MovNat: Apply it to LifePosted | 0 comments
I just finished two months of volunteering on organic farms in Switzerland. The experience has been both extremely interesting and challenging; I’ve learned lots about a different culture, a new language, and about myself. But that’s another post entirely.
I’ve been pretty obsessively applying the knowledge I gained from the MovNat trainer certification in June to everything. I wasn’t traveling across the ocean just to put my MovNat training to the test, but working on farms has proven to be a perfect way to discover just how truly effective that training was (answer: incredibly).
It didn’t take long to confirm that MovNat’s principles are universal. The movement efficiency principles can be adapted to even the most specialized tools, like some of the farming equipment I was using.
There was still a learning curve to using them well, especially a giant scythe used for weeding, but from the start I avoided the fatigue and discomfort you get from using them badly. It would have been much harder to appreciate my beautiful surroundings and stay focused with pain constantly nagging me.
Many other volunteers would talk about having back pain after having been stooped over picking vegetables or weeding for hours. I avoided all that by opting to go into a full squat while doing these activities. Even after hours of doing this, I felt great. In fact, it became even easier to rest in the squat position. On my last farm, which grows kiwi — yes, apparently kiwi can grow in Switzerland — an older man gently warned me to not load crates with too much weight (a nice precaution) in order to protect my back. I could see why he made the suggestion, as most of the workers were letting the crates pull them, back first, when lifting and lowering them. Instead of making their mistake, I focused on leading the motion with the hips and maintaining a straight back, just like I teach my MovNat clients.
I had anticipated that I would probably be pretty exhausted and maybe a little achy, especially after the first week of volunteering full-time. My fellow volunteers must have also expected the same, considering the number of times I heard them ask me “Es-tu fatigue?” or “Are you tired?”
To my own surprise, I wasn’t feeling tired or achy. Sometimes, I would add on my own training before dinner or spontaneously practice with anything I could find during breaks. I could do this because moving with efficiency helped me conserve energy during the day, so when night came I would have enough energy left over to play.
Actually, during the day, I had extra energy. To keep myself entertained while picking kiwi (it gets repetitive quickly), I intentionally made it more challenging - positioning myself further away from the vines, so that I had to stretch as far as I could in order to reach them. To say I got a lot of balance and reach practice would be a huge understatement.
When dealing with mundane stuff, like kiwi-picking, you can use MovNat skills to make a game out of it. Suddenly your boring task turns into an opportunity for physical play. I do it all the time and always get a rush of positive energy.
I have some more good news: you don’t need to do something crazy like flying off to a foreign country to live on a farm for months in order to discover how useful MovNat can be. Instead, take what you learn from a MovNat workshop and apply it directly to your life, right now. You’ll be amazed by all the changes, big and small.
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