Since severely dislocating my shoulder two years ago, I have had pain in my neck (that’s different than being a pain in the neck). I’d learned to live with it. Somatics took my pain away! Hooray!
My marathon running has improved dramatically!
I am now more aware of when I have clenched certain muscle groups that are not needed during running and wear me down for no good reason. I have gained an awareness of my unconscious habit of tightening my arms, shoulders, and lower back which becomes more pronounced as I tire more and more mile after mile. By relaxing muscles that aren’t needed for running, I gain a lot more speed and endurance.
Also, by becoming more aware of how I move (walk and run), I can make better use of my posterior chain (from the glutes, to the hamstrings, to the calves, then foot and then toes) and launch into bigger strides and seem to glide more effortlessly….and pick up a lot of speed!
My day in my corporate cubicle has greatly improved.
Again, I have a greater awareness now, thanks to the Somatics teachings, of when I have poor posture that festers into body aches. When trying to meet deadlines at work I have often been tense in the shoulder, typing away, head forward, staring closely into the monitor, and leaning forward in my chair.
It took a lot of practice, especially just to recognize when these situations occur. And, now that I have, I find work to be less stressful. It is easier to concentrate on my work, and when I get home at the end of the day I am not all worn out like I used to be.
Many, MANY thanks Carol!!!!
Oboist and Focusing teacher
I am a professional oboist. The Somatics work I have done with Carol
has had a profound effect on my physical well-being. I have gained an
inch in height, my posture is notably more erect, my shoulders
naturally sit back, and my breathing is much more full and free,
without any effort or strain. These changes have resulted in a big
improvement in my endurance and breath control on the oboe. A change
of this magnitude after a thirty- year career continues to seem near-
miraculous to me. I particularly value Carol’s non-judgmental,
observing presence in our sessions together, and her skill at using
touch and words to help me become aware of muscles I had been
completely unaware of before. It is hard to describe in words how
heartened, relieved, and excited I have felt, experiencing the
spontaneous relief of old tensions that have caused me pain,
discomfort, or reduced function for years. I equally value the
increase in feelings of confidence, peace and emotional well-being
that have accompanied the physical release I experience in my sessions
with Carol. Given these immediate, tangible emotional and physical
effects, I find it easy to maintain a daily practice of Somatics
movements, knowing how it contributes to my ease of movement now and
will do so even more as I get older.
Special Education teacher
It has been a joy and revelation to explore Somatics with Carol Kerner. I came to her with many years of yoga and martial arts experience; someone committed and engaged in vigorous daily exercise. I brought to her the pain and discomfort I was experiencing before, during, and after my daily workouts. With infinite patience and respect, not to mention deep listening, Carol has taught me to rethink my relationship with my body. This subtle change in attitude has had a profound impact on how I relate to my body and, more importantly, how I feel. I have a much greater sense of connection, ease, and well being. I feel taller, broader in the shoulders, more relaxed in my movements. I have learned to move gently and to listen to my body rather than just pushing through my movements in a forceful, manipulative manner. As I approach my 60th birthday, I look forward to deepening this quiet, thoughtful connection I have begun to develop with my body.
Before I started Somatics, I frequently had back pain. While it was not constant, it surfaced when I did some routine things, like gardening. Since doing Somatics, I have been able to do projects and chores around the house virtually pain free. That includes added activities, like moving some furniture, painting rooms, and staining a deck.
I like working with Carol because in addition to teaching the basics, she focuses on my particular needs. And she’s very patient in helping me learn the moves and exercises.
Master Potter and Teacher
Before I started working with Hanna Somatic Education, I was not very flexible and had a lot of muscle tightness and pain. As a result of this work, pain and stiffness were reduced and I gained in flexibility. I also learned how to pay attention to my internal sensations as I was doing the exercises, which let me control my muscles better. I’m now more aware of my posture and can voluntarily keep my shoulders down and my head and shoulders in better alignment with my spine. This helps reduce stress in my neck and back.
If other methods have not worked for you, try Hanna Somatic Education to see what it can do for you.
When I started Carol’s Somatics class, I had pain in my right shoulder and couldn’t do the movements fully on the right side. With the classes and two individual sessions, I regained full use and mobility of my right shoulder. Now I am more aware of my posture in sitting in front of a computer and I realign my body as I notice. In walking I automatically walk better with improved posture. I feel like a model on a runway instead of the 70-year-old that I am. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is safe and produces results no matter what your condition at the start.
Interpreter for the Deaf
Hanna Somatic Education helps with body awareness and helps to gain control over the parts that seem to be chronically a problem.
Before I started working with Hanna Somatic Education, I went to the doctor or chiropractor every time I had physical pain I couldn’t deal with. Now, instead, I am able to relax into the sore spot and ease the tension myself. I feel / understand how pain is aggravated by tension. Now I really enjoy finding different places that are tense that I wasn’t aware of.
One thing that was very important for me was slowing movements down. Doing that makes the brain aware of what I am trying to do and allows the brain to relax the muscles. Typical stretching of a sore muscle doesn’t work, because it doesn’t help the brain lengthen the muscles.
Since I started getting Somatics, I found I walk and sit up straighter. I am more conscious of how my body moves. My chest feels more open, less caved in. My neck and shoulder pain from typing at a desk all day has vastly improved. I love Somatics and I love working with Carol Kerner!
Coach and Rosen Method Bodyworker
When I first started doing Hanna Somatic work with Carol, the work really helped me become aware of patterns in my life that were no longer serving me. This included both muscular patterns and other connected behavior patterns. I am now more able to sense when I am tense and I can relax my body more easily. And this is a process that keeps expanding!
I am also more in touch with my how I am holding my body while doing daily tasks, especially driving, exercising, and chopping vegetables. I am much more relaxed while driving! When I’m doing various things in my life, I can feel the muscles of my body that I used during my morning Cat Stretch movements.
I have had to slow down to enjoy/savor the daily Cat Stretch movements. In turn, I have slowed down to savor other things in my life. For example I now eat more slowly. The movements help me to be more present and aware. I notice that just as I think I have plateaued, I begin sensing more as I do the movements, changing my sense of myself.
I love doing my cat stretch movements daily!
On a week to week basis, I just enjoy Carol’s classes. One hour in class not only loosens up the flexibility of the body, but also produces a certain amount of higher energies. I usually feel a kind of ebullience at the end of class.
Over time, the practice and routines done in class have given me a number of tools to de-stress all parts of the body. I am 68, and find any number of activities can easily cause aches and pains in the back, arms, neck and shoulders, etc. For example: cleaning gutters ( a ladder job), raking the yard, wielding a paint brush for very long, repairs under the car (on my back)—any of these activities can leave me pretty sore and wiped out. Many, many times I have saved myself a lot of distressful recovery time by doing even part of the somatic Cat Stretch routine. There are specific exercises for every part of the body, so one can focus help pretty exactly where it is needed.
I am grateful to have this knowledge and to have access to a teacher who imparts it well and makes it fun.
Physician Assistant, Rosen Method Bodyworker
Carol has persevered with me, truly being my teacher, using the ‘carrot’ of her unflagging enthusiasm for this work and support of my process, and just a little gentle ‘stick’ of encouraging me to make it a routine, a daily practice.
Over time, I am finally getting it. The more I commit to engage with these simple exercises as a part of my own daily practice of awareness, the more real positive results naturally flow from that commitment in the form of deeper body sense and a greater ability to work constructively with my own places of limitation and contraction.
Hospital Patient Unit Secretary
When I first came to Carol for Somatics, I suffered from considerable neck pain, caused by years of heavy physical work. With Hanna Somatic work, my head and neck move better and pain is greatly reduced. Doing the Cat Stretch movements every day seems to help me move more fluidly than I used to. It’s reduced my stiffness quite a bit.
I have also had difficulty with asthma. Whenever I came for a session with Carol, I was always breathing more freely when I left. At one point, I sustained an injury at work that made me unable to lift my right arm for some time. With Somatics work, the flexibility in my shoulder and arm improved significantly. I was aware of a gradual improvement in the flexibility and range of motion over a period of time. I feel it’s important to mention that the healing took place over time. It takes time to learn something new. It takes time to practice and also to notice the improvement. That awareness inspires me to continue with the movements.
I am a work in progress, but I doubt I would still be able to work for a living if it weren’t for Somatics.
Somatics has helped me become much more aware of whether my muscles are tight or relaxed. At 72 I feel like 42. I have Carol and Somatics to thank for that. After playing racquetball or pickleball, I occasionally encounter an ache or a pain. A few minutes of some of the exercises that Carol has taught me, and I’m ready to go again. Carol’s gentle guidance and innate wisdom amaze me. My muscles thank you, Carol!
My experience with Hanna Somatic Education and Carol Kerner has been a very positive one. I have always had poor posture and then I was in a car accident three years ago, which caused me to overcompensate with some parts of my body in response to the weakness and pain in other parts. After the immediate injuries from the car accident were healed, I continued in my bad habits of poor posture and over compensation. In time, this produced new pain.
With Carol, I’m learning how to use my body and muscles properly; the way they are designed to be used. This translates into my being able to perform daily functions of walking, sitting and moving with ease and without pain. I’m even sitting in my car differently! Carol is very knowledgeable, patient, gentle and a good teacher. She is teaching me exercises so that I can maintain this new sense of pain-free ease on my own. I would recommend Carol and this approach to anyone who is looking for a better and healthier way to use their body.
I am extremely thankful to have been introduced to Somatics through Carol Kerner. Carol has shown me various exercises in relation to the particular issues I’ve been experiencing.
I’ve been living for many years with severe pain accompanied by mobility issues that made me appear crooked and walking off balance. After being taught Somatics, my mobility and appearance have improve greatly. It is a wonderful confidence booster when people tell me I am standing straight and I also look well.
Business leadership coach
Working with Carol is so useful, inspiring and empowering. I had no idea that my “regular exercise” and the way I carry myself have been holding me back from experiencing what mobility and flexibility my body actually has available! I feel more resilient, younger, and more in control of my own body as a result of our Somatic work together. Doing the simple, slow motions and movements, with a curious mind, has been almost like physical meditation. With Carol’s gentle nature, deep knowledge and skill, humorous stance, and enthusiastic guidance, I have opened up new possibilities for my own physicality.