Mind Body Movement is my specialty!
With 13 years of training, annual CPD and experience in teaching several mind-body modalities , I have a unique overview of mind-body practices, movement and the teaching of mind-body practices and movement. Although I have chosen to specialize in Somatics and Clinical Somatics, I regularly use, both personally and professionally, all the practices I have taken training in.
Here is an overview of them:
About Modern Pilates
I trained to teach Pilates in 2007 with the Modern Pilates course at Professional Fitness and Education. It is a unique Pilates course in that it takes a clinical approach to Pilates. The course was developed by physiotherapists, physiologists and Pilates professionals. It works on the principle of teaching safe, functional and therapeutic exercises which help establish or re-establish correct movement patterns improving posture and general well-being.
I have subsequently taken Pilates courses in shoulder stability, shoulder assessment, , hip and lower limb assessment, Pilates and spinal conditions, Pilates and pregnancy.
Try this 5 minute standing postural refreshment with Modern Pilates instructor, Cherry Baker.
About Dru Yoga
The style of yoga I teach is called Dru Yoga. Dru Yoga is a safe and therapeutic style of yoga which can be adapted to suit everyone from the very advanced practitioner to the complete beginner.
The practice is flowing and dynamic, and a typical class would begin with a dynamic warm up and flowing Energy Block Release sequence to limber up joints and release accumulated tension from around joints, following by stretches, strengthening exercises and postures (asanas).
Pranayama (breathing exercises) and a short relaxation and or meditation session will often feature, depending on the length of the class.
Try this 10 minute neurodynamic movement sequence for a burst of vitality during your day.
A movement modality you will know less about is Somatics, but as interest in neuroscience, neuroplasticity and the brain continues to grow, you will hear about Somatics, and its close relative, the Feldenkrais Method, more and more.
Somatics was developed by Thomas Hanna, a Feldenkrais educator and Doctor of Philosophy. He studied neuroscience to discover the basis of movement in the brain itself.
Somatics, also known as Hanna Somatics, is neuro-muscular movement re-education - sensory motor training that works at the level of the brain and nervous system to relieve unconscious, habitual tension and offer a break in the feedback loop for maladaptive movement patterns. We use the technique of pandiculation muscles regain a comfortable resting length and the brain is reminded it has a variety of movement options. Body maps, also known as corticol maps, in the brain are updated and new patterns and ranges of movement become available.
The exercises are simple and enjoyable to do. The effect is like giving yourself a massage, and the movements taught involve the whole body, not just isolated parts. They are done slowly, and mindfully with the eyes closed. You go only to the first point of gentle tension, never forcing, straining or stretching your body. in the Flower movement below, demonstrated by my teacher, Martha Peterson, you are showing the brain tension in the front of the body so you can release from it. Watch first and they try it with your eyes closed.
Somatics can be practised in 3 ways:
in a class
at home with audio narration (there is no need for video - oral instructions allow you to sense the movements in YOUR body, without having to check against a video).
1:1 Clinical Somatic Education - not to be confused with basic somatic movements taught in a class
The best way to learn is by taking Clinical Somatic Education lessons with a fully qualified Clinical Somatic Educator who has taken the 3 year Clinical Somatic Education training. Somatic Movement Coaches are trained to instruct classes only.
1:1 Clinical Somatic Education is very different from classes and is completely personalised to YOU. We carry out movement and postural assessments before delivering a hands on clinical protocol. Embedded within the different protocols are movements to do at home for self care. The requisite range of clinical protocols is delivered over a course of 3-8 sessions, so clients end up with a range of movements that they have fully embodied and intensely learned.
I trained to teach Mindfulness Skills with two wonderful and highly respected teachers, Surycitta and Gaynor of Mindfulness, CIC.
A practice of awareness, Mindfulness has much in common with Somatics and is a perfect compliment to it.
Mindfulness CIC's excellent site has some guided mindfulness meditations.
The nervous system is a continuum. Mechanical and physiological changes along the nervous system will have repercussions on the whole system, seen in conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis or sciatica. Neurodynamic exercises are a way to gently mobilise the neural tissue and 'floss' the nerves. They are easy to learn and non-threatening whilst also being light-touch and effective.