I wrote a post about exercise in December but since then my view on exercise has totally shifted! I have found the natural movement concept which feels like such a self evident thing now that I came across it. It feels riduculous that it hasn’t appeared and taken ahold of my life until now. I have a feeling that because I had a completely different mindset when it came to exercise that it just hasn’t registered in my life. I guess I wasn’t ready for the message before but now I am since I’ve opened up for the wild woman to come forth!
It is not that often in life you find something that radically changes your ingrained thoughts on a subject. I was looking for a way to exercise outdoors but I wasn’t finding something that appealed to me. Most sites I found were gyms that had some classes outdoors or outdoor running groups but I knew that I wasn’t looking for that. I wanted something that was more interactive with nature. That’s when I stumbled upon MovNat and then later Ido Portal and everything just fell into place in my mind. This is what I have always unconsiously been looking for.
I have spent the last couple of years trying to figure out “exercise” and “fitness”. I have been going to the gym for many years but in burst and then I loose interest. It has felt like a chore or something I have to force myself to do. It feels good when you have done it but there has been no higher reason nothing to anchor my mind to. The results have been measured in looks and how much weight I work with but I have never pushed myself that hard.
I have tried searching for other practices and with the natural movement lens on I can identify the underlying pattern I was looking for. When I was young I practiced gymnastics (I was very young although I have lots of memories from doing it), then swimming, then horseback riding (until I left for university) and street dance. I danced in classes during gymnasiet (high school) and then when I was in university I trained with a dance crew five times a week. Dancing with the crew never felt like “exercise” even though my body was compeletely exhausted, sore, bruised and drenched in sweat after each practice and I have never pushed myself so hard in anything else. We had a higher purpose – learning the choreographys for our shows. I have also skiied my whole life. The latest things I’ve tried are running (in the woods), MMA (mixed martial arts) and yoga.
Especially after watching Ido Portal and listening to a couple of podcasts with him I understood that all these practices I have tried are based in my thirst for natural movement (except for horseback riding which was more about the connection to animals and maybe skiing which isn’t necessarily natural movement). It is so evident in hindsight my fascination with martial arts not because of the strength or the fighting but because of the natural movement. And what is dance but movement of the body to music? Not to get a great body but because you have something you want to express. Swimming which I still enjoy immensely is your body moving in water not to get a good workout in but because the feeling is amazing. Running in the woods not for cardio but for being able to move your body forward on any surface in a natural environment.
When I look at everything I have tried and what parts I have enjoyed the common ground is natural movement. Therefore it was amazing to find this concept (don’t really know what to call it) that has opened my mind to practicing natural movement for its own sake. It doesn’t have to be called yoga, dance, gymnastics, MMA or something else it can just be movement. To have a capable, adaptable, functional and agile body that can move effectively in any environment is the utmost goal. Not looks, not how much weight you can lift, how fast you can run.
Natural Movement includes all the movement we as human animals should be able to perform to get through every day life as a wild human. Sitting, squatting, crawling, pushing, lifting, pulling, hanging, walking, running, climbing, swimming, fighting. A short clip on Natural Movementin the form of a book trailer:
Since finding natural movement I have started to do sessions. Learning how to crawl, sit and stand. I have also added it to my every day life because it feels so natural. For the past week I have tried to incorporate natural movement as often as I can. I’ve spent most of my time at home sitting in different positions on the floor not on chairs or in the sofa and practicing getting up and down off the floor. When walking with the LIL wolf I walk off the path/pavement as often as I can and play and run with her. I sit in a squat when waiting for the train. I stop at playgrounds to practice balancing and hanging. At my desk I stand without shoes thinking about my posture. I practice deep breathing everytime I remember to do it. I stand up in meetings when I’ve been sitting for too long. My body feels sore and unuse to the movements but it feels amazing.
It’s not a set regimen that you have to follow instead it feels like exploration and play. Can I do this? How does this sitting position feel? Should I crawl to the kitchen to fetch something? I feel almost like I have awoken my inner child and I love it. I have fallen head over heels for this way of thinking about movement and I see an amazing journey ahead.