The Way of the Work: The Somatic Perspective

“Somatic” or “soma” in the tradition of Thomas Hanna:

  • Actively experiencing and perceiving the world through the mind and body connection, which are adaptable and capable of change through environmental factors or internal choice.
  • AKA: We are mind-body experiencers. We can change our mind-body experience.

In other words, the mind and body are directly connected. When we have physical tension in our bodies, it is often correlated with an emotional reaction. For example, a physical tension pattern that mirrors a fear posture can cause feelings of more stress and fear which causes more physical tension, and vice versa: chronic stress can cause physical tension that can cause an ongoing cycle of more stress. In my work, I find that this is equally true for people and horses. An important part of helping people and horses move well and be relaxed together is approaching therapy from the holistic mind-body system perspective.

Releasing physical tension patterns makes it easier for us and our horses to engage in the emotional and feeling states that we naturally desire, such as connection, joy, and peace. Combining release of tension, return to balance, and somatic movement therapy with learning simple mindfulness and relaxation techniques for ourselves and our horses helps us exit the negative cycle of tension and enter a new cycle of awareness, relaxation, and balance.

To read more about me, please visit the About Kara page.

To read more about the specifics of bodywork and movement therapy, please visit the Bodywork page.