Archive for somatics tips
A loss of balance can happen even if we’re messing around with our body.
Balance can seem elusive at times and can be affected by a number of factors.
Compensations such as shoulders rolling forwards, palm facing backwards, bent knees, a slumping chest or even having a bad day can happen enough to begin to form such a posture over the long run.
This can lead to discomforts in the chest or upper back where high stress levels can put the weight of our world on our shoulders and can prevent us from reaching states of comfortable balance.
While we might attempt to straighten up, the weight of what is going in internally can continue to undermine us.
Bad life (fun) events such as being a Cleveland sport fan like I am, who for the past 50 years has lost count on the number of bad sports days can have an affect.
Letting go of bad (fun) events can be difficult since we can go to that sinking (movement and) feeling over and over.
So life and how we participate in it can affect us.
How to restore our body and balance using mindful movement
One way to restore balance is to employ mindful movement where you tap into the brain’s ability to direct an easy or gentle movement pattern.
You make the decision to do a particular movement and stay well within your comfort zone.
See, the doing of a movement is one thing.
Another is when you also pay attention to the feel or sensing of any number of movement actions taking place during the particular movement you decided to do.
When you direct the mind and body, thereby targeting the brain in a specific manner, you can enhance one of nature’s most potent acts to restore the body in order to re-balance.
This is a far different approach than regular exercise where that is more about doing.
Mindful movement is about feeling and sensing smaller movements or movement patterns while noticing certain self-adjustments of either a grand or minute orchestration of a particular movement.
You simply notice the inherent quality of your own movement taking place
Since the movement system involves any number of layers of muscles and fascia – which actually has more sense receptors than the muscles – there can be a lot of information to process, be aware of, and simply explore.
This approach can augment other physical types of activities in order to rebalance our faster pace of life and give us a restoring respite to recharge in a more playful and intelligent manner.
Plus, all of this can be done in a lazy, gentle, yet highly tuned in approach.
8 Somatics tips for the body and balance
Somatics, defined as the body experienced, covers many areas and here are some everyday useful tips you can use when you do easy, mindful movements such as somatics exercises to help restore balance.
You can also apply this to other forms of exercise too.
1. Move with the least effort
This often goes against many people’s idea of how to exercise, yet when we live in discomfort, this naturally makes more sense.
Even if you are highly active, you can pay attention to your movements by noticing your sense of effort rather than pushing with your efforts.
This has more to do with noticing the quality of movement itself.
This slight difference can make a big difference and help healing and recovery.
2. Breathe with your movement
Since we tend to go on autopilot when it comes to breathing, becoming aware of breathing and how this is impacting our sense of effort or the quality of a movement can be quite revealing.
You can use your breath differently and explore the differences it can make or mean when you shift your awareness.
You can do a movement and notice how you are breathing.
Do the same movement and hold you breath to feel or notice how this can impact the quality or feel.
Reverse your breath in terms of how you noticed yourself breathing to check in how this can affect a movement or the feeling of it too.
3. Move as a system not as a muscle
The big muscle–the brain–sends messages to the muscles and receives back information in our sensory-motor feedback loop.
When we become aware of how intimately involved our sense and level of effort is involved, that exploration can improve overall body balance since you’re tuning in to how you are connected throughout your entire body.
4. Thoughts can affect movement and impact our body and balance
As you do any exercise, choose to think a thought while feeling what muscles may be contracting in your body.
Or simply sit. Conjure up a thought and feel how your muscles respond.
Play with an emotion and feel what happens as you move.
What does a thought or state of emotion do to what you feel and how you move?
Can you tune in your sense of muscles turning on or off during a particular movement, exercise or simply noticing while sitting or standing?
5. Comfort is king
Any small adjustment such as using a pad or pillow can alleviate any struggle we might find ourself when it comes to positioning ourself for a movement, exercise or simply sitting.
There’s no need to tough it out.
Even the slight adjustment of an angle or body position may be the necessary thing to do so our body can be as comfortable as possible at that moment.
This can let us more fully experience ourself rather than taking away our focus in a movement or exercise.
6. An exercise can’t hurt us
People will tell me they tried a certain exercise or even our gentle somatics exercises and hurt themself or say – “that exercise hurt me”.
If we try to force our body (and it doesn’t have to be much of an effort), it can naturally react and pull itself back quickly since it will want to protect itself, especially if it is in an injured state or we’re early in healing.
Any random, thoughtless or thoughtful movement or exercise can turn up tension levels so pain signals can be ramped up if we over do it or rev it up too fast–even if we didn’t intend to.
Once the body has been programmed to turn up signals of discomfort, it can do so until the program gets changed.
So any arbitrary movement or exercise can seem to lead us to flinching, wincing or holding our breath, for instance.
To learn how to re-navigate our internal terrain of our movement system successfully is where we simply go back to the fundamentals and building blocks of movement itself.
“If” we bump into discomfort during any movement, exercise or exertion, we can use that information to bring our body and balance back as quickly as possible–while figuring out where our comfort zone truly lies.
More often than not, our compensations and habits of movement get us to bump the pain switch on – even to the point of it becoming chronic so the brain will naturally turn it up, though this can be reversed with a more mindful approach.
So it’s not so much an exercise, it’s what you do and how you do it.
You can change the quality of your movement in order to successfully exercise and comfortably move about.
7. Imagination is the least effort
In difficult times, you can use your ability to imagine a movement or exercise.
It’s highly likely you won’t hurt yourself using this approach, even though I get it–sometimes just getting to the position of a movement or exercise can be test our limits.
So to imagine or eke out even a micro-movement, this can start the process to get the brain to change the body’s negative response.
It might seem like you’re not doing much, yet this counter-intuitive approach of doing less, still wakes up the nervous system since the brain doesn’t differentiate between you imagining a movement and doing it.
Try this: Imagine a movement taking place. Then do the movement.
Ask yourself if what you imagined, felt like it did when you actually did the movement.
This might reveal more layers from an internal observation viewpoint and provide keys to successfully getting out of a particular body-mind jam.
Successful athletes have used imagination and visualization techniques. You can do the same by simply visualizing and feeling to the best of your ability – what it might feel like to move by not moving.
This can become a highly interesting, focused and mindfully effortless way to regain balance in the body.
8. Pain is our greatest teacher and gives us back our body and balance
In the practice of somatics exercises, you learn how to wield pain and discomfort to your advantage.
Pain is treated as a signal that you can change, intensify or dissolve since you can use the brain and body to change the output of tension levels through various feedback loops of information.
With a little practice and familiarity of a simple 3 step method which mimics one of nature’s acts to reset tension levels, negative experiences can move towards more comfort and pleasure. Once the brain remembers that it can produce more positive feel-good sensations, you’re well on your way to restoring and maintaining balance.
Somatics Body and Balance Movements
Somatics exercises move around many themes, levels and types of pain, stiffness, discomfort, and injury all leading to increased levels of comfort.
Take control of:
• your brain and your own awareness,
• tension levels,
• and effortless effort allows a fluid body to Move Easily and Restore Balance.
Recapturing the feelings of childlike, easy movement happens. Kinda like coming back to memory patterns where we once did this and now have the ability to restore it or enhance it using a brain and body connection.
The brain can be programmed to bring the body back to its natural state of comfort and pleasure and you can find out more in the Gravity Werks Insiders Club where we explore conscious movement to learn more about how we work and easily move from the inside out.
Simple movement patterns which can boggle the mind and leave the body refreshed, restored and in balance for more happy days ahead!