Anyone here with children? Are you on staycation and you feel your ‘me-time’ gliding away over the 8 weeks of closed creches and schools? How about immersing yourself in play. With your children.
I am at home with my 3.5 year old son (it’s 10am right now and he just asked for chicken…) during the day and then teach in the evenings. When I listen to my son playing with his toys, the stories make me laugh out loud. Some are so fantastic that I can’t imagine how he came up with it. And that’s the issue – have you forgotten how to make up a ridiculous sounding story? Can you tell one that has exciting twists and unexpected additions? Or is it the same pattern every time?
Relying on the same pattern every time can occur in thinking and moving. Children seem so ‘unreliable’ in patterns sometimes, they still have the unhabituated drive to simply do new things and drive us grown-ups nuts. When we compare ourselves to toddlers, we can easily see how getting older means more automatic programs running – well somebody has to do the washing and cleaning and going to work… but do you get home and have your ritual to relax? A beer or wine, because the conditioned association with it is relaxation? Are you getting annoyed if something happens to your routine?
So maybe for the rest of the week, pay attention to your daily routines and if you have some space to do something that is a bit different – leave the TV off and read a book, read a totally different genre than what you usually read, play a game, connect to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
And make up a crazy story involving totally random characters…
Different input – different output – grow new neural connections!
I’ve spent two long weekends over the last 3 weeks in Leeds and York, assisting and observing my teacher Martha Peterson on courses.
First up was the Fundamentals Immersion weekend, where I assisted hands on with my colleagues Karyn Clark, who graduated recently and Jahna Clark (not related!) who is one of my study colleagues. It was a big group full of inquisitive people, a lot of whom have experienced Somatic Movement before and wanted to delve deeper into the basics and theory / philosophy of it. It was a very active and satisfying weekend in lovely York.
Essential Somatics Hanna Somatics Exercise Coach Level 2 training in Leeds
Yesterday I came back from observing a Hanna Somatic Exercise Coach Level 2 training in Leeds, which was taught by Martha Peterson and my Irish colleague Colm McDonnell, while Sylvia Jay and David Flemming as well as myself were observing the group of 10 teachers participating. We contributed to discussions and teaching tips, but there wasn’t as much hands on help needed, as all of the participants are already teaching Hanna Somatic Movement. We listened to some beautiful mini classes from each student and I think contributed in a meaningful way on their journey.
I have one more lunchtime class on offer tomorrow, before I have a break with classes. Fear not, I am planning some new classes in Harold’s Cross starting in autumn, besides some more exciting developments in the making. Right now I am to finish two papers, one on Neurophysiology and one on Somatic Philosophy as well as practice more with clients. Summer tends to be slower (and my son is not in creche, so I get to be a full time mum during the day and teaching Pilates in the evening), but I can work with a couple of clients and enjoy some time off too.
End of September will be my next module and my final one end of November will be followed by another teaching residency at Dance Ireland in December, which is a beautiful end of my working year and the first classes I will teach as a fully certified Clinical Hanna Somatic Educator! Half a year seems a very short time when you’re having fun..
If you are interested in upcoming classes, sign up for my newsletter. It’s irregular and I only send one when I have new dates coming up, so you’re not getting bombarded with my latest food obsessions or how early you should get up to boast on Instagram about your life 😉
My booking system is down at the moment, if you would like to book an appointment, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can find a date!
Currently I can offer 121 lessons in the morning (10am), as well as Friday afternoon (12 noon, last one at 4.30). Saturday afternoon on request possible as well.
If you would like to experience Somatic Movement in a group setting, next week Wednesday at 12 noon is the first of 4 dates teaching an open class at Dance Ireland. The class is excellent value at 7€, so don’t miss out!
I’m so happy to be back at Dance Ireland next week to teach a Somatic Movement class under the ‘Healthy Dancer’ umbrella. The 4 weeks of lunchtime classes will give you the chance to find out a bit more about Somatic Movement the only way to find out – by experiencing it!
I’ve got some wonderful movements lined up for your tense neck and shoulders, your grumpy lower back, and achy hips. We will pick a theme, a gentle focus (you will find out that when we work with the pelvis, your shoulders might just ‘sigh into place’ too!) and then tie it back into the full body. These classes are suitable for everyone who can get down on the floor, you don’t have to be a dancer and you don’t have to wear dance attire.
It’ll be Wednesday May 31st to June 21st at 12 noon for an hour, class costs are 7€ per date (the classes run under a subsidized scheme, so yes, it’s quite a bargain!)
I hope to meet you on the mat for a journey into kind movement!
Here is an excellent video explanation of how you can master movements skillfully: in silence and slowly. Frequent increments of daily effective practice for a limited duration is best, which is what we would like you to do in your Somatics home practice. Motor planning – imagining you do the movement with as much detail as possible – increases your ability to perform the movement (to the extend you could imagine it) and we use this knowledge especially if someone is in too much pain to tolerate any movement.
I will finish up my 6 week course this week with a class on walking smoothly (you can book a drop in class over at Book Now!). After that, I’m only available for 121 sessions for a while!
June will have some exciting weekends for me – I’m going to assist my teacher Martha Peterson in a Somatics Fundamentals weekend workshop in York, as well as a Somatic Exercise Coach training in Leeds – I am really looking forward to help out and observe and exchange thoughts with people at the beginning (and not so beginning) of their somatic journey. It is a great experience to observe such an experienced teacher like Martha while revisiting the basics (you can never revisit enough basics in any movement discipline – Ballet dancers start every daily training with it to hone and refine their learning) together with the participants. So I’m super excited!
I’ll have a little break in July to finish my papers on Somatic Philosophy as well as Neurophysiology and will be on my last stretch of my 3 year training in September. My certifying module will be in December and then I hopefully can call myself a Clinical Somatic Educator 🙂 I’m very grateful for all my teachers and mentors since I started in early 2014, fresh into motherhood, in pain, having to find my centre again with all these new challenges. All conversations – in tears, in rage, questioning, with meandering thoughts – with both my colleagues and everyone involved in the training have been influencing how I approach things since then. I appreciate the ‘ready when you are, but you have to get yourself ready’ attitude during our training, it makes me confident that we all can work with knowledge and professionalism and grow with each and every client we take on. Having teachers who are there for questions, when we hit a wall in our own practice or with a specific issue a client might be dealing with, is invaluable.
So, my year will be filled with intense bursts of somatic learning!
Of course I have sort of a wish list of things I want to make happen:
I would love to teach some self-care workshops in volunteering communities – if you are part of one, get in touch! I would love to share some strategies of tending to ourselves, slow down, experience what we share with others – feeling deeply cared for.
A weekend away with my partner and son 🙂
Some 3 hour workshops with a focus – tense shoulders was quite popular, so this might be something to go more into detail! Ideally in Dublin in a clean, warm, spacious studio.
Work with more clients over a period of time. If I can group some appointments, I can offer a cheaper rate for anyone who struggles financially.
I have updated my appointment schedule to include Friday afternoon slots. In May, I will be available for sessions at 2.30pm and 3.30pm (possibly 4.30pm too, if one of the previous appointments is booked).
Head over to the Book Now tab and send me a message if you would like to book! Priority is given to multiple bookings.