I felt free for the first time in a long time today. Dr. Jodi Schwartz – Levy conducted a Somatic Therapy session for four practioners, and each walked away with all expectations met. And then some.
Or should I say “Soma?”
Soma Therapy is a type of meditation in which you exercise your entire body with the intent of ridding one self of all stress, worries and worldly concerns. It all starts with the breath, said Schwartz-Levy, one of only a handful of therapists world-wide holding a PhD. in this new science that brings a healing to the mind, body and the spirit. A 50-minute session helps you release tensions you didn’t know occupied pockets of yourself, until you flow with the suggested movements, at first gingerly, and then with a gusto you would be surprised to discover inside of your Self.
My intent was to “loosen” myself, particularly, in an area where I felt discomfort. By the time I finished, I realized there was a loosening of tension in half a dozen other parts of my body, from my legs to my back, neck, arms and jaw. I didn’t know how “stuck” I was until stretching, pulling and moving the body while staying focused on deep breaths, in and out, in and out.
I’d open my eyes and glance at our teacher and try to copy her pose. If you’re over 25 and not in the best of shape — like me — you may want to take it easy. But, I rushed ahead and felt in tune with her, even swaying a little back and forth as I listened to the rhythm of my body, exactly as our instructor said.
“‘Soma‘ is an ancient Greek concept that refers to the body as container of all life experiences,” Schwartz-Levy said. See (somaticpsych) “From this perspective, the body holds an accumulation of energy that results as tension and various symptoms. This philosophy states that the body knows how to release such somatic tension when we listen and respond accordingly.”
Larry, a participant who, like me, has attended his third session, hoped to become “stronger” as a result of this gathering. He hopes to change careers and get into restaurant management. Sherri, in the mental health field, wanted to simply relax, after spending half the night awake with a sick child and another small one not as “needy.” And Drumi, the third participant who sought to be more confident, ended up giving us all a discourse on the spiritual awakening of her home country, India. All smiled as we left the ResiliencyCenter in Ambler, PA, feeling that our individual goals had been realized.
“The soma speaks to us through its language of breath, movement, sensation, voice, posture and gestures,” the professional healer and psychologist said. “Through somatic practices, you can be more attuned to your authentic self within the safety of a psychotherapeutic relationship.”
I’ve already signed up for another session and my body and spirit, speaking for my mind, thanks Jodi Schwartz-Levy. (For more, see www.meetup.com/thebodyspeaksitsmind)