Somatic movement is a muscle release and relaxation method invented by Thomas Hanna, a student of Moshe Feldenkrais. It is extremely simple, efficient and suitable for everybody, even the elderly. The practice consists of very gentle and slow movements, mostly performed on the floor.
The slowness of the technique, called pandiculation, raises body and sensory awareness, helping to retrain the nervous system. Changes that take place in the brain allow us to alter our habitual muscular patterns and release chronically tight muscles for long-term relief. This results in improved body posture and the elimination of chronic pain.
In addition to muscles and movement, the brain also controls our emotions and thoughts. Consequently, the effects of somatic exercises can be felt, not only throughout the body, but also at deeper levels of consciousness.
Somatic movement is for you if:
you have an office job and you spend all day sitting
you do physically hard work
you are a sportsman and you can’t relax your muscles
you believe that you are old and that’s why your body posture and health issues get worse
you are exposed to stress, you suffer from anxiety or depression
Benefits of somatic movement:
relieves pain and chronic muscular tension
helps to improve body posture
helps to reduce stress and anxiety
relieves following conditions:
back pain, disc problems, sciatica, hyperlordosis, scoliosis, kyphosis, forward head posture, leg length discrepancy
hip pain, lateral/medial hip rotation, snapping hip syndrome, pelvic torsion or rotation, anterior pelvic tilt, sacroiliac joint dysfunction
knee problems, tightness in the legs, piriformis syndrome, iliopsoas syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis
shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, headaches
SMC® Somatic Movement Center certified exercise instructor
Yoga Alliance certified teacher
As a teacher, I have always tried to help my students listen to the body and its needs. Taking inspiration from disciplines like Qigong, Tai chi and the Feldenkrais method, I focus especially on posture and fostering respect for the body. The keys of my practice are awareness, softness and patience. These principles can also be found in Sarah Warren’s somatic movement.
I discovered somatic movement during a Qigong training course for yoga teachers. One of the participants spoke about pandiculation. As I searched to learn more, I came across Sarah Warren’s website. Her concept of movement resonated with me so much that I immediately decided to become one of her students.
At that time, I was working hard physically and the exercises I learned immediately provided me much needed relief. They were so simple, efficient and empowering that I felt like I had to share them with others. That’s how I started teaching somatic movement. Today, I offer group classes, individual sessions and various workshops in Geneva and throughout Europe (in French, English, Greek and Slovak).
The somatic method allows me to feel and examine parts of myself that are not in balance. Dana guides us with great gentleness and precision towards the path of inner sight. Thus, with great simplicity, my conscious and unconscious faculties are able to activate the circulation of vital energy.
The somatic exercises with Dana are always very gentle. It’s so pleasant to let oneself be guided to a state of deep relaxation by releasing muscular tension. Each time, I’m amazed at how relaxed I feel from the very first minutes of movement, and how the sessions allow me to experience a level of tranquility I rarely realize. Afterwards, I always have a sense a of well-being, as if I have taken a gentle stroll in nature.
I started to attend somatic movement lessons with Dana because I was searching for relief for my back from my office job.
I have always been a very active person and after work I was always going to the gym and during weekends I loved going for hikes, however nothing brought me real relief and relaxation for my muscles. I was always stiff as I could not compensate sitting at my desk for days with a couple of hours of working out.
Everything has changed when I learned about somatic movement and when I started to attend Dana’s lessons. Somatic movement is something easy and simple. Everyone, no matter the age or fitness level, can do it. It is an exercise that promotes self-awareness and connects our mind back to our body. I recommend to everyone to try it.
I met Dana about 2 years ago. At that time, I had a 4-month-old baby and excruciating back pain associated with motherhood, diastasis due to an unnatural way of giving birth, and the overall life change associated with it. At that time, I could not exercise as normal healthy people do. I was a little bit lost at this time.
Dana came to me one day with a set of exercises that are composed with minimal movements but maximum effects. At first I didn’t understand what to focus on and how to breathe correctly, Dana patiently explained everything to me and I’ve been addicted to these exercises ever since and whenever something hurts, I know how to soothe the pain without any medicine. Now I am very happy I met the right person.
Thank you Dana.
Dana is an extremely caring teacher who always prioritizes the well-being of her students. Somatic movement helps me to become more aware of my body, while also increasing overall flexibility and strength. And yet, the sessions are always so gentle and effortless.
With Dana I discovered a method that looked like other methods but was going straight to the point. At the end of the session, I was feeling balanced and at peace. Dana is a good teacher, she gives simple and clear instructions in a secure environment. Thank you!
Thank you, Dana, for this taster workshop that allowed me to reconnect with some parts of my body that I tend to neglect in my daily life and for showing us exercises that are very simple and help us to consciously strengthen or release those body parts. Thank you for your gentle and pleasant guidance through these slow and deep movements.
Your class was super. It was like a revelation: that we don’t want stretching but we want to release on a deeper level. This is really something that I can take away from your class for the rest of my life and it makes such a difference. I do your exercises in the morning and whenever I remember and it’s so cool: you just do it two or three times and it keeps you relaxed, it’s so fantastic! It was really a revelation, it was something very very worthy for the rest of my life.
Halfway between the conscious and the unconscious, Dana accompanies us in the sessions with great gentleness and guides us towards deep muscle relaxation. Unlike our conditioning, the somatic movement method is surprising and brings real results. An approach to try absolutely in case of chronic pain.
Group classes in Geneva
I offer regular classes in suitable places in Geneva and the surrounding area.
These classes last 1 hour.
See below for current offers.
I am available to prepare and lead individual sessions, adapted to the needs of the person.
Prices: 90chf/1h 110chf/1h30
pack 3 sessions 1h: 240chf
pack 3 sessions 1h30: 300chf
pack 6 sessions 1h: 420chf
pack 6 sessions 1h30: 540chf
I regularly organize one-day / half-day workshops to be able to deepen the subject.
These workshops include practice sessions and theoretical instruction.
The dates and prices of the workshops will be published below.
New participants are encouraged to get in touch before showing up for a class.
Salle de cours
8 Chemin de la Florence, 1208 Geneva
Every Monday 18:30 – 19:30
Salle de cours
8 Rue Lissignol
Every Thursday, 20:30 – 21:30
Access through the main door in the courtyard.
Changing room and yoga mats available.
Salle de cours
100 Rte de Chevrens,
Every Wednesday 17:00 – 18:00
A somatic movement session lasts one hour, starting and ending in the standing position with body awareness practice. The session mainly consists of somatic exercises that are typically performed lying on a yoga mat. With the eyes closed, you let yourself be guided by Dana’s voice, which takes you from one exercise to another. The slowness and gentleness of the movements, combined with increased internal awareness release any tension in your muscles and provide a sense of deep relaxation.
Somatic movement is a self-care method. The aim of sessions is to learn the somatics exercises so that you can practice them on your own at home and, in this way, heal yourself.
«Somatic exercises can change how we live our lives, how we believe that our minds and bodies interrelate, how powerful we think we are in controlling our lives, and how responsible we should be in taking care of our total being.» Thomas Hanna
The method I teach was created by Sarah Warren who follows the tradition of Thomas Hanna, one of the most important figures in somatic education. He was among the first to teach the Feldenkrais method, which he had learned from its inventor, Moshe Feldenkrais. He later found a new technique that distinguishes his method from others: pandiculation.
Thomas Hanna coined the term “somatics” in 1976. His book “Somatics, Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health” 1988 is not only an introduction to his method and a fascinating explanation of how the human body works but also a philosophical reflection on human life.
Sarah Warren, founder of the
Somatic Movement Center
Here is one of them:
“Sarah, I heard you on the Rogue Running podcast, and your words were like a puzzle piece snapping into place. Before the podcast was over, I had purchased the Level One Course. After 19 years of chronic pain…within 10 days it was all gone. Shoulder, back, feet, knees, neck, all gone. It makes me tear up as I write this, thinking about it. Words cannot describe, so I will not try.” Chris Werts
Here’s an article on somatics exercises and proprioception that will help you to change your body posture.
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