Friday, March 13, 2015

Somatics for the desk jockey, blogger, crafter--anyone who sits a majority of the time!

This morning I introduced a bunch of ways to work on your somatic awareness, loosen up muscles tightened by static sitting, and increasing the oxygen to your body and brain. All from a chair or standing! The students loved it, so said I share a list of what we did, so they could practice. It might not mean much to you if you haven't attended a class, but you are welcome to come join us, or contact me to meet privately or Skype.

We started by closing our eyes while sitting and bring awareness to how we sat. We explored what it felt like to 
arched our backs and shift into the green light reflex, then round our backs into the red light reflex. I asked them how the generally sat at their desks when on a computer and maneuvering a mouse. Did they lean forward and slump towards it, or draw back away from it with their arm reaching to hold it? Either way, they can get stuck in the trauma reflex.(You can read more about the reflexes we can get habitually stuck in here.)

After that we slowly moved our spines more into the red and green light reflexes. Exploring how it felt and did we sense the same weight on both sitz bones, or one of our feet or legs? 

Moving on, we did a seated variation on reach the top shelf. We reached up with right hand as we shortened our waists on the left side and lifted our left heel. Sense the length of the body on the right and how the bend on the left increases that length.

We moved on to explore:
The Flower while seated

The Seaweed Spine
The Backhand Sweep and Forehand Sweep, some with the right arm and then the left
Alternating Thigh Slides reaching one knee forward as the other knee drew backwards, slowly alternating (this was a favorite!)
Explored movement of our necks with 
   * forward and back
   * side to side, then adding a lift of the shoulder towards the head
   * up and down with the head turned at a 45*, then adding a lift of the shoulder towards the head

Shoulder to torso cylinder twist (this one is very enlightening, so I'll give you the run down)
This move is about getting your shoulders girdle to move separately and in conjunction with your torso.
To start stand comfortably with feet about hip width apart
cross your arms over each other and elevate them to about shoulder height. You should look like “I Dream of Jeannie”
Gently rotate your arms and torso and hips side to side. Be soft with this move and let everything relax. Notice your end range of motion with each turn to each side, and how far you can rotate. 
Go side to side about 4-5 times
Release your arms and relax for a few seconds
Next, position your arms again in your “Jeannie” position.
Now, keeping your torso and head still, rotate your arms and shoulder blades side to side.
This is where the “cylinder” visual comes in. Your rib cage is a cylinder and your shoulder blades are another cylinder. The ribs are the inside cylinder, and your shoulders are the outside cylinder. Rotate that outer cylinder around the inside one. Make sure you feel your shoulder blades glide with this move, avoiding just shifting your arms side to side. Explore breathing into your rib cage as you rotate. Does it help you rotate further?
Release your arms and relax for a few seconds
Next, position your arms again in your “Jeannie” position. Try crossing your other arm over the other one. This may feel odd but give it a shot.
This time you’re going keep your arms and shoulders in place as you rotate your head and rib cage side to side. The Inside cylinder is rotating within the outside cylinder. 
Lastly Reach the Top Shelf while standing

Like I said, if you are scratching your head and wondering what the heck I'm talking about, sign up for a class or email me for a private session in person or via Skype. 

I have only one video about somatics to share so far, but there are others sharing them on youtube. My SEC teacher Martha has videos and a youtube channel, and I think I actually picked up the torso twist from Susan Koenig, who will be one of my teachers when I start me Clinical Hanna Somatics Educator training in June. Lawrence Gold has a channel too.

If you have a favorite move or something to share, let me know below in the good ol' comments. 

2 comments:

Karin said...

Thanks! I love these moves - especially because I can use them in the office.

Trainer, Crafter, Kristin said...

Yay! Glad you're enjoying them, Karin. I use them when I travel too.

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