AW22: Mind and body with Nicolette de SaintAmour
Mind and body with Nicolette de SaintAmour

Mind and body with Nicolette de SaintAmour

This week in The Soul Sessions, we chat with Somatic researcher and teacher, Nicolette de SaintAmour. We talk about the importance of moving and finding awareness of your body.  


What is Somatic therapy and how did you first get into this field? 
Somatic, meaning relating to the body, is an approach to bring forth the importance of first working with the physical structure of a person in order to make connections of mind, body, brain and behaviour. There are various forms of somatic therapies, and I teach a method called Awareness Through Movement® of the Feldenkrais Method. I have taught various forms of movement for over a decade, but found nothing quite like the Feldenkrais Method. The method is a “learning how to” method, which works intimately with nervous system to instil lasting changes in ways of sensing oneself. It is because the method works based on neuroplasticity which expands the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, particularly in response to learning, an experience or following an injury. I grew more interested in Somatics as I was looking for a deeper connection with myself.”

What changes have you felt since learning to move your body more - physically, spiritually and emotionally?
Being embodied is a lifeworks work. Tuning into my sensation is what being alive is about. Every emotion is expressed in the musculature by becoming sensitive to the quality I bring to each moment. I have a choice, it is my ability to pay attention in a universal way that comes from within and extends out to the world. It is how I came to know myself that is so rewarding, in order to know myself, I need to feel myself, in order to feel myself, I need to feel safe and rooted in my experience. This has been a profound shift for me.” 
 
People talk about slow living, but what does this mean to you?
It’s not that we are always meant to be “slow” but rather there is conscious attention that brings the quality of awareness. We are adaptable creatures and can meet the pace of a city but there is a quality to oneself that is grounded in sensation. Feldenkrais says “I can go fast but I never hurry.” 

How does being around nature help us live better, healthier, more connected lives?
We are a direct reflection of nature. We are nature. To connect to oneself is to connect with the natural world, by becoming more in touch with oneself one intimately then matches the rhythms of changing days, seasons, full moons, crescent moons. With the rhythms we feel in our bodies. The rhythms that govern life are ultimately inherent.”

What can we do to make first steps to living a more considered, gentler pace of life?
The revelation of anchoring into sensation and pleasure is what it is me to be fully alive, in the here and in the now. To become fully aware in the bodily sense begins with attending to yourself in loving way. Being in touch with your body is the way to self-possession and self-knowing.”

Find Nicolette here.

Mind and body with Nicolette de SaintAmour