There are many movement methods that can be considered as a Somatic practice; Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, Dance, Pilates. The similarity being that they all encourage improving body awareness, joint alignment, efficient ease of movement, inner core strength, good use of the body and improving posture.
Movement therapist Thomas Hanna introduced the term Somatics. He talked about Somatics as a holistic therapy and movement practice which awakens and develops awareness through movement; sensing into the body, exploring what’s there, being curious rather than judging and through this the body can release held patterns of tension.
Somatics is the living body as experienced from within. What you feel and experience. Noticing when your attention is with yourself and what you are doing / moving or when your attention gets pulled outside of yourself or into internally driven thoughts and projections. So it is a mindful practice of moving, of paying attention.
We usually start out in a Pilates class by spending a little time to arrive in the body
to pay attention to your own subjective experience. Cultivating awareness, checking in with ourselves, directing breath and allowing the body and mind time to settle.
A Somatic approach to movement enhances well-being and self-regulation. Helping to improve the functioning of the individual through integration of psychological, emotional and physical factors.
Candice Pert talks of the body as the unconscious mind. When we slow down enough and listen an unravelling can occur. Long held patterns of tension can let go and we can experience a freedom in the body.