There are some ideas that may be useful to bear in mind as you enter the world of somatic practice. These ideas are foundations that support our continued unfolding, and our experience of our selves. They are valid no matter where we find ourselves, from the very beginning of our journey into the world of somatics, to our ongoing explorations of the territory years later.
I have structured this advice as a series of three posts, each one including a few prose-poems to be read and absorbed (slowly). Sometimes I repeat myself, in slightly different ways, because different things catch and resonate with different people. It is the same when we practice. Take what supports you.
and patiently; do not be afraid to pause, or stop entirely for some time. There is no rush to complete anything, or to experience anything. Everything is waiting for you in every moment. You can take your time.
When you end a practice, take enough time to re-orient yourself to the outer world. The softer and smoother your transition, the easier it will be for you, and the more your practice and life will be integrated.
If you do nothing else: relax. Relaxation is the keystone of somatic practice. It is the ground from which we begin. Without it, things become very difficult to sense, feel, explore. See if you can find a sense of ease and rest in everything you do: no struggle.
Relaxing gives us space to move, softens our inhibitions, and allows for our natural curiosity to guide us. Relax the way a baby does, and trust that you will find your way.
The practices are for you, to experience yourself in new ways. Sometimes they are nourishing, and other times may be scary. You do not have to force yourself into anything. Just dip your toes into the water, and see what happens. You have everything to gain from being gentle, kind, soft with yourself.
Somatic practices by their nature are exploratory. They are process-oriented. We are not striving for anything, or achieving anything, or arriving anywhere. The moment we are in, the experience we are having, is the best one to explore and open up to.
Exploration means, and needs, curiosity. It is difficult to see anything, if you think you know what’s there already. Our many expectations, opinions and judgments only get in the way of discovery.
Somatic practices are a learning process. You may not be able to sense or feel what is guided immediately, or even after a long time. It doesn’t much matter. The act of connecting in an embodied way will give you what you need in the moment, and carry you onward.
your own process, your feelings, your intuitions, your reactions. Follow your own sense of what is right for you, and what is not. Your body is your guide.