Skeletal System

Students will develop a strong working knowledge of the skeletal system; acquire skills in movement facilitation and hands-on work specific to the skeletal system; and begin a process of personal embodiment of their bones and joints.

Senses & Perception

The course is an orientation to the goals and philosophy of somatic movement awareness as well as an introduction to working deeply within oneself and with others in transformative process. This course introduces somatic awareness through the investigation of the senses: touch, proprioception, kinesthesia, taste, smell, hearing, seeing, and compassion.

The Organ System


The organs are the contents within the musculo-skeletal container, supporting postural tone and feelings, and giving volume to movement. Participants study and embody the internal structures that carry out the functions of internal regulation, breathing, nourishment and elimination. Organs are a critical habitat of our emotions and aspirations and hold cellular memories of our personal histories. Students learn to initiate movement from the organs and support their expression in others.

This course is an introduction to the oceanic movement patterns, intrauterine movement, primitive reflexes. We examine how or embryonic and fetal experiences have contributed to our current sense of self and apply developmental principles to the process of somatic movement education. Introduction to cellular respiration and cellular touch is utilized as the foundation for all subsequent hands-on work in the program.

Human Motor Development I

Continuing the developmental sequence, HMD II covers land-based movement patterns (spinal, symmetrical, same-sided), primitive reflexes and righting reactions, and the development of movement during the first six months of an infant’s life. Students begin the process of inquiry, refinement and embodiment of the patterns in themselves and learn approaches to facilitating the patterns in others.

Human Motor Development II

Finishing the developmental sequence, HMD III completes the land-based movement patterns, introduces equilibrium responses, and tracks the development of movement during months seven to twelve of an infant’s life. We observe the relationships we form with the force of gravity, the space that surrounds us, and contact with another being or a specific object, as well as the way we change internally due to an external stimulus or the excitement of our senses.

Human Motor Development III

The course covers the anatomy of the nervous system from a somatic perspective, covering the central/peripheral, motor/sensory, somatic/autonomic, sympathetic/parasympathetic divisions as well as introduction to the intrinsic nervous systems (brains) of the heart and the gut. Attention is paid to balancing oneself as a practitioner and assessment of nervous system tone in others.

The Nervous System

The course addresses embodiment of the endocrine glands; approaches to repatterning through touch, movement and voice utilizing endocrine support and awareness; relationship of endocrine glands to skeletal system; sourcing and focusing endocrine expression; and enlivening the central channel of the head, torso and pelvis.

The Endocrine System

Beginning from the experiential anatomy of the entire connective tissue matrix, the course offers a special focus on the ligaments. Working from the fascial web, we focus on specific ligaments to repattern movement around the joints and facilitate the initiation of movement from the ligaments. The course introduces specific assessment tools to identify avenues for repatterning a client’s movement from a connective tissue perspective.

Connective Tissue and Ligaments

The muscular system course includes muscle theory; hands-on and movement facilitation for supporting change of tone in muscles; initiation of movement from different aspects of muscle tissue; and the relationship of muscle to bone, tendon and fascia. Students begin to weave muscular awareness with other body systems to support change in the body.

The Muscular System

Students are introduced to the anatomy of the vocal mechanism and basic principles of vocal production, in context of the embodiment of the fluid system. Hands-on, movement, and observational approaches to working with clients are presented for the fluid ground (cellular, transitional, and interstitial fluids) and the extracellular fluids: blood, craniosacral, lymph, interstitial, periorgan and synovial fluids.

Fluids and the Voice

This course is an overview of somatic practice, encompassing both personal and professional issues. It summarizes the major themes of somatic practice, integrating the body systems with developmental movement principles. Students are encouraged to articulate how their understanding of somatic movement education will become part of their personal and professional practice. The course includes topics regarding the development of a private practice, including ethics, scope of practice, and the integration of somatic movement into previously established professions.

Somatic Overview

Mark and the SME program create an environment for embodied learning, to re-pattern
the way one thinks, perceives and processes information. It is a simple, powerful and
radical idea, the idea of the experiential approach to knowledge sharing, an approach
that consciously honors all the human capacities for learning and creativity and does not
attempt to colonize or divide ideas into intellectual or physiological pursuits. I feel lucky
to have an opportunity to learn and live this information. I hope that the work continues
to have wider recognition, be applied to more diverse fields.
— Grisha Coleman, Asst. Professor, Movement & Dance, Arizona State College