Welcome to Fishtown Wellness Center

Fishtown Wellness Center helps individuals and families create, cultivate, and sustain the life they want to live.

Working Hours
Flexible appointments, offering day/evening/weekend sessions based on clinician availability
From Our Gallery



430 Belgrade St. Philadelphia, PA 19125


Somatic Exercises

Somatic Exercises

Somatic Exercises

What are somatic exercises

Somatic exercises refers to the release of muscular tension through gentle, unintentional movement and an awareness of your body. How do your muscles feel in various positions and movements? How do YOU feel in various positions and movements?

How it works

Somatic exercises are based on pandiculation, which means the involuntary, instinctive stretching of soft tissue, particularly during transitions between cyclic biological behaviors. What that means is it’s the unconscious contracting and releasing of muscles that happen during regular movements.

You have to tune in to how your muscles feel in every movement and moment. The key is to feel the stretching and tension in your muscles that we’ve been conditioned to ignore (called interoception).


There are many different somatic exercises that you can do. Three simpler ones are outlined below:

  1. Standing awareness – Stand and bring awareness to various parts of your body. Stand upright with your feet flat on the group and notice how your feet feel against the floor. Try contracting and releasing those muscles. Make sure to take deep breaths while focusing and noticing your stomach move with each breath. Try scanning your body from head to toes, noticing how different muscles feel, or if there are areas of tension. 
  2. Hang your head – Stand up straight with your feet rooted in the floor. Slowly hand your head and let it fall as far down as it will comfortably go. Notice how the muscles in your neck feel. Do you feel anything in your upper back or shoulders?
  3. The arch and flatten – Position your feet flat on the floor hip-distance apart with knees bent. Take a deep breath and notice how the muscles in your lower back and stomach move as you do. Then, gently arch your back, bringing your stomach upward and pressing your feet into the floor. When it feels right, slowly lower your back and flatten it against the floor. Repeat these movements slowly and with intention, noticing any muscles in your torso, and trying to release it. 

Follow along



Skip to content