You may notice I use a number of terms that are not familiar everyday language. This post is to help clarify some of those terms and how I am applying them.
Embodiment, simply put, is about consciously living in our bodies. We all live in our bodies but many of us are not consciously in contact with our body as we go through the day. Others may
rely on that knowledge and relationship as primary focal point of their life or profession (e.g. athletes, and dancers). Others connect with their bodies as part of their daily practice (yoga and meditation) and some carry that sensibility with us as we move through the day, listening to gut hunches, changes in breathing patterns, being aware and intervening with muscular tensions or signs of thirst and hunger. It is not disputed that we all have a body, but the level to which we consciously live within the body and listen to its language of sensation, its whispers of impulse and subtle states of being differs from person to person. The more awareness you bring to your body, the more awareness you can bring to your sensual and sexual encounters. My sessions focus on helping you to improve
your embodiment quotient so you can increase your capacity for pleasure. I do this through touch, breathwork and coaching. All of these methods have as their focus, clearing the way for you to enjoy conscious embodied pleasure by helping to align and integrate your mindbody and spirit.
Soma is Greek for body (Greek “somatikos”, soma: “living, aware, bodily person”) but refers to body in the the experiential sense of a life lived from within that body sensibility and awareness.
Somatics is primarily a western term, used to describe bodybased models of wellness that focus on integrating mind, body and spirit. Somatic modalities value subjective experience and are experiential in method.
Somatics was first used as a term in the 70’s to describe a particular form of bodyfocused healing (by Thomas Hanna) but it has since expanded enormously and is now known as a whole field of study there is somatic psychology, somatic bodywork, somatic coaching and somatic dance. All try to reunite the mindbodyspirit split, and each modality has its own particular focus and method. Some somatic modalities focus on reversing muscular patterns of tension (e.g. Feldenkreis), freeing up movement and expression (Somatic dance) or incorporating the body as a critical factor in changing habits of awareness and behavior (somatic coaching).
Eastern cultures have centuries old body based traditions that address the mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual aspects of a person, (yoga, qigong, martial arts). These traditions also constitute part of a larger paradigm of preventative medicine and healing (e.g. Ayurveda, Chinese traditional medicine) . Because of this historically holistic approach to wellness, somatics is a term that is not usually applied to eastern traditions.
Body based and sensory awareness is a key to whole hearted living. When we are consciously embodied, our awareness is more open, curious and exploratory. Our bodies are more relaxed and our minds get clear of distractions, judgements and narrow, limited forms of perception.
These are all critical qualities to cultivate when we are embarking on a journey to expand, explore or embody our erotic life.
Sensory awareness is a somatic process to help people bring their awareness into their body for a specific purpose. It involves the following of physical sensations and conscious sensing of the body.
Sensory Awareness is also a term that describes the work of Charlotte Selver. Charlotte Selver was quite influential in the human potential movement in California and her work influenced many of the somatic traditions that we are familiar with today. Charlotte Selver was also a student of the famous Else Gindler and Henry Jacoby, innovators in what we now know as somatics (Gindler and Jacoby never named their work but their influence was wide).
Body based Awareness
I use bodybased awareness and sensory awareness more or less interchangeably. By both terms I mean to reiterate that the focus of awareness is in the body.
Bodybased awareness is a more general term related to a sense of embodiment. For example I may be aware of my body because when I sit in a chair at the end of the day I am aware of how deeply my weight sinks into the pelvic bowl.
Sometimes I use sensory awareness as a more specific descriptor of the sensation in the body at any given moment – e.g. I feel tension in my shoulders, it’s a kind of sharp pointed tingling that pulses.
Other times I use it to better describe how body based methods work (focusing on sensation).