Avoiding Burnout Is Key For Today’s Modern Latina
Burned out in your corporate job?
Integrating somatic practice is an amazing way to support stress relief, and help you reconnect to your mind and body in fun ways. Somatics describes any practice that uses the mind-body connection to help you assess your internal self and listen to signals your body sends about areas of pain, discomfort, or imbalance.
These practices allow you to receive more information about the ways you hold on to your experiences in your body. This is crucial to understanding your stress triggers as well as giving you the opportunity to find ways to overcome them.
Here are five really important ways that somatic practices support stress reduction.
1. Release Tension: deliberate movements and conscious breathing help to release tension from the body, reducing stress and calming the mind.
2. Increase Body Awareness: by paying attention to sensations in the body and tuning in to how the body feels you can better identify where there’s stress and take steps to reduce it.
3. Improve Mood: the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, shows a boost in mood and reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
4. Boost Resilience: increases resilience to stress over time by improving overall physical health and mental well-being.
5. Enhance Mind-Body Connection: these practices help you connect the mind and body, which can improve overall health and reduce stress.
You may already be familiar with and have practiced some somatic practices since they cover a diverse range of movement-based techniques that focus on bodily sensations, mindfulness, and awareness.
Here are 10 of the most well-known:
1. Yoga: A traditional Indian practice that involves the use of postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to improve flexibility, strength, and relaxation.
2. Pilates: A system of exercises designed to improve flexibility, strength, and posture by focusing on the core muscles of the body.
3. Alexander Technique: A technique that teaches individuals to become more aware of their postural habits and to release unnecessary tension in the body.
4. Feldenkrais Method: A method that uses movement to improve coordination, flexibility, and body awareness.
5. Tai Chi: A Chinese martial art that involves slow, flowing movements that promote relaxation, balance, and coordination.
6. Qigong: A Chinese practice that combines breathing, meditation, and movement to cultivate energy and balance in the body.
7. Somatic Experiencing: A therapy approach that focuses on the physical sensations associated with trauma to help individuals release tension and restore balance to the nervous system.
8. Dance/Movement Therapy: A therapeutic approach that uses movement and dance to explore emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration and healing.
9. Body-Mind Centering: A somatic practice that uses movement, touch, and awareness to explore the physical and emotional aspects of the body.
10. Continuum Movement: A practice that uses sound, breath, and movement to explore the fluidity of the body and to promote healing and relaxation.
The key to these practices, whichever you choose, is to stay as present as possible to the sensations in your body. Then with that knowledge and mind-body connection, taking the opportunity to release the ones that are stressful. Some common ways to do this while performing any of these 10 practices is that instead of resisting any feeling, just breathe through it, massage, hold or be present with the area of discomfort. This allows you to create a sense of safety and supports its release.
If you’re interested in incorporating dance as your form of somatic practice, I’ve launched a 6-week program to support you called “Latin Dance to Release” beginning March 23rd , 2023. It is a combination of salsa dancing, breathwork, ecstatic style dance set to Latin rhythms. You can get to learn fun movements while being present with your body and integrating ways to release stress. You can find out more info here.