Why SOMA is different:
Founded by an Yale trained physician, SOMA Movement Studio is a cooperative of fitness and wellness professionals whose goal is to teach their clients how to move efficiently, effortlessly, and gracefully. Our instructors come from a variety of backgrounds including fitness, academics, rehabilitation, dance, athletics, and medicine.
We consider ourselves a movement education center rather than a fitness studio. Our primary goal is to help our clients understand their own bodies, their body's movement patterns, and how to reverse inefficient and pathologic movement patterns that can lead to stress, discomfort and injury. To do this, we employ several movement disciplines in the studio that we've organized into a pyramid of movement regimens.
Phase One: Coordination, Body Awareness, and Mind-Body Connection
Phase one is focused on reducing muscle tension to improve the fluidity of movement. Click below for further explanation
At the base of the pyramid is Hanna Somatic Movement, also known as Hanna Somatic Neuro-Reeducation. Hanna Somatic Movement forms the foundation of our approach to movement and take full advantage of current neurobiological principles of learning and coordination. These micromovement exercises, are designed to recapture control of muscles tightened by reflexes triggered by injury or nervous tension. The theory is that chronically tight muscles are caused by mis-calibration of signals sent from the brain. Essentially, your brain "forgets" to turn off muscles and they continuously contract leading to abnormal muscle movement patterns and potentially pain and injury. By performing Hanna Somatic movements, either one-on-one with a Hanna Somatic Educator or in a group class format, you are then able to regain control of those tight muscle and voluntarily relax them. As the muscle tension eases, pain fades, and you feel immediate changes in your ease of movement. In a sense, you create a tableau rasa, or "blank slate" state in your body, where you have unlearned all the tension you accumulated over years, even decades.
Phase Two: Strength and conditioning
Only after you have control of and relaxed your muscles, especially the muscles of the lower back, shoulders, and hips, then we recommend initiating strength and conditioning training. Clients who attempt to begin strength training before having control of their muscles run the risk of performing the exercises with poor form and incorrect/inefficient muscle activation patterns which only reinforces poor posture and habits, and in some cases lead to injury.
At SOMA, we teach Pilates as an exercise methodology to begin strengthening and conditioning your body. Pilates is a low impact system of exercise that is performed on either the mat or on specially designed equipment with springs that can either assist you or challenge you, depending on how the springs are arranged. Clients often transition from Hanna Somatic Movement Classes to Pre-Pilates which teaches the principles of Pilates movement and how to create a stable base (core strength) from which the extremities (arms/legs) can then move, all the while coordinating movement with breathing. SOMA Movement Studio has a complete line of specialized Pilates equipment available for private, group and independent training.