The Somatic Movement Arts (SMA) CURRICULUM is based on the knowledge that
we are primarily fluid beings—approximately 75% water—and it is the fluids within
our bodies that are the primary agent of change. Our body's structure of connective
tissue is form that is negotiable, able to transform, heal and innovate when engaging
in experiential somatic movement processes.
In SMA courses, students will experience the human body systems through the
portal of the Embodied Life Method, which synthesizes the practices of Continuum
Movement and Experiential Anatomy to realize the embodiment and application of
anatomical, physiological, and developmental principles through movement, touch,
voice and mind. The body systems can be personally embodied and integrated with
specificity. The fundamentals of developmental repatterning and a fluid body-based
language to describe movement and body-mind relationships will be used.
The Program is a synergy of three areas of study...
1. Observing, identifying and differentiating the interplay of movement in body fluids,
tissues, anatomical systems, and psychophysical facets of self.
2. Application of those skills into a dimensional understanding of movement and
behavior in relationship to others and the environment.
3. The relational art of working with others in classroom settings and one-to-one
sessions,including self-awareness, stillness and grounding, listening and verbal skills.
PSYCHO-PHYSICAL INTEGRATION (w/Equine Assisted Somatics) Sustaining homeo-dynamic
balance requires that we have the capacity to respond to circumstance in with ease and awareness,
and return to health when we experience trauma. We will learn to develop and maintain an intrinsic,
open 'bio-system' that can modulate our responsiveness. This requires continually making conscious
decisions to play an active role in the direction of transformation through increased presence and
relationship with self, other and the world around us. We'll explore these inter-connecting body-mind
patterns, in relation to repatterning of nervous system reversals through the fluids and different tissues
of the body and through interconnections with the field/biosphere.
|BONE, BREATH, SOUND
Discover keys to healthy and strong bones, and for moving in space with clarity. Living bone is an exciting
matrix of connective tissue; three basic layers of cells and fluids that provide leverage, support, and form
to our being. As fluid beings, our form is negotiable, regenerative and responsive. Embody the skeletal
system with a dynamic perspective, understanding and transcending the biomechanical definition of
movement in relation to gravity. Learn bone’s role in the body's oxygenation, as a container for the
organs, the importance of piezoelectric pressure, and how breath and sound influence the architecture or
|FLUID SYSTEM, UNIVERSAL MOVEMENT MOTIFS (Cell/Embryo)
Everything has been touched by the movement of water - our bodies, the planet, and the galaxy. Explore
the fluid system within our bodies as one profound, resonant stream of intelligence that determines the
flow of information and nourishment available to us. The fundamental choreographer of our tissue
structure is fluid molecules, and their flow underlies our psychophysical states of presence,
communication, transformation, and the dance between rest and activity. Embody fluid’s natural
movement behavior of waves, undulations and spirals; a motif reflected in cells and embryos. Learn
movement, hands-on and observational approaches to distinguish qualities and influences of major fluids,
including blood, lymph, cellular, transitional, intracellular, cerebral-spinal (CSF), and synovial.
|ORGANS & CONNECTIVE TISSUE
We'll address Connective Tissue as both the substance that makes up our whole physicality, as well as,
the various tissues such as fascia, tendons and ligaments that specifically make connections between
the body systems. Organs provides us with a sense of self and organic integrity. Vital and alive, Organs
support the tone of our postural alignment, our feelings, and give volume to our movement.
|SENSES & PERCEPTION
We'll learn the process and patterns of how movement, awareness and response to our surroundings
shape our being. This course is a somatic exploration of our 5 traditional senses: touch, taste, smell,
hearing, and sight. In addition, we'll address proprioception, interoception, kinesthesia, and empathy.
Discover and recognize how we filter, modify, distort, accept, and reject sensory information to bond,
defend and learn. As we expand our empathic capacities, our unfolding "orbital consciousness"
transforms our bodies and perceptions. Our new structure gifts us with extended faculties, with new forms
of sensing, receiving, communicating and ways of knowing; and free from habitual ways of being with
ourselves and the world.
|JOINTS, LIGAMENTS & CONNECTIVE TISSUE
Ligaments coordinate and guide muscular responses and enhance specificity, efficiency and power for
the alignment and movement of the bones. When the ligaments of a joint are actively engaged and fluidly
mobile, the movement of that joint becomes spacious and highly refined, a quality that is carried
effortlessly to surrounding and successive joints. Explore ligaments as living tissues which are
continuous with the fascial web that connects all systems, tissues, and cells of the body.
|BECOME A PROFESSIONAL IN THE SOMATICS FIELD, or
TAKE INDIVIDUAL COURSES FOR YOUR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
ENDOCRINE SYSTEMOur glands are a slow communication system, producing and regulating
hormones that serve as the body’s chemical messengers. The endocrine system is older and less
specialized than the nervous system, which is primarily electrical communication in nature along with
chemical processes. The Endocrine system relates to intuition, energy flow and internal
chaos/balance, and is designed to balance itself. How do we know when we are out of balance? What
are ways to invite healthy balance? What does ‘tone’ mean in the endocrine system? Balancing is an
active principle, and the endocrine system helps us organize ourselves in relation to a complex world.
The glandular bodies mysteriously lie along the embryonic midline or the adult vertical axis. We can
find relationships with a number of analogies to other body systems, as well as movement and spiritual
practices that have found the midline to be critical for transformation of both body and mind.
The Basic Neurological Patterns (BNP) are patterns of movement inherent in the nervous system that
provide a template for the understanding of normal human development. The patterns emerge from
the study of both animal phylogeny—the development of pre-vertebrate and vertebrate life over time —
and human ontogeny (embryonic, fetal, and infant development). In the course, you will begin to
embody those patterns in yourself, and understand how your history of motor development created
your personal habits of movement, behavior, and thinking. Once embodied, you can use the patterns
to analyze areas of movement efficiency or inefficiency in yourself and others, and improve proficiency
in motor, cognitive, and perceptual function. You will also be introduced to cellular breathing and
cellular touch, which underlie all subsequent hands-on work in the program.
Perhaps the most complex body system, the nervous system records your experience. First order
experience is with your fluids and cells. Information from the physical world is relayed to your brain via
the senses using neural electrical signals. Our brain is “the last to know,” in response to our internal and
external environmental information. The brain, central and peripheral nervous system are surrounded by
a network of neurons, assisted by many glial cells, all working as a data receiving, processing, and
transferring center for the human body. Our primary communication system, the nervous system thrives
on creating patterns, which can be both helpful and limiting. It can engage in the learning of new
experience through creativity and movement, and underlies thought, coordination, and establishes the
perceptual base from which we view and interact with our internal and external worlds. You will learn to
balance your nervous system and to work with nervous system tone in clients.
When we look at the “body” as movement ~ a dance of cells, molecules and interpenetrating wave
motions within our ocean of fluids, we can see that each cell has living intelligence, a microcosm of the
whole body. A cell is capable of knowing itself, initiating action, and communicating with other cells. The
individual cell, its internal structures and the community of cells (tissue, organ, body) exist as separate
entities and as one whole at the same moment. Cells breathe as oxygen and nutrients flow in and out of
the membranous boundary. The fluid within the cellular matrix changes from gelatinous to watery. It is
this exchange that allows the necessary cellular plasticity needed for movement and communication.
These cyclical movements produce a coherent network of chemical signals and messages. . Attuning
ourselves to our cellular consciousness brings us to a state of
DEVELOPMENTAL MOVEMENT & BEYOND
Muscles are considered THE tissue that moves our bodies, in alliance with our bones and nervous
system. As bundles of long, thin tissue fibers connected to bone, muscles move bones through space,
and they are greatly guided by the central nervous system. From a Continuum perspective, we will also
explore how the fluid system can move the body, via “fluid choreography.” In this course you will learn
how basic muscle structure and function relates to bone and fascia; spatial forces of movement in
relation to gravity; how muscles establish a dimensional tensile grid for balanced support and
movement, muscle principles of proximal and distal initiation, muscle coupling and currenting, and
stages of a muscle action at the neuromuscular junction; and the embodied functions of sensory motor
neurons/proprioceptors. We will analyze the actions of individual muscles and of groups of muscles
from the perspective of one’s position in relation to gravity, as a fluid being.
|What does it mean personally and professionally to transition into the role of educator/therapist in the
somatic field. We will summarize the major themes of somatic movement processes, integrating the
body-systems with Continuum Movement. We will look at the responsibilities of creating and
managing a professional practice, including: ethics, scope of practice, finances, marketing and online
promotion and social media, managing space and time, leveraging and networking with other
professionals, membership in professional organizations, and the integration of somatic practice into
previously established professions.
A discovery process of ourselves as fluid beings, having body-minds that are versatile. What are these
bodies? Continuum Movement allows our bio-organisms to be mutable in form, regenerative and
responsive to life circumstance. Movement is not something we do, we are movement. Learn how
Breath, Sound, Movement, and Experiential Anatomy as a shifting scene of form can open your being to
a world of transformation.
Our program maintains the high standards as an Approved Training
Program of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy
Association (ISMETA). Our graduates meet all requirements to become
Registered Somatic Movement Educators and Therapists. www.ismeta.org
|Continuum and Experiential Anatomy