Practice natural movement, be strong and capable

I just completed a re-certification as a level one MovNat trainer and I want to share with you more about this amazing system. MovNat is a practical system of progressive, natural movement training. Anyone can do MovNat, the system is beneficial for current or former athletes, weekend warriors, or couch potatoes. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, start at the beginning. You will build up the skills to move well in everything you do, and lay a foundation for more challenging and complex movements.

Moving naturally explores the basic movements that humans need to do to survive in their environment. This includes: crawling, getting up off the ground, walking, running, balancing, lifting and carrying, catching and throwing, jumping, and climbing. These movements are evolutionary adapted and doing them is how we learn to move. When we are babies, we learn to hold our heads up, scoot around, crawl, get up off the floor, squat, and begin to walk. We develop our balance and strengthen our muscles. We breath deeply into our bellies and learn coordination. As children, we run, jump, climb, catch and throw. We move playfully learning our bodies and exploring our world.

In this way, MovNat trains you for the real world. This is different than training to perform a specific task or a specific sport. You can do more with less with MovNat because it emphasizes efficiency first – it is more important to do a movement well than just complete a task. MovNat emphasizes good breathing and posture, proper tension and relaxation, and good position and timing to create safe, efficient, and effective movement. You don’t need to train for MovNat, the movements themselves build your strength and conditioning over time. MovNat breaks down movements into simple parts and progressively builds you up until you are safely doing things that you could never have imagined you’d be able to do.

As adults, if we don’t continue moving in all kinds of ways, we often lose these abilities. We call this aging, but this isn’t aging, it is accumulation over time of disuse and habitual inefficient and unaware movement patterns. We may not even be able to move in complex ways if our or our loved ones lives depended on it! MovNat helps you progress from unconscious incompetence, to conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and finally unconscious competence. The magic sauce to reclaim your inherent abilities is simple: awareness and practice.

When I was looking for a training certification to increase my effectiveness with massage clients, I rejoiced to find MovNat. As someone who prefers being active in work and exploring outdoors rather than in a gym, MovNat spoke to me. MovNat makes moving fun and considers the whole person. Gone are boring exercises and in its place are creative challenges and playful exploration. This is the way we were designed to learn movement, broken down into simple achievable challenges. We can recommit to moving now, wherever we are.

When I did my MovNat certification a little over two years ago, I was among the more sore I had ever been. I was amazed that all we had been doing were simple movements like crawling, jumping, and climbing. On the last morning of my training we warmed up our sore bodies with an obstacle course. We all placed objects around the room that we had to move over, under, on top of, or around. It was fun, and by the end I hardly felt sore. Though MovNat may seem simple, natural movements can be combined, and increased in complexity and intensity, to meet any physical challenge.

This time around, as I trained for my re-certification tests, I was amazed to notice how the rest of my life got easier. Even putting on my clothes in the morning became a fun, mindful exercise in balance. I barely noticed the nagging spot in my midback that gets tight from giving massage, even after a fully booked week of clients. I already understood the benefits of MovNat, but I gained an experiential reminder of how practicing foundational movements like crawling, balancing, jumping, and climbing prepare me for ALL the movements I do each day. If you, like me, work in a similar position all day, especially if you sit, I recommend this awesome MovNat post on 5 Natural Movements to Reverse the Damage of Sitting. Practice, and you will experience more ease each day.

If you are excited to learn more about MovNat, inspired to get moving, or just looking to refine your physical practices, there is a WEALTH of information in A Beginner’s Guide to MovNat. Included are invaluable tips on how to build a foundation, get moving, and be kind to yourself when you make mistakes (you will, that’s how you’ll learn). There are videos with beginner MovNat combinations, and even a four week series with video links. You don’t need a gym to start MovNat. In fact I did all my re-certification tests outside at home or at the park with a few props. If these movements seem simple or easy for you, give them a try anyway. Trust in the process, these are the building blocks that will allow you to do complex movements safely and efficiently. Have fun, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about MovNat.