Somatics is a field of study and practice that has emerged in the last century from movement and bodywork with a focus on the internal experience and perception. I describe it as the art of relating between mind and body.
From its origins with Somatic Yoga and Movement, to it’s influence in Dance, to Peter Levine’s work in Somatic Therapy, to the work on Somatic Sex Education and the newer field of Cultural Somatics, I see this practice as having diverse applications and offering so much to enrich the lives of people who engage with it.
I feel fortunate that Somatics has touched my life in so many ways, and dedicate my further education and studies to enhancing my experience and knowledge of Somatics so that I might better support the people who engage with my work.
I began exploring the mind-body relationship as a teenager, through my studies in the Siddha Yoga tradition, a lineage-based yogic path that focuses on ‘self realization’— or to put it more simply, harmony between actions, thoughts, and words. It was this same tradition that influenced Eleanor Criswell, author of Somatic Yoga.
As a young adult studying theatre, I was introduced to somatic-influenced movement practices in the forms of Laban Dance and Alexander Technique, which gave me more experience of how improving the the mind-body relationship could support both my body and mind to feel present in a space with ease. Years later at massage school, I began to learn how to guide others into a new relationship to their body, with techniques from and influenced by Trager, Rolfing, and Structural Integration. As a bodyworker, I began to observe that releasing tension and holding within the physical body had a direct relationship to the release of tension and holding within the emotional body, and began to grow more curious about the potential that working somaticaly might have.
As a survivor of complex PTSD I was drawn to Somatic Experiencing, an application of somatic principles within a talk therapy setting, and found this incredibly valuable in my journey to integrate the impact adverse life experiences had on me. While I am not a somatic experiencing therapist, I believe that there are tools within somatic experiencing for understanding and healing the nervous system that are accessible to everyone, and I seek to bring this more into my work.
Today, I am exploring with curiosity how to integrate my experience and studies with Somatics into my life, both personal and professional. I study Somatic Yoga with Applied Somatics in Duncan, BC, and am a student with the Institute For The Study of Somatic Sex Education, pursuing my certification as a Somatic Sex Educator. I also explore somatics through my visual art and poetry, and in addition I am a facilitator and DJ with Dance Temple in my home community of the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, where I offer somatic-inspired facilitation and mindfully chosen music to invite dancers into a space of exploration of their own mind-body relationships.
On this page you will find a selection of resources to support moving towards pleasure in your own mind-body relationship.
Somatic Sex Education
Somatic Experiencing Resources
“What if it truly doesn't matter what you do, but how you do whatever you do?”
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Mel is an incredible listener and her attention to detail was crucial. I walked away with much more than I had anticipated: I came away with a lot of tools to work with, and also a comfortable understanding of who I am and how I present myself to others. Mel is nothing short of awesome at what she does, and I will continue to use her as a resource and recommend her.
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