About the Teachers

Ryan Hoffman (Feldenkrais Method)


Frequently Asked Questions

What is somatic education? Show Answer Somatic education is a descriptor coined by Thomas Hanna to refer to family of educational practices. They have in common the enrichment of an individual’s soma, or the experience of body, mind, and local environment. It’s a person’s soma that can engage in different functional activities. Therefore, improving one’s innate understanding of soma improves their relationship to intentional functional activities, helping people to discover new ways to improve their thriving.

What is the Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Eduation? Show Answer Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984) was born in the present-day territory of Ukraine, under the Russian Empire. As a 14 year old, he emigrated from his birthplace in the Pale of Settlement (then the Russian Empire, now Ukraine) to British Mandate Palestine. After an early interest in physics and martial arts, Moshé discovered his  unique approach to adult education. Consciously-directed movement is used to improve self-awareness and one’s ability to accommodate a challenge, or to harmonize with a given scenario. Feldenkrais lessons allow one to change their unconscious neuromuscular patterns, providing a long-term approach towards changing ones postural habits or other behavioral tendencies. Feldenkrais Practitioners are trained, certified, and licensed by an internationally regulated professional body.

Who benefits from somatic education? Show Answer As a general strategy for improving spontaneous self-organization, most people can benefit from somatic education. Many people feel like they ought be more active but they have lost their enthusiasm for movement. Our classes help people find pleasure in movement again. On the other hand, some very active people are interested in diversifying their movement patterns without compromising their function. Our classes help people find new ways to organize themselves with respect to their surroundings, useful for increasing comfort, spontaneity, and expressiveness.

Why practice somatic education? Show AnswerIf you have any kind of discomfort associated with rest, work, or play, these practices are easy and fun ways to increase awareness and comfort. You don’t need to be in any kind of shape: if you can hear and respond to English instructions, you can benefit from somati.ca’s offerings.

How is somatic education different from yoga or qigong? Show AnswerSomatic education systems are based on naturalistic (scientific) concepts as well as many other areas of contemporary human endeavor like martial arts and modern dance. They are not directly founded in the ancient wisdom of a particular civilization or religion. In general they do not advocate particular forms of nutritional, social, or ethical conduct. Many schools of somatic education do not even advocate for “good posture” in the typical sense!

What do I wear to class? Show Answer For class, you can wear any comfortable clothing. Socks are recommended for moving around the studio. Office clothes can usually be worn.

What is class like? Show AnswerOur classes are playful, down-to-earth and accessible. Your instructor will say whether mats, pads, or rollers are required for the lesson. You will gather the appropriate props and settle into your own space. The teacher will give a series of instructions to direct your attention or movements in a particular fashion. That’s it! No stretching, straining or sweating (unless you sweat when you concentrate!).

Wait, you don’t stretch or sweat, but you get substantial benefits? Show Answer Yes. This is why somati.ca exists to promote these practices. Educational methods focus on changing the information content of one’s central nervous system. The changes are as fast as the recognition of a fact, and in optimal cases can be retained for a lifetime.