When our body senses danger it contracts our muscles as a survival mechanism. This protective response has been hardwired in our brains for millions of years. When this response does not turn off, our body freezes which cause sensory-motor amnesia. Somatic movement asks your body to feel what it has worked extremely hard to suppress, freeze, and protect. The practice also gives you the support to transform.
So let’s break down why committing to 7 weeks is the best decision you can make!
We are teaching the brain to recognize muscles that have not moved in days/months or decades. This takes time! You first have to feel safe and relaxed enough to feel into those areas; then find the awareness of the cause; then retrain your brain to respond in a different way. Taking several classes will activate those areas from different movements and positions, the more repetition, the more likely you will be able to sense habitual tension and relax on your own.
You made a commitment to your well-being. Did you know I once had a client that for years would come to the studio just to meditate, and eventually fall asleep on the floor? I asked them if they needed more from me, and they explained having a place to go once a week and let go was exactly what they needed. In fact, knowing they had an appointment scheduled gave them something to look forward to and helped them get through the week without ‘snapping’ at the people around them.
You will discover where you need to make changes outside of your life. As we learn our triggers and where we are holding them, we will notice where they show up in our day-to-day life. For example, I had a client that was extremely overwhelmed by her workload and would often get anxiety and neck pain at work. In somatics, we do not move in pain, and so part of our work was getting her to communicate and pause when the pain was triggered. As she learned how important it was to prioritize her physical body and communicate on the mat; she was able to notice work she could delegate to other team members and received more space and support at work.
Triggers can happen as a response to external threats like loss of jobs, finances, physical abuse, and even climate change. Triggers can also be emotional like feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, low-self worth, and perfectionism. Triggers can be physiological like a body holding an old injury, or being stuck in the same position for hours on end. As we do the healing work, we are retraining one of our oldest and deepest ingrained instincts.
We want to create a healthy relationship with ourselves where we can sense and communicate “I sense this stress and tension, I feel safe enough to relax it” and another part of this is likely changing factors outside of stress that contributes to our pain. 7-Weeks gives you time to start working on this process in a safe healthy way. If we broke our ankle we would not run a marathon the day the cast comes off. Healing the sensory-motor loop takes time and looks different for everyone. So please be patient with yourself!