The word somatics comes from the Greek root soma, which means “the living body in its wholeness.” Somatic coaching is a way to observe people holistically. It is a process in which one embodies new practices to be able to create a body of action. It is a unique coaching style that brings the body forward as an advocate in creating a place for change and transformation.
Our bodies are “built” through our lifetime — how we were raised and our association with our peers and friends create muscles and tissues that hold these memories.
Your body is a highly intelligent “self,” and by reconnecting your body with your thinking self you create a powerful offer in the world. Being embodied allows you to believe and trust in your competence.
Your life experiences shape your body
The body is a three-dimensional structure — having length, width and depth and is the shape of the self. At birth your body is flexible, malleable, open. But as you begin to experience life, your body begins to extend, withdraw or brace against the world. It takes on a particular shape, often out of balance. The physical shape of your body now is the sum of your historical experiences. Your body actually says more about you than your words!
Being out of balance in your length, width or depth limits your power, passion and expression. For example, people can be pushed down by their family dynamic. “Children should be seen and not heard, boys don’t cry, little girls don’t climb trees.”
In relationship to our lives we are always searching for affection, connection, belonging and dignity. These are many of the elements — our psychological drives, our family dynamics and our life experiences — that produces the “self” and our physical shape.
For example, when under pressure do you find yourself extending out and giving and giving to a point of exhaustion? Do you withdraw, staying small and quiet, not calling attention to yourself? Or do you brace against the world to protect yourself, waiting for the other shoe to drop?
Obviously, your historical shaping may not serve you now.
Notice your body now. What is happening with and in your body? Are your shoulders straight or slumped? Is your breathing deep or shallow? Do you walk with confident strides or with short, small steps? Is your neck tight or loose? Do you speak clearly and audibly or do you mumble in a low voice?
Reshaping your body, your life
Self and body are indistinguishable, so if you affect the body you affect the self. Somatic coaching teaches you to become a keen observer of how you think, the stories and narratives that run through your head, your mood and emotion, and the sensations that are happening in your body, your self.
Somatic coaching works through the body with customized, ongoing practices that shift the body to support you to be the offer you want to be in the world.
Through somatic coaching we work to literally reshape or rebuild your body by disorganizing the old shape through conversation, bodily practices and, when possible, bodywork. This interrupts the old pattern, and in doing this you begin to reorganize your body (actually reshape it) so that you are then able to create the passion and volition needed to support you being on your purpose.
Change your body, change your life!