News & Blog

Members on the Move

PAMELA MATT, RSME

Pamela Matt’s book, A Kinesthetic Legacy: The Life and Works of Barbara Clark (https://tbi-media.org/), presents the biography and writings of a pioneer of the Ideokinetic approach to somatic movement education.  Pam shared her interpretation of Miss Clark’s teaching with dancers throughout her twenty-five-year teaching career at Arizona State University. 

JOAN DAVIS, RSME, RSMT

In this work, Joan takes the reader through a somatically based experiential approach to our developmental and evolutionary process from pre-conception to standing.

BONNIE BAINBRIDGE COHEN, RSME, RSMT, OTR

Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s new book, Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement, is the culmination of 55 years of research and 40 years of writing. It addresses human movement and its significance to our development and well-being. With this book as a guide, Bonnie invites you to directly experience, embody, and integrate your own developmental movement patterns.

SUSAN BAUER, RSME, RSMT

Celebrating the release of her new book, The Embodied Teen: A Somatic Curriculum for Teaching Body-Mind Awareness, Kinesthetic Intelligence, and Social and Emotional Skills. Designed for somatic educators, therapists, counselors, and movement practitioners, The Embodied Teen presents a pioneering introductory curriculum in somatic movement…

KELLY FERRIS LESTER, RSMT

Kelly recently published “Somatics: A Buzz Word Defined” in the Journal of Dance Education (March 2017). This was written specifically for high school and college students as a way to understand the connections between somatics and dance. The word somatics is familiar in dance technique classes, but it is not always defined and misconceptions can arise.

RAE JOHNSON PhD., RSMT

Chair of Somatic Studies doctoral specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute published a book ‘Embodied Social Justice’ – a body-centered approach to working with oppression, for somatic practitioners, counsellors, educators, , and other human service professionals. Grounded in current research, this integrative approach to social justice works directly…

Blog Articles

Humanity in a time of Collective Initiation

We were three weeks into the lockdown here in the UK and perhaps like many I was beginning to settle in, after the initial shake-up and all the online messaging that we had collectively reached for in order to stay in touch. A book called to be read, written by my dear friend Liz McCormick and her colleague Nigel Wellings, both experienced transpersonal psychotherapists, teachers and authors. The title Nothing to Lose (Wellings and McCormick 2010) seemed a good message in this time that seems so full of loss.

Why not Martial Arts !

Back in the mid to late 80s in the San Francisco Bay Area, there were meetings with many movement teachers, body workers and others looking to create a somatic organization. I am not sure if these are the roots of ISMETA or if it evolved out of another effort to centralize and organize Somatics into an association. In any event I went to a number of these early meetings and was always taken aback, because the participants only wanted to define “Somatics” as Western-based practices.

Notes from the first Encuentro Somático en México “Celebrando al cuerpo vivo”

The first Encuentro Somático in Mexico, Celebrating Embodiment, took place from March 29 to 31, 2019, at the Centro Cultural Pedregal, in the south of Mexico City. More than 140 participants gathered from five countries (Argentina, Colombia, Spain, the U.S., and many regions of Mexico) with 34 teachers and performers representing many different somatic movement traditions

GOING TO THE GYM: TOUGHENING UP OR SOFTENING DOWN? WHY SOMATIC MATTERS

If we only train to toughen ourselves, to make our muscles harder, this will lead to losing confidence. Why is that? Because our body is confident when it moves properly, and this requires softness. When I say softness, I mean the ability of our body to change its muscle tone and adapt. “Softening down” implies alleviating the fierceness, anger, and nerve, toning down. In Spanish, softening down is “ablandarse,” from the Latin “blandiri,” which means, “caressing.” It is also connected to the meaning of “to yield,” to soften our stance, or our way of thinking.

The Way of Resilience

Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, has gotten a lot of recent airplay in the educational circles in which I have traveled for the past 40 years. Deservedly so. Flowing in and out of academic settings while simultaneously practicing and teaching The fluid body practices of Continuum and Yoga has given me a pulse read on the culture-at-large and the challenges that lay ahead with a degree of clarity that would have otherwise been impossible.

While Emilie’s teachings have always been profound, the direct application of Continuum became somewhat illusive in the world of the high school and college age students I was teaching, especially with the onslaught of digital technology and smart phones.

ISMETA Featured in Latest ACIH Newsletter

ACIH welcomes ISMETA, the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association, as the newest member of ACIH’s Traditional World Medicine/ Emerging Professions Category

“Since our inception over thirty years ago, ISMETA’s board has intentionally sought to identify organizations that are doing similar work nationally and internationally in order to find out how we can work together and support the larger whole.  We would like all members of the Collaborative (ACIH) to know that there is an organization of movement practitioners that meet specific criteria and that are ready to work in integrative environments with other professions represented within ACIH.”

2019 Federation MBS Blog

The annual meeting of the Federation of Therapeutic Massage, Bodywork, and Somatic Practice Organizations (Federation MBS) took place in Austin, TX on March 29-30, 2019, hosted by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).  ISMETA sent two representatives, Elisa Cotroneo, Executive Director and Mary Abrams, Government Relations Consultant. Eleven organizations participate in the Federation MBS and each year one organization chair’s the meeting.  This year it was ISMETA’s turn so Elisa and Mary conferenced numerous times prior to the March meeting in preparation, and then co-chaired the two-day meeting.

Cellular Consciousness

Years ago, before I began studying somatics, anxiety controlled me. I feared new situations, people, and conflicts. Constantly trying to cope was exhausting.

During a class moving with the cellular breath brought an experience of bliss, of unconditional love.

With practice, it became possible at any moment to touch on this state. It remains today, a resource underneath all else.

Proprioception on Ice: Perspectives from a Frozen Stage

ISMETA Member Jaya Kanal, RSME

Skating on ice can be a subtle, flowing experience. It can also jolt us when we fall or exhilarate us when we fly across the ice with speed. It introduces our body-mind system to a multi-sensory activity in a unique environment. External factors that affect a skater’s proprioception include the equipment, ice surface, environment, and movement of other skaters.