A while ago I arrived on the island of Ibiza and I started promoting classes of natural movement. All the people I talked to frowned back at me asking, “Oh, what is that?! A new kind of yoga?”.
To which I would reply, "It is a full body training based on primal movements. It is outside in Nature. It improves posture, strength, agility and adaptation to environmental demands”.
“Oh, it’s a kind of yoga then!"
“Aaaarrr… not really! Yoga is a spiritual teaching, natural movement is an exercise training. Anyway, both of them are a way of life!".
It seems people in Ibiza can only think of 'yoga' if I put the words 'natural' and 'outdoor' together...
If you are from Southern Europe like me you might be familiar with the usual ‘delay’ by which new fads get to us.
The natural movement trend, or more specifically MovNat™, started in the US in 2008 and it has been growing ever since. No wonder people on this side of the Atlantic haven’t heard of it yet.
The name MovNat™ indicates the certifying organ of a training system based on natural movement.
So what is natural movement?
It is not easy to explain it by words in a blogpost. You can find online videos like this one that can help in the task, though nothing compares the experience of a live class.
Can you understand what is running if you have never tried to?
Can you understand what is jumping if someone only told you?
Folks, if you are eager to know what natural movement is you need to book a class and try it out for yourself. If you happen to be in Ibiza you can book a class or a workshop with me, or you can look up online where is the trainer closest to you.
How do you think I found out about MovNat™ myself in the first place? Plainly, by going to a class.
It was March 2015 and I was in Copenhagen. My best friend M. knew I was so much into natural lifestyle and that I loved body movement. She had a friend who thought this weird thing, so she put me in touch with him. “Sara, you gotta try this!”
I called B., the trainer, and asked him if we could meet up for a coffee, so he could explain to me natural movement. He said: “Sure! I’d be happy to explain it to you! Just come to class today at 4.30 pm”.
“Ehm.. actually I just wanted an explanation over a cup of coffee…ehm…I'm not sure I can do it... ehm.. well, ok! See you later!”.
I didn't know what to expect.
Yet training my body and learning how to prevent injuries, while being outside barefoot in the park sounded like a lot of fun.
Yes, sign me up for that!
4.30 pm on that very same day I showed up in a green city park to attend my first MovNat™ class.
It was great!
60 minutes of feet stretching, squatting and crawling around. We were a small group of people roughhousing in a public park, like if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Because it is the most natural thing in the world, actually!
If you didn't have the chance to attend a class yet, I think this is the easiest way to answer the question "What is natural movement?".
Think about these four movement practices: (1) outdoors sports, (2) parkour, (3) fitness and (4) yoga.
Natural Movement blends together the Nature connection and playfulness of outdoor sports, the agility and environmental adaptation of parkour, the mindfulness of movement of yoga and last but not least the conditioning and the endurance of 'regular' fitness.
Natural movement encompasses all of the above, yet it is simple and accessible to all.
It is something very natural. And pleasant. And fun!
Natural movement is nothing 'crazy'. It is not a 'never-seen-before' thing.
Luckily, it has been super-seen before.
Luckily, for our survival as a species and for our well being today.