The Power of Somatic Movement: Enhancing Awareness while Improving Balance

April 29, 2024 ◊ By Jane Kluttz ◊ Awareness

In a world where we often find ourselves disconnected from our bodies, somatic movement offers a powerful pathway back to awareness and balance. Somatic movement, with its focus on attention and intention, is not just a physical practice but a journey of self-discovery. In this blog post, we'll explore how somatic movement can transform our relationship with our bodies, the world around us and even improve our balance.

What is Somatic Movement?

Somatic movement is an approach that emphasizes the peaceful communication between mind and body. It's about becoming more aware of how we move, how we breathe, and how we inhabit our bodies. Unlike traditional exercise routines that often focus solely on the physical aspect and external outcomes, somatic movement involves a deeper internal level of awareness.

At its core, somatic movement encourages us to pay attention to our bodily sensations, to be present in the moment, and to move with intention. Through slow, gentle, mindful movements, we can release tension, improve flexibility, and learn to leverage our skeleton without muscular overexertion. Thus, we can cultivate a sense of well-being.

Attention and Intention: Builds Awareness

Attention involves being fully present in the moment, directing our focus inward to notice sensations, tensions, and how we move, not just that we move. Intention, on the other hand, is the purpose or direction behind our movements. By combining attention and intention, we can bring about profound changes in our body awareness and balance.

When we pay attention to our bodies, we start to notice areas of tension or discomfort that we may have been ignoring. Through somatic movement practices such as Feldenkrais® we can gently explore these sensations, add variety, discover new and different choices, allowing for greater ease of movement.

Intention adds another layer to our practice. By setting clear intentions for our movements, we can align our actions with our goals. Whether it's improving posture, increasing flexibility, or enhancing balance, intention gives our movements purpose and direction.

Improving Balance Through Somatic Movement

Balance is not just about physical stability; it's also about mental and emotional equilibrium. Somatic movement addresses all these aspects, offering a holistic approach to balance enhancement.

  1. Body Awareness: Somatic movement helps us become more aware of our body's alignment and center of gravity. By paying attention to how we stand, walk, and move, we can make subtle adjustments to improve our balance.
  2. Coordination: Through somatic movement practices, we can refine our coordination and enhance our movement patterns. This increased agility allows us to move with greater precision and stability, reducing the risk of falls or injuries.
  3. Mind-Body Connection: Somatic movement strengthens the connection between mind and body, fostering a deeper understanding of how our thoughts and emotions affect our physical well-being. As we become more attuned to this connection, we can better manage stress and anxiety, which can contribute to better balance.
  4. Functional Movement: Somatic movement emphasizes functional movement patterns that are relevant to everyday activities. By practicing movements that mimic real-life tasks, we can improve our balance in practical situations, such as walking, reaching, and bending.

Incorporating Somatic Movement into Your Routine

You don't need any special equipment to practice somatic movement—all you need is your body and a willingness to explore. Here are some tips for incorporating somatic movement into your daily routine:

  • Start with Awareness: Take a few moments each day to tune into your body. Notice how you're feeling, where you're holding tension, and how you're breathing.
  • Move Mindfully: Whether you're walking, standing, or simply sitting, pay attention to your movements. Move slowly and deliberately, focusing on the sensations in your body. 
  • Set Intentions: Before beginning any movement practice, set an intention for what you hope to achieve. Whether it's relaxation, improved balance, or increased flexibility, let your intention guide your practice.
Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link