“When I do too much somatic movement I get dizzy or shake. My nervous system becomes overwhelmed. How should I approach my practice to avoid this?

It is not uncommon for people to shake somewhat when they’re releasing excess tension in their muscles and nervous system. When you pandiculate you need to allow the nervous system to integrate the new sensation and feedback you are giving it.

If there is any kind of trauma in your background, whether physical, mental, or emotional, your system may have excess tension that, when sensed, processed, and integrated through movement, can more easily melt away and leave you feeling more connected within yourself.

Shaking or mild dizziness is a sign that this kind of integration and processing is taking place. In the animal kingdom, a stressed animal will shake once the danger is over. Then they go back to pandiculating! We humans push our stress down and inward and this contributes to sensory motor amnesia, pain, and restriction. The more we allow the shaking, tears, or newness of sensation to occur, the less it will come up and the more your nervous system will self-regulate.

That being said, your practice needs to be within your comfort zone. Here are some things you could try:

  • Do fewer movements with more integration.
  • Pandiculate gently and don’t over-effort. There is no goal other than self-awareness and self-sensing, so there is no prize for working hard.
  • Lengthen out your legs after a few repetitions of any one movement, open your eyes, put your hands on your belly, and breathe and notice.

These strategies may help you reconnect with yourself in a more comfortable way. By all means, go at your own pace.