Somatics for You

October November December  2015

Link to some audio recordings of my Saturday Somatics Classes via SoundCloud.

Link to my YouTube Channel (Somatics For You, Susan Koenig). 
     You can see over 30 short somatic movement videos.

Below are links to two longer interviews of myself and Janet Hoagland, by Dana Wilberg, of the cable TV program out of Sacramento, CA, called the "Paranormal Connection."  In spite of the TV title, the interviews are about Hanna Somatic Education.

Each interview has 2 parts; each part is a little less than 1/2 hour.
Interview One: February, 2011
          Part 1
          Part 2
Interview Two:
May, 2015
          Part 1
          Part 2

Come to Class
Feel So Much Better!

Saturday Class Schedule, 10-11:30 am:
To receive the specific dates (and any changes) of my upcoming Saturday classes join my email notice list.  How?
By emailing me at <>  You will receive a short email with my class dates.

National Holistic Institute
5900 Doyle Street, Emeryville, CA 94608

Private Sessions with Susan Koenig available

Call 510-848-4129

On A More Personal Note

I've been taking some time off this Fall to rest and re-energize myself.  Below are some photos from my travels.
My friend Pat Troxel and I took a fabulous 5 day cooking class from Phillip Burrus, the Executive Chef of Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA.
At the cooking class we'd pick fresh vegies and herbs from the Esalen gardens in the morning and cook with them in the afternoon.  It doesn't get any better than this!
I spent 2 weeks on Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada, with my friend Phyllis Victory.
I helped Phyllis and her partner, John, put in a couple of windows on the addition to their house (Hornby Island).
Great hiking and picturesque views from Hornby.  Here we are looking at the island of Texada and in the far distance we see Vancouver Island.
Movements for Releasing the Quadriceps and Hamstrings
Standing and Lying Down

Anatomy and Hanna Somatics
The quadriceps on the front (anterior) of the thigh and the hamstrings on the back (posterior) of the thigh represent two  large groups of gross motor muscles that move both the hip and knee joints.

The rectus femoris, is one of the "quads."  It crosses both the hip and the knee, and moves the hip joint into flexion; all the quads together, attach below the knee, and extend or straighten the knee.  The hamstrings extend the hip, bringing the leg behind us (as in walking) and flex or bend the knee.

These two groups of muscles are supposed work in a finely orchestrated interaction of the movement of the hips and knees in an efficient, smooth, graceful, easefull way.   Unfortunately, imbalance between these two muscle groups is very common. Some examples include, one or both of these muscle groups, or their individual muscles, may carry excess tension or contraction, or the quads may become over developed in relationship to the hamstrings.  In either case, an inefficient coordination between the hips and knees can easily lead to range of motion imbalance where one hip may flex or extend well, but the other is "limited."   Pain, stiffness, limping, favoring of one leg over the other - an experience often producing the sense of having a "strong" and "weak" leg - swelling, inflammation, and more, can result.

If you feel you carry tension, pain, and/or stiffness in the hip or knee joints I encourage you to watch all four videos and practice these movements.  They demonstrate self-pandicular movement, that is voluntary movement, done with awareness, to reset the resting tonus of the muscles.  That means the level of tension is reduced, the brain can coordinate their actions more efficiently, and you move with more ease and grace, less stiffness, less pain, and more fluidity.

Unfortunately, exercise, does not necessarily reduce levels of pain and discomfort.  Have you ever done a great workout or attended a beloved yoga or exercise class, but still continue to have "that nagging pain or stiffness."  Exercise is good for us and can contribute, for example, to cardiovascular health, an increase in energy and well being, but it may not relieve that low back pain, or sense of joint stiffness in the hips and knees that we had hoped it would. 

Learning to do movement in a pandicular way, incorporating  slow, comfortable, focused, voluntary movement,  emphasizing the role of the motor cortex of the brain, may be the answer for you and an important contribution to your over-all health and exercise plan.  Pandicular movement is done voluntarily and with awareness.  I recommend you both move into and especially out of the contraction slowly, with as much control as possible, giving the motor cortex a chance to release excess contraction and more efficiently refresh and or re-configure motor programs.

Remember to move slowly and comfortably.  Focus on the sensations of the movements.   Always stay within your comfort zone.



Copyright © 2015 Susan Koenig, All rights reserved.

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