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What is somatic exercise and why it’s everywhere

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Exercise in general can help you express and expel any pent-up emotions and stress. But no form of exercise does it better than somatic exercise.

If you’ve been anywhere near FitnessTok, or online fitness communities in general, you’ve probably heard of this exercise technique – but what is somatic exercise exactly? And why do so many people seem to be obsessing over it? Let’s find out.

At home somatic exercise

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What is somatic exercise?

At first glance, the term “somatic exercise” might sound like something reserved for the elite yogis or contortionists but fear not – it’s not as complex as it may seem. Somatic exercise is all about reconnecting with your body, fostering a deeper mind-body connection, and promoting overall well-being.

Derived from the Greek word “soma,” meaning body, somatic exercises focus on the internal experience of movement rather than the external appearance. It’s less about how many push-ups you can do or how fast you can run, and more about understanding the sensations, tensions, and subtle movements within your body.

ALSO SEE: How to exercise safely in summer

Why it’s popping up everywhere

There are so many benefits to somatic exercise – from cardiovascular benefits to expelling stress from your body.  These are just a few of the many benefits of this form of fitness.

Mind-body harmony

Somatic exercises emphasize the importance of mindfulness and awareness during movement. By tuning into your body’s signals, you can identify areas of tension, release stress, and promote better posture and alignment.

Expel your stress

In our fast-paced, stress-filled lives, somatic exercise acts as a sanctuary for relaxation. The gentle, intentional movements can help release muscular tension, alleviate stress, and bring a sense of calm to your hectic day.

Accessible to all ages and fitness levels

Mom and child stretching for somatic exercises

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Unlike high-intensity workouts that might intimidate beginners or those with physical limitations, somatic exercises are generally gentle and adaptable. Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just starting your wellness journey, somatic exercises can be tailored to suit your needs.

Incorporating everyday movements

Somatic exercise often involves everyday movements like walking, sitting, and reaching. By incorporating these movements into your routine mindfully, you can enhance your daily activities and prevent common issues like back pain and stiffness.

Holistic healing

Somatic exercise is not just about physical movements; it’s a holistic approach to well-being. It addresses the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit, offering a more comprehensive approach to health and fitness.

How to dive into the somatic experience

Ready to embark on your somatic journey? Start by incorporating mindful movements into your daily routine. Whether it’s a slow, intentional walk, gentle stretching, or focused breathing exercises, take time to listen to your body.

@drlindseyschmidt

MESSAGE ME GUIDE and I will message you my Free Somatic Guide! 1️⃣ When doing vagal toning, we are looking to specifically help stimulate our vagus nerve. This is our biggest parasympathetic nerve, which is a part of our rest-digest-healing state. When we tone this nerve, we can help create a more resilient nervous system and help regulate our cortisol. 2️⃣ With somatic movement (vagal toning can be included in this category), are gentle movements that help reawaken and recondition the muscles, improve body awareness, reduce tension, and release trapped stress and trauma. ✨ This movement I share is something I have done for many years to help release my hips, help my diaphragmatic breathing, and regulate my nervous system + cortisol! ➡️ Let me know if you love these somatic movement ➡️ and MESSAGE ME GUIDE and I’ll message you to gain access to my Free Somatic Guide!

♬ Golden Hour: Piano Version – Andy Morris

@isabella.mainwaring

Lowering cortisol DAY 15 Today is my sleepy somatic series of movements I do whenever i’m feeling wired or anxious before bed! This is something I share with all my 1:1 clients who have issues sleeping & struggle with anxiety and elevated cortisol. Let me know how they made you feel 👇🏼👇🏼 #cortisol #cortisollowering #cortisolimbalance #lowercortisollevels #lowercortisolnaturally #lowercortisol

♬ Piano Love – TonsTone

 

Consider joining a somatic exercise class or finding online resources that guide you through the basics. Many practitioners find value in sessions led by certified somatic movement instructors who can provide personalized guidance.

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