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20th Century Somatic Education Greats
Charlotte Selver (1901-2003). Selver, a German music educator, had a significant impact on the human potential movement with her work, Sensory Awareness.
F. M. Alexander (1869-1955). An Australian actor, he developed the Alexander Technique to help individuals move beyond reactive, habitual limitations.
Gerda Alexander (1908-1994). This Danish pioneer developed Eutony to develop awareness of, and regulation of, muscular tone.
Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984). In addition to martial arts, physics, childhood development, and brain science, Feldenkrais also appreciated and sometimes drew on the contributions of the other greats on this page.
Elsa Gindler (1885-1961). Born in Berlin, this gymnastics teacher developed what she called "work on the human being" in collaboration with Henrich Jacoby. During World War II, she used her work to covertly help those suffering under the Nazi regime.
Heinrich Jacoby (1889-1964). An educator and musician, he emphasized sensitivity and awareness. Moshe Feldenkrais spoke proudly of how Jacoby taught him to draw in just a few minutes.
Ida Rolf (1896-1979). Born in New York, this biochemist created Structural Integration. Practitioners, commonly known as Rolfers, work with connective tissue to bring optimal structural balance to their clients.
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The field of somatic education took hold in the early-to-mid 1900s with the blossoming of the Feldenkrais Method®, Alexander Technique, Rolfing, Hanna Somatics and much more.
Thomas Hanna, a student of Dr. Feldenkrais, is often credited with coining the term “somatic” by building on the Greek word sō-mă, meaning the body. Encompassed in the idea of somatic education is the personal living experience of learning through one's own body.
At Integrative Learning Center, we define somatic education as individual development through movement exploration (physical and emotional), kinesthetic sensation, and awareness. Explored creatively with a spirit of non-judgment, movement patterns improve and the positive impact extends beyond the individual to the world.
The field of somatics has wide applications and benefits. Currently, we offer ongoing programs in three areas: Bones for Life®, Feldenkrais Method, and Gait for Wild Human Potential.
Throughout the year, we may also offer additional programs in the field of somatic education on a one-time basis.
"We have very much more endowment for being aware, for being alert, than most people realize. I must admit it is not easy to know the difference between letting something be conscious and watching it. And it doesn't come by trying to get it. It will only come if we are hungry for it. We don't need to watch; we simply could be awake. The moment we watch ourselves, we split ourselves in two."
Charlotte Selver, The Wonders of the Organism