2013 has been an extraordinary year of growth, expansion, and learning for many of us in the field of Somatic Education. Never before have I met so many inspiring and eager people from all backgrounds wanting to learn how to get back to the basics of movement in order to live healthier, more functional lives. Those I have met have wanted simple, sensible answers to the questions: how can I move more easily and how do I get rid of chronic muscle pain?
I have had the good fortune to train students in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Norway, and the United States in the clinical methods of Hanna Somatics and proper teaching of Somatic Exercises. The work of Thomas Hanna is spreading across the world and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. It only means that around the world people are learning to regain body awareness and control as they eliminate chronic pain and take back control of their lives.
One of the things we teach in Hanna Somatics is that what we think of as the inevitable decrepitude of aging is instead a loss of voluntary muscular control, which develops due to stress adaptation. When we learn to take back control of our bodies, muscles and movement it positively affects our health, and by extension, our very quality of life. Hanna Somatics teaches one to regain freedom – of body, mind, movement and life.
I will leave you with an edited (and abbreviated) quote from Thomas Hanna from his groundbreaking book, Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health. It sums up a New Year’s message that I hope you will return to throughout 2014:
To say that aging is an adventure is the same as saying that life is an adventure. Indeed, each individual life is the greatest adventure… The human race is changing. At the present moment, this change is accelerating, and is charged with the thrill of danger and promise.
We must make our way through this great time of change, expecting that it will be good, and intending that it will be good. We must make our future the way we want it to be. This is what human freedom is for. And, in the process, we may discover that the myth of aging has been replaced by another, brighter myth. If it is true that, in the deepest reaches of the human heart, we all live according to myths, we may find that, from the ashes of the old myth, a new myth of aging is arising: that life is a continuous process of growth and expansion.
And may 2014 be just that for all of you. Thank you to all who have made this past year one of growth, expansion and giving to others through the work of Thomas Hanna. I have been helped by many and I thank you all for your support.