How We Twist out of the Way

Wringing out the center with the “wash rag” exploration from Thomas Hanna’s Cat Stretch

We’re rounding off our Hibernation Somatics series tomorrow, with twisting of the waist. We’ll review a little of all the breath work from the last 3 weeks, and add some breathing into the waist to allow for greater twisting. I love this series, because it’s like “wringing out” the whole center of the body like a washcloth.

What’s so great about twisting the waist muscles? Well, they help us get out the way of trouble by turning the body one way or the other. Tom Hanna called this the “trauma reflex” because it helps you avoid injury and protects an injury while you heal. This reflex is very helpful to avoid spraining an ankle when you unexpectedly trip off the sidewalk, slip on ice, or jump out of the way of a speeding car (I think of that scene in The Matrix when Neo is twisting & turning to avoid a barrage of slow-mo bullets).  As with the “green-light” and “red light” reflexes, all the muscles of this twisting reflex needs to be reminded that they have a full range of movement to jump to help when they’re needed. We are a culture of looking straight ahead, and generally don’t value our ability to twist to look behind us or side to side, and as a result, those waist muscles get stuck & feel tight, and potentially aren’t available to get us out of the way of danger when we need them. A Somatic practice helps to keep all the muscles of the center activated for their full range of movement in order to jump to action when we need it – and the ability to twist can be especially helpful to get us out of the way.

Somatics Basics Class

Wednesdays at 9amEST on Zoom

Week 1, February 24th: Breathing into the low back

Week 2, March 3rd: Breathing into the chest & shoulders

Week 3, March 10th: Breathing into the pelvis

Week 4, March 17th: Breathing into the waist


Wednesdays at 9amEST on Zoom. Hope to see you there!

I’ll send out the Zoom link Tuesday evening so it’s fresh in your inbox.

(Registration closes at 9pm the night before.)

Register here.

Classes run 35-45 minutes. Make sure you have a yoga mat sized space for the practice. Your video and audio will be off when you first get in the “room”, you have the option to turn both on. I’d love to *see* you, but feel free to remain off if you’re more comfortable that way 🙂

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