The word Soma is birthed from the Greek word Somatikos, meaning body or conscious, living body. Simply put, soma is embodied consciousness. The somatic senses, also known as the "flesh-bound" senses, include:
Proprioception (position and motion perception)
Nociception (pain perception)
Thermoception (termperature perception)
What is Somatics?
Somatics is the practice of attuning to the conscious wisdom of the body. It involves reconnecting to the body as a gateway for deep and profound relating to ourselves, our communities, and the larger community of the Earth.
Our ability to be in relationship to ourselves, the Earth, and even the larger Cosmos stems from the simple truth that all of life connects through individual, embodied experiences. Experiences that are felt through the intelligence, sensitivity, and wild intuition of the body. Whether it be the body of a human, the body of a bear, the body of an earthworm, or the body of a tree, there is a somatic conversation occurring all around us. It is in the relating (the -ing'ing) that we discover more of ourselves, and by extension, the world.
"You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves" Mary Oliver
Cultural history of the body
Western culture currently operates from the belief that mind (our thinking abilities) and body (our felt experiences) are separate, and that the mind (expressed through reason and logic) should be trusted over the wisdom of the body (expressed through feeling and sensing). This belief helped to fracture the human condition of wholeness. A wholeness that finds expression through the larger web of life.
Somatic work invites a deeper exploration and conversation between body and mind to assist both in growing closer towards one another, and mending this perceived split.
What does it look like?
Taking many different forms, most anything that is done via the body mindfully and with great sensitivity can become a somatic practice. Rooted in conscious and awakened movement, hiking, climbing, dance, and so forth all have the potential to become a somatic practice. At Wild Earth Medicine, we call upon various practices from yoga to intuitive movement to help deepen one's relationship to the body. This movement can be practiced out on the land, as well as in one's home or even a studio space.
When the need to change the body's form and shape are let go, the joy and ecstasy of being alive are reclaimed. Creative expression through the wild and earthly terrain of the body becomes possible, once more. Embodied consciousness enables us to comprehend and navigate our diverse and complex world.