, wrapped up in the soma, the being, that is you, at this moment in time. 

Remember when I said when we were young we were using our brains to figure things out. Think about that. When you were a brand new baby you didn't know jack squat about how to do anything. While a baby horse can walk in 3 minutes after birth, a baby human can take anywhere from 6 to 17 months to walk. 

Consider this: no thing taught us how to do all the movements we learned to do, that lead to walking, that lead to running, skipping, hopping and so on. We didn’t need any thing to make it happen. No gadgets or contraptions.  Just our brains and nervous systems. We learned how to be and move all on our own. Our brains and nervous systems helped us balance our giant heads over our bodies. Our brains and nervous systems helped us go from lying face down to being able to lift our heads to face forward and our legs up in the air behind us. And as Thomas Hanna said, we were pretty stoked when we did that for the very first time. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.) That arching of the back is called the Landau Reflex and it's what leads human babies to get up and move forward into the world. It's a key stage of development. But again, no thing made that happen. We did it because we wanted to move forward! It was just us and our brains and nervous systems, evolution, and hopefully adequate caregivers encouraging us along the way. If we weren't motivated and using our senses, and had given up way back then, we'd still be in our cribs having someone changing our diapers. Ironically what we want to avoid as we get older. :-)

So what does that have to do with Somatics? Ah ha! This is where people start thinking Somatics a thing. Nope, Somatics is re-education. A re-education in you, and you are not a thing. With all the sensory stimulation we were absorbing as young babies and toddlers we literally taught ourselves to move well and freely. We were little masters of our destinies, and just imagine if we had continued on this trajectory of self awareness. But alas, just as we were about to take on the world, our training became externally driven. We were told: Sit down. Face forward. Stop moving about! What we had learned on our own was being taken away. Our brains started to prune away our freedom of movement and to some extent, unadulterated joy. 

Now, as adults we are looking for something to recapture that freedom. But many of us don’t think it is possible. We have pain, both physically and mentally. We may even think it’s our age and inevitable. We have been told that there are others outside of ourselves that know us better than we know ourselves. We go looking for these things to remedy us, when we can actually remedy ourselves. We have our brains and nervous systems still, after all. We are still somas. All the fabulous movement we could do at a young age was self taught. Now is the time to stop chasing things and look within. That is where our knowledge and power lies. Not outside of ourselves.

Body workers do just that; they work on bodies. Somatic educators are just here to help you reclaim what is rightfully yours, but forgotten. 

You once knew how to move with ease and you can do it again. 

Yes. You. Can.  

Somatics is just re-education to relearn our natural/god-given ability to do what we did on our own as children and babies. We learned by moving and we pandiculated. All animals pandiculate. That stretching thing your dog does every day is actually a pandiculation. It helps the muscles of the body relax to their natural resting length. We did the exact same thing all the time as babies and toddlers. You may still do it if you allow yourself to take a big yawn, reach your arms over your head and contract your muscles then let them gently go. No stretching. No strengthening. A pandiculation is just a neurophysiological reset to let go of excess tension in the body. If you can relax out of your patterns of tension and stress, you will move with freedom and contentment. No outside things make that happen. You do it.

I can help you have a better sense of yourself, and then you take it from there. Humans have been led astray from who they truly are. But with pandiculations, you will find that as you re-learn to move with ease, your life will become easier. Things will no longer have their draw. 

In all honesty, I think this is a key reason Somatics is not better known. Humans are the only species on the planet that pay to live. And if we take away all the extraneous BS and things that don’t really matter,  how will the “powers that be” (advertising, mega-corporations, political parties, religion, school) control us if we are free? We can be content  with just being ourselves.

You were born to be free. To paniculate and sense yourself. Somatics is just a way for you to rediscover your innate ability to self regulate, self correct, and self sooth. It helps you let go of tension that holds you back from being your true self. I believe if we have a better sense of ourselves we can better relate to the world and those around us. Less tension within means less conflict outside. And wouldn’t that be a nice thing?

Thursday, August 2, 2018

It's never just one muscle that is causing your pain

So often clients come to me and "say my doc/PT/chiropractor/massage therapist says my _______ muscle is too weak, tight, etc. and that's why I'm in pain."

Hate to break it to you, but that is a total myth. Repeat after me.

No. Muscle. Functions. By. Itself.

You are an amazing being, with your brain controlling how your muscles contract and release as needed. When we move well, we feel well. We move in well orchestrated ways. Those ways are called motor patterns, but sometimes our patterns are fouled up by accidents, surgery, repetitive actions, that kink us up and we end up not feeling like ourselves and moving less than optimally. How we move brings so much into play, from head to toe. To say that one little muscle needs to be stretched or strengthened is not looking at the whole picture. That whole picture, being you.

You aren't a machine, so you don't need to fix a "part" of you, i.e. a particular muscle. Instead you need to address how the system is functioning. And what controls how you function and move? Your BRAIN!

There are seven layers of muscles make up the back of your torso that bend you forward, backward, side ways and into rotation.

Take a look at the following images of the muscles that run along the back of your body. Each one shows layer under layer of muscles along the back of the torso. If one of them is doing something, they are all doing something. Some may contract together. Some muscles will lengthen as the opposing ones shorten (contract). In the same light there would be muscles in other parts of the body which would contract/lengthen. You are whole being, not doll or machine, made of isolated parts. When you are free in your body, you function well as a whole system, a whole process. How you respond to stress in life will influence how your brain and body function. When the brain becomes unaware of how it's controlling the system, things can hurt.



lats, gluteal muscles, back pain

Layer 1.
These are the muscle directly under your skin and any subcutaneous fat.
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Layer 2.
Muscles directly below layer 1.
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Layer 3.
Notice there are even muscles between your ribs. If you are shallow breather, your ribs aren't moving well and you can have shoulder, jaw neck, even hip issues.
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Layer 4.
Notice the long muscles that run from your neck to your sacrum.
They help you bend backward and rotate your spine.
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QL tight, back pain, scoliosis, leg length

Layer 5.
People so tell me about their "tight QL", the quadratus lumborum. The QL is one of the many muscles that help the body bend sideways. So do the obliques and other muscles of the torso. Perfect example of how no muscle works in isolation. If you've been told you have a shorter leg, your QL as well as muscles between your ribs, along the side of your body can be tight which "hikes" the hip up "shortening" the leg. You most likely don't have a short leg. You have a tight side of your body.
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Layer 6.
Notice the band of muscles running just along the spine.
These are your multifidi muscles. They too, are involved with side bending,
bending backwards and rotation of the spine.
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Layer 7.
Notice the muscle inside the rib cage. That is your diaphragm. It is a muscle.
But we seldom pay attention to its action. When you take a big breath in your diaphragm should expand (contract) downward like a pump, drawing oxygen into your lungs. If you take a big breath in and find you lift your shoulders and breathe towards your collar bones, your diaphragm is not functioning as it was designed to do.
Shallow breathing can lead to feeling a bit anxious and exhausted. 
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So what is the point of this simple anatomy lesson? If you've been told you ___________ muscle is too tight, weak, etc, please know it is not working in isolation. You may be told to stretch or strengthen that one area, but that's a laborious, short sighted approach to getting you out of pain and functioning well. But it is the current paradigm, isn't it? It's what I use to think as well. Once I learned about how somatic movements are meant to bring the whole system back to homeostasis, ie, no tension, just relaxed muscles to their natural resting length, it made perfect sense. Clients say the same thing, once they learn the secret. If you want to get out of pain quickly, with enjoyable movements, please consider Essential Somatic Education (ESE).

Essential Somatics is the intelligent, safe and fast way to relearn how to move well so you can live well.

Somatics is not a trendy new "thing". Humans are actually genetically designed to release pent up muscle tension. But in industrialized nations, humans have been encouraged to lead rushed lives, not pay attention to their internal awareness, and as a culture we are told to sit still, "tighten the core," face forward, stand up straight, etc.

We have learned how to not move, and therefore be dysfunctional.

Somatics on the other hand is a re-education in how to find homeostasis within your system so you can let go of tension and stress without stretching of strengthening your already tight body. Stretching and strengthening do not change motor patterns, the chronic contractions in your muscles, or release them to their resting length.

What does? Pandiculations. Pandiculations are gentle contractions, just strong enough to sense tension within your muscles, so the nerve receptors, which have been on autopilot, become aware of what the muscles are doing, and then slowly releasing tension so the receptors relearn to let go and relax muscles.

If you've tried everything, but still can't find relief, if you're tired of working so hard but still feel "old," get in touch, sign up for a class or schedule a private session. I work with people online lessons too.

With Somatics you can reclaim freedom in your body and life. The choice is yours.













Saturday, July 7, 2018

Dowloadable Somatics Classes

Do you wish you could take a Somatics class, but there is no Hanna--or Essential or Clinical-- Somatics Classes in your area? No problem!

Take a look over on my store front and you'll find full-length classes you can download for your permanent collection. Now you can take a somatics class any time, anywhere in the world!

I've created video classes and audio classes. Some people wonder if they need video classes to "get" the moves. No, you really don't. In my audio lessons I walk you through the movements very precisely, so you understand what we are doing at all times. In all honesty, when you are following along with any lesson, you should have your eyes closed anyway, so audio lessons are perfect. Why do I say that? Because when your eyes are open your brain is taking in a lot of additional data that interferes with what your sensory motor cortex is doing and sensing.

By closing your eyes, you gain much more internal somatic awareness.


If you get confused at anytime with an audio lesson, shoot me a message. Let me know which lesson and which movement you have issue with and I''l clear up any questions you may have.

Currently I have:
Somatics for Your Feet
The Daily Supplement which is a full body routine based on Thomas Hanna's Cat Stretch routine.
Somatics for Stiff Neck and Shoulders is quite popular.
Somatics for SI Joint Pain which can be helpful for sciatica and piriformis pain.
Seated and standing Somatics moves are great for anyone wanting alternatives to the typical floor movements.

I'll be adding new ones all the time, so be sure to sign up for updates and special offers.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Kristin

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy Self-sufficient, Independence Day!

Are you truly free to be?

Do you have a plan to stay independent as you age? Are your current ways of moving sustainable? Maybe you believe we get stiff, achy and lose ability to do things because we are getting older. That is a total myth!

The true reason we lose our abilities to function like our younger selves is because we literally learned how to be stiff and rigid.

It's a gradual learning process, which actually starts at a young age, when we are told to sit down, face forward and stop moving.

Then we are told stand up straight, suck in your belly, tuck your bum, work on that tight core.

Then we sit, a lot. School, getting from point A-to-B, at work, numbing out in front of the boob tube. Sitting is the new smoking!

We experiences injuries along life too.  In response, our brains contract muscles throughout our whole bodies to protect us from the pain (think of what you do when you sprain an ankle).

As the saying goes, add insult to injury, and ta da! You've learned how to create tightness in your body! Your freely-moving, supple body of younger years has become the tight, achy, stiff and rigid body of today. Not because of age, but because of habit.

You might turn to a practitioner to help you. They will say "oh, well you aren't getting any younger!" Which is an insulting way of saying "I don't have a solution to the root cause, but here is a drug, a surgery, a massage, an adjustment, etc that will help you out for a while. And when that stops working, come on back and we can do it again."

If you want to change your pain patterns, you need to learn new ones. 

You learned how to move well as a young child and you can learn again.

Luckily for you your brain is plastic. Your brain can always learn to move with ease.

The old paradigm is to keep turning to outside sources to "fix" you.

In reality, if you can feel you can heal.  

You aren't a robot or machine made of individual parts, like a bike or a washing machine. You are a whole system, and when you move, your whole body works in tandem with every action you do, from how you eat a sandwich, curl up with a good book, mow the lawn, climb stairs, or run after your grandchild.

How your head moves influences how your pelvis moves. How your pelvis moves impacts how your shoulders move. How your shoulders move will effect how your feet meet the ground. It's all connected!

If you want to "fix" your shoulder, could it be coming from your tight hip? If your knee is bothering you, have you explored how tight your chest is?

Now this may sound like more work than you have time for, but its soooo easy.

Somatics frees you of tension.

Somatics frees up your time so you don't have to run to someone to "fix" you.

Somatics is your free, internally-hardwired health care system

You are genetically predisposed to do the moves that you learn from Essential Somatics. You learn how to pandiculate.

Pandiculations are the antidote to stress and tension. 

So if you want to remain free and autonomous, join me to sustain your freedom! Bust the Myth of Aging with Think Somatics.

~Kristin

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How Somatics has changed my life

Science shows that tuning inward, we have the power to change so much at the root of everything we do--the brain-- just by being somatically aware. Here are some personal experiences I've had since I started my somatics practice.

With Somatics I'm pain free! 

I was a physical mess before I started Somatics. Just walking made me cry, my feet were so painful. After my first hands-on session, combined with my personal practice, I was walking pain free by the end of the week. No orthotics, special shoes, etc. I now walk, jog, dance, hike barefoot or in minimalist shoes.

My life is calmer

Ask anyone how they are these days and most respond, "I'm so busy!" as if that's a badge of honor or a sign of things must be good. I used to live that frantic life, but not really focused or very satisfied. I live a life that is calmer now. I don't feel anxious, breathless, tense all the time. Now I feel like I'm watching a mad world around me, knowing the secret, but people are too "busy" to listen. Not listen to me, but to their internal alert system that says, "Whoa, buddy! Slow down!!"

I see a "tight core" as bad for functionality 

One of the great things about Somatics is your brain gets really good at controlling muscles; when to contract them and when to relax. Because in reality, despite what we've been told, we do not want a "tight core" 24/7. When you rise from bed, do a turkish get up, or slump while playing with your device du jour, your rectus abdominis contracts  and shortens. But who wants a shortened, tight front of their body?! Not me. If your sternum and pubic bone are drawn closer together your shoulders will roll forward, your head will jut forward, your back will get tired holding you up against that pull all day. No es bueno, right? So you might say, "well, I do planks!" Fine, not a shortening, but a static plank is making for a rigid torso, and if you've been to my Somatics classes, you know that a rigid torso means you are working harder at just about everything when moving and when relaxing. This can be a hard concept to swallow, but try any movement in your life -- reaching for something on the top shelf, bending forward to get stuff out of the dryer, sprinting, skipping, and do them with a really tight torso. It feels awful, doesn't it? So why intentionally make your life harder by limiting your movement potential? Free yourself with somatic awareness.

I sleep so well

A tense body at day is a tense body at rest.  I sleep more deeply, remember my dreams more, and wake up refreshed. I also wake up pain free. I feel more rested now with 7-8 hours of sleep. I fall asleep easily If I do wake up and can fall back to sleep and avoid monkey brain, as I call it, ruminating about garbage that keeps most people up nights. And just for the record, I am in the perimenopausal phase of my life. :-)

Less desire for stuff

Luckily I never been into "retail therapy," but I used to love to check out second hands shops. Now, I'm good with what I have, no need for more stuff. I literally have little attachment to my possessions. Being happy within means "stuff" has little allure to me.

TV and movies? Yawn.  

I have little desire to watch TV or go to the movies. When watching TV our brains are less active than when we are asleep, so it's no wonder why people turn on the boob tube at the end of a stressful day. Tune in, numb out. If I need to get rid of stress, down on the floor I go, explore some Somatics and voila. Good to go!

I hate to sit in chairs

This may be another reason why movies and  TV are do undesirable for me. The thought of sitting for extended periods sounds awful to me. When I do sit down, I'm usually sitting on the floor, for work, eating meals, hanging out.

Alcohol has lost its appeal

I've never been a big drinker, but use to feel the urge for a glass of vino after a stressful day, and most days kind of felt stressful to some extent. These days I don't have anything to drink, and if I do pour myself some wine, its likely to go unfinished.

More present means more presents

I'm more present in the moment. Little things thrill me now. A walk around Mt Tabor Park stimulates my senses so I hear the trees, notice all the different greens, smell the freshly cut wood chips. I love the feel and heft of certain coffee cups. I particularly love breakfast! From the colors of my savory oatmeal, to the textures of things I top it with. To be so blessed to have food when I need it and clean water and a kitchen in which to prepare it. I sometimes wonder if I'm boring, or just easily satisfied. I don't have a bucket list. I feel like my life is pretty freaking awesome as it is.

My job is even more fulfilling

I absolutely love what I do. I always wanted to help people improve their lives with movement, so that's why I became a personal trainer 20+ years ago. Somatics is the missing link and luckily I found it and get to share it as my job. 


How about you? What gives you a sense of joy and freedom in your life? 

If you'd like to come home to yourself, let me know. I can help you free yourself of tension that's holding you back physically, mentally and emotionally. Somatics is NOT body work or therapy. It's an education in YOU! 

Thank you for being here.

freedom and ease for all,

Kristin


Sunday, June 17, 2018

What does Pandiculate mean?

I just got my first batch of swag printed and now proudly wear and tote items saying:


As I walk down Portland streets people look and ask me, "what does pandiculate mean?"

If you Google it, pandiculation comes up and is loosely defined as stretching and yawning, usually when you wake up. But it's so much more than that.

Humans (and all other vertebrates) are genetically programed to pandiculate. By doing so, our nervous systems reset our muscle length so we can easily move after being sedentary (sleeping, sitting, etc) for a period of time. This response to the tightness from being still and inactive is called the pandicular response.

When we pandiculate, we contract and release muscles, which activates the nerve receptors in the muscles to reset to their natural resting length. I like to say pandiculations are the magic of Somatics, but there is true neuroscience to back it up, i.e. pandiculations reset the the alpha-gamma feedback loop between the nerve receptors and sensory-motor cortex of the brain. 

For whatever reason, most adults in industrialized nations fore go pandiculating, instead focusing on speed, force, and supposed productivity.  Unfortunately by doing so, we develop habitual patterns of tension in response to stress and repetitive activities. The brain is plastic, meaning it can continue to learn and stay mentally and physically pliable throughout life. The brain can also prune away the neural pathways that keep us moving well, resulting in less musclular control and sensory-motor awareness, deterring the pandicular response.

Go forth & Pandiculate.

If you want to stay active and live a sustainable life, I highly recommend you learn more about Essential Somatics and pandiculations. Humans are supposedly the smartest species on the planet, yet somehow we have come to believe we need others to "fix" us. How can it be that all other animals know how to dissipate their own muscle tension, yet human adults don't? When I present that question to people the light bulb lights up and they get it. You can too! 
Stay supple. 
Stay free. 
Enjoy life. 
Go forth and pandiculate. 


Thursday, May 31, 2018

I'd do this even if I won the lottery!

Hey there! If you're on my email list you know, that I've hooked on a new website called Joyn.co. It's a local start up here in Portland that promotes local movement teachers who provide safe, inclusive spaces for fun, not-the-typical-gym stuff.

They have connected us teachers with a PR agency to help us all spread the word about what we do and why. I just submitted some answers to a potential interviewer and thought I'd share them with you too.


 Where are you/your business located? Portland OR and online

What did you do before you became an entrepreneur? I’ve always worked for myself. 

Describe your business goals, mission and primary customer base: My mission is to help people reconnect with the natural way in which humans are meant to move and self regulate through somatic awareness and nature. My clients are self-motivated and questioners of the status quo.


     Describe one highlight of your entrepreneurial journey so far. 
    Just one?! Every day is fantastic. If I won the lottery I would continue to do what I do, and probably even more so, because I’d have the funds to travel more and reach more people. I love seeing people do things they initially say they can’t do. An 82 year old woman hula hooping, a client with two knee replacements getting get up and down off the floor with ease, or just walk without pain in a more natural contralateral motion... it all rewarding to see people find more ease in their lives...  my job is not a job. It’s a calling.

    What do you love about working in the outdoor/fitness industry?
    Humans are meant to spend plenty of time outdoors, play and move with wild abandon, just like we did as children. I never wanted to work at a desk and my job makes sure I stay true to natural living.

    What has been most surprising or challenging about starting your own business? 
    The amount of tech/social media stuff I need to do to stay in front of the public. It’s almost counterintuitive; using tech to encourage people to go outside and trust themselves. 

    What is your most effective way to get new clients/customers? 
    I’m the only combination Somatics Educator/Personal Trainer in Oregon. What I do is unlike anything most people seek when learning how to move better and get out of pain. The results people get by working with me is my most effective marketing tool. They become my walking billboards and talking brochures.

    What was your most challenging year in business and why?
    Family health and deaths are the only hurdles along the way. They are a part of life, but they can through a wrench into every aspect of one’s mental, emotional and physical life. Some people will “soldier on” but I honor the time to heal so I can be better in the long run at what I do. 

    Who or what keeps you going on a tough day? 
    Honestly, I don’t feel I have particularly tough days. If I find myself anxious, stressed or hyped up too much I know that getting out for a walk with my doggie, enough sleep, and doing pandiculations (somatic awareness movements) will settle me back to a more homeostatic state.

    What do you know now that you wish you known when you were starting out in business? 
    To believe more in myself and not be afraid to tout what I do as freaking awesome!

    What do you find particularly satisfying about running your own business? 
    I love collaborating with my industry colleagues around the world, but ultimately, if I set my mind to do something, it gets done. I’ve always been that way; Imagine it. Make it happen.

    What shifts or changes are you noticing in the outdoor/fitness industry?
    Its getting more and more tech oriented with gadgets telling us how, what and who to be. Which makes me concerned for those who are surrounded by tech all day and need a break, need to get more centered and grounded. “Stuff” is on the outside. Internal awareness makes us more attune to our natural surroundings, and healthier.

    Tell us one more thing we haven’t yet asked about! 
    I started a Youtube channel to share what I do, and it’s connected me with people around the world. Through that channel, people can "attend" online classes with me. I had a group from 4 different countries, one as far away as South Africa! I guess tech has it’s place after all! :-)


    Wednesday, May 16, 2018

    NEW Time and Day for Somatics class

    Since I've joined the Joyn website, my somatics classes been selling out and booking 2 months out. Very exciting!

    To accommodate all you 9-5ers out there, I'm adding an evening Somatics classes.

    NEW Somatics Class Time/Day 
    Wednesdays
     6:00-7:00pm


     Please visit my website for more info (pricing, weekly class focus, registration) or on Joyn. I'm looking forward to helping everyone have more freedom in their bodies and lives. See you soon!

    Can't make a class? Live out of town? Schedule a private session, either in the studio, or online.

    Sunday, April 29, 2018

    May 2018 Somatics classes with Kristin Jackson

    Hi everyone! Here is what we are focusing on this month in Somatics classes.

    Somatics for Face and Skull
    Tue • May 1   | 830am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    Wed • May 2  |  1:00pm  |  studio | Save Your Spot!
    Fri • May 4  | 8:30am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    There are 43 muscles in your face alone. From there, there are muscles that run over and and around the skull which work in tandem with muscles of the neck, shoulders and back. So what does that mean? Our posture affects our faces and vice versa! This class will be a subtle exploration of what we feel in our faces when we move our bodies, as well as what we feel in our bodies as we contract and release facial muscles. So long botox, I can relax my facial muscles with my brain!
    Seated Somatics

    Tue • May 8   | 830am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    Wed • May 9  |  1:00pm  |  studio | Save Your Spot!
    Fri • May 11  | 8:30am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    We are born to pandiculate! We pandiculated as babies and young children. Animals do it 30-40 times a day. Pandiculations are gentle contractions and gentle releases, that leaves muscles relaxed to their natural resting length.  Join me in class where I'll share simple, seated ways to pandiculate all day, at work, in traffic and while stuck on the phone with your stoopid internet provider. Bye bye stress, hello freedom!
    Somatics for Sticky SI Joints
    Tue • May 15   | 830am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    Wed • May 16  |  1:00pm  |  studio | Save Your Spot!
    Fri • May 18  | 8:30am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    Some people have SI joint pain, but don't know why or even where the SI joint is. We each have two sacroiliac (SI) joints. The SI joint is where the sacrum (bottom section of the spine) meet the right and left iliac bones of the pelvis. This joint is not super mobile, but it does/should have some give and play so you can walk, live and move with ease. Sometimes from a fall, hiking a baby on a hip or sitting wonky for long periods of time will twist one side of the pelvis so the SI joint is "stuck" and that equals yuck! This class will help your brain sense what is stuck and let it move more freely. Join me!
    Somatics for Stress, Anxiety and Fatigue
    Tue • May 22   | 830am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    Wed • May 23  |  1:00pm  |  studio | Save Your Spot!
    Fri • May 25  | 8:30am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    There is good stress (you're wedding day) and there is bad stress (your day in divorce court) and all the other things of life that are great and not so great. Stress triggers reactions and contractions in your body. And if you perpetually feel stressed out it can result in anxiety, pain and fatigue. You have an innate super power to dissipate your stress levels. In this class you'll learn simple safe ways to tap into that power and let go of tension so you can relax, see things in a new light and let your body rest and digest.
    Somatics Surprise
    Tue • May 29   | 830am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    Wed • May 30  |  1:00pm  |  studio | Save Your Spot!
    Fri • June 1  | 8:30am  |  studio  | Save Your Spot!
    What will the focus be this week? Hmmm.... no matter what the focus, you will learn more about yourself and leave with a sense of calm, grounded-ness and freedom.

    _____________________________________
    It's one thing to wiggle and roll around on the floor in Somatics classes. You also need to integrate that freedom of movement "up in gravity" (standing and moving) as we call it. My Take It Outside Fitness classes are a great way to incorporate your somatic awareness into real life activities. Super fun and everyone can get a workout at their own pace.

    Take It Outside Fitness
    Mondays  | 830am  |  Mt Tabor  | Save Your Spot!
    These classes are super fun and invigorating. We blend recess games, play, agility, balance and somatic awareness to stimulate your whole body AND brain. Think you're too old to join? Ha! Ages run from 40s all the way up to 80+!  And yes, we meet for class, come rain or shine. Students say they love earning the bragging rights to say they Take It Outside no matter what! Keeping it real since childhood. :-) 

    Take It Outside Fitness + Hand Weights
    Wednesdays |  830am  |  Mt Tabor | Save Your Spot!
    Grab a pair of hand weights and let's take it outside. People around the world move their bodies while they carry, lift and move weighted objects as part of their every day lives. If you sit more than move, this class will thrill your body and brain. Join us as we move around the park, play and get fit. 
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