The missing bridge to exercise is somatics exercise.
Somatics exercise fills in the gap.
Before we move or exercise, our muscles need to be ready to handle the action. We can easily remind the muscles of their function in order to move, sit, stand and walk comfortably throughout the day.
If we’ve been sedentary for a period of time, like sitting in front of the computer, we all know how tight things can get.
How many people prepare to move before we actually move?
Generally we’ve stiffened up some naturally as the muscles re-tighten.
When we get up, sometimes we’re not as nimble. Our pets on the other hand, reminds the muscles first of its function, then it moves.
How does an animal remain agile, flexible, move effortlessly and appear to us as grace in motion?
Animals do somatics exercise
All healthy vertebrate animals prepare themselves for movement first thing in the morning and periodically throughout the day. They continue with these preparations every day.
The process of what animals do is called a pandiculation . You can think of this as yawning, though it goes much deeper than the definitions you’ll find. In fact, it only describes the act and not the result of what you observe when an animal appears to stretch.
The result of this act is a process. This process was identified by Thomas Hanna as the pandicular response. An animal contracts to arouse it’s brain which readies the muscles with a return to relaxation. Ready to be used.
It knows what needs to be contracted since the animal can sense what muscles have shortened overnight and during sedentary times in the day. It works with its somatics nervous system to reset muscles with a type of somatics exercise.
Hanna Somatic Educators know and understand the act as the pandicular process which is at the heart of somatics exercises.
Somatics exercises are primarily designed to mimic the pandicular act in order to immediately decrease any stiffness and improve flexibility naturally.
As a result, people learn how to get out of tension and pain using the brain rather than brawn.
There is a part of the brain which actually can change the information to our muscles. With a somatics exercise, we are using the brain in a specific manner. This targets various chains of muscles, which is what we use to actually move.
A somatics exercise fosters natural movement rather than isolated movement patterns. When you move, you move with your entire being and all your parts are affected.
Somatics exercise helps us we develop this awareness. We can self-correct using the pandicular act.
Somatics exercise is easy, simple, and when we do them… we’ll be reminded of the comfortable, youthful ways we used to move. But don’t take my word on it… though you could since I used to live in chronic pain for two decades… that’s gone.
Now I practice and teach these simple somatic exercise movement patterns and mobility is wonderful to maintain.
Somatics exercise set us up to move easily and agilely without being held back. This relatively new exercise method, is mainly using the part of our brain that resets our muscles.
Healthy movement is a brain event. Healthy animals access it all the time through a simple somatics exercise. The recipe is straightforward simple.
Somatics exercise gives us the edge.
If you love your current exercise, somatics exercise will just add another layer. Somatics exercise can be the foundation to all of your movement practices.
Moving somatically lets you tap into increasing the potential of your nervous system by letting your brain handle the details.
I love what Mel Siff, Author of Facts & Fallacies of Fitness has to say – “programming your brain is more important than strength training and aerobics. Central Nervous programming must never be neglected at all stages of training”.
Somatics exercise is then the backbone of reprogramming and updating the brain when it comes to movement.
All healthy animals are doing it every day.
You gotta wonder what happened to the human animal along the way… Don’t!
We can easily do somatics exercise and get to higher levels of performance.
Somatics exercise can make the difference even if it just means being able to tie a shoe.
Ed Barrera is a Hanna Somatic Educator® with over 10 years of experience, helping people find natural pain relief through somatics exercises which are the reverse to most approaches since it is brain exercise and muscle lengthening that targets the brain’s motor cortex which leads to a healthy, fully-functional body. It’s not just “alternative medicines” or “an alternative to exercise”; it’s natural pain relief that actually works!
To understand the somatic definition, visit our What is Somatics? page, where we define somatic and explain more about somatics and how the proper somatics information will help you direct your “being” toward natural healing and pain relief.