Uncategorized

The Is How It Begins: Podcast Transcript

The is How It Begins Matthew van der Giessen When I was a child, I would go into the woods, find a quiet spot to sit, and listen.  Slowly, nature would emerge – a bird on the path, a squirrel carefully working its way down a tree trunk, or the sounds of rustling in the…

Read More

Living in Your Body

I was feeling a bit whoozy when I made it back home to Bowen Island. I’d just had a dental procedure dealing with an abscess. A  bit messy but I thought I handled it pretty well considering my history of nasty dental experiences.  I seemed to be doing well enough that I decided to fit…

Read More

Why Somatic Studies

From its inception, my practice has been guided by the question, “what makes somatic practice work?”  It has turned into the guiding star on my long and winding road, leading me through the emerging landscape of this field, and helping me hear its voice.  Like a mantra, it has also guided me into the depths of…

Read More

Connective Tissue – Easing the Ties that Bind

Rebecca and I have been getting our house ready for sale in the last couple of months. And, of course, I’ve been spending lots of time fixing those things that I never seemed to get around to. I think about how those new owners will never know how hard I worked getting the place ready…

Read More

The Body’s Story

Comment: This is a short article I wrote as an introduction to my Anatomy and Expression workshop series.  It gives a bit of insight into the intersect between body practice and our inner experience.  As I am working through a twist in yoga, the instructor kneels beside me, and with gentle support starts helping me…

Read More

Where Softness Begins – Justin Stone and T’ai Chi Chih

Where Softness Begins Justin Stone and T’ai Chi Chih Matthew van der Giessen I had positioned myself toward the end of a long row of workshop participants when Justin Stone walked into the room and sat himself down right in front of me. My placement of safe anonymity evaporated immediately. Justin sat there, looking at…

Read More

Matthew’s Internet Radio Interview

On April 15th I had an invitation to talk about the SomaLab, the blog and somatics related stuff on Somatime, a program on Blogtalk Radio, an internet radio service.   Somatime described the event this way:  “It’s time to turn the mirror around and take a closer look at how this ‘somatic paradigm’ gets communicated…

Read More

The Essential Questions of Somatic Practice

1. What is This? Open your awareness to all possible sources of sensory information including: Surfaces Movement Breath Moods 2. How Does It Want to Go? Give your body the fullest possibility to make movements that use all sensations available in the moment. 3. Where am I Using Unnecessary Effort? Watch for two kinds of…

Read More

Practicing in the Dojo of Everyday Life

Richard Strozzi-Heckler tells a story about coming out of an Ikido dojo and almost getting run over by someone running a red light as he crosses the street. But what caught his attention more than the car hurling itself past his body was his rage, and the way he was thrown off centre. Strozzi-Heckler, an…

Read More

The Orienting Response

As I go through the flow of everyday life there are certain events that pull my attention. Some come to me externally – a car unexpectedly coming around the corner as I step off the curb. Others emerge from my inner life such as the awareness of a strain from sitting for too long peering…

Read More

Climbing Stairs

In early December we had the first meeting of the SomaLab. In it I introduced some of the concepts I have described in the first two posts to this blog. I also presented an example of how we can use somatics principles to guide us in our engagement with body experience. The reading, entitled, “Climbing…

Read More

What is the SomaLab?

Welcome to the first post of my SomaLab blog. The SomaLab is year-long journey of exploration into the underlying principles of body-centred healing, and their integration into practical application. This version of the SomaLab is the latest manifestation in my 25 year study of the question, “What is it that makes body-centered practices work?”, that…

Read More