10 Ways MovNat Changes Your Perspective About Fitness and Movement
By Danny Clark, MovNat Performance Director and Master Instructor
Many people are inherently resistant to learning MovNat, especially those who have been in the industry of fitness or therapy for awhile. Instead of going through the sometimes uncomfortable, energy intensive process of reorganizing thought patterns and professional protocols through learning a new perspective, they’d rather label MovNat as something that already exists: a movement or educational modality they’ve already learned or a copy of some other brand on social media doing similar movements. Since pieces of Natural Movement can be found in sport, some people even try to claim we are “stealing” from sport X, Y, or Z. How ironic, because if you scratch below the surface you’ll discover Natural Movement is the foundation of all movement…of course you are going to see pieces of it everywhere!
But, here’s the thing: MovNat is so much more than a pool of movements. It’s an irreducible, rational perspective on earning physical and mental capability in progressive steps through the practice of Natural Movement and the understanding of the crucial concepts that create efficient, adaptable movement. In fact, MovNat itself was created through the integration of Erwan Le Corre’s own practice (in nature) and concepts (through Georges Hébert’s work and modern science). It’s a sharp, clear lens on the pure, original purpose of movement and mind. But it does require a massive shift in thinking since it’s a divergence from the status quo.
The question then becomes: do you have what it takes to seek a deeper, clearer understanding of movement than you currently have, and also deliver that perspective (and its benefits), at least in part, to others?
Here are some of MovNat’s perspectives that make it unique:
– MovNat isn’t just about expanding range of motion or building fitness to its extremes; it’s about integration and honoring the natural, sustainable capabilities of the human organism over its lifespan. The evidence of what is “natural” and “sustainable” can be observed in modern day tribes of undomesticated human beings. There is no abstraction; MovNat is based on concretes (Note: but that doesn’t mean MovNat is “primitive”).
– MovNat acknowledges the crucial role of complex environments (read: nature) in (a) creating sustainable, efficient, effortless feeling movement and (b) improving cognitive function. The research is clear that many of these effects aren’t replicable in sterile environments.
– MovNat believes its teachers must earn teaching ability through extensive experience in both the practice and teaching of Natural Movement, as well as conceptual knowledge. Most organizations prioritize one area over the others.
– MovNat is about authentic education. It’s not driven by what is eye catching, entertaining, or “sexy” (though it often creates those things as a byproduct).
– MovNat is about addressing the root causes of movement dysfunction. It’s a complex topic, but the early suppression of the instinct/drive to move at a young age plays a big role in the problem.
– MovNat is about recapturing and “exercising” the evolutionary purpose of movement and mind for the benefit of the individual and the community. No other method shares this perspective in practice and concept.
– MovNat focuses on movement-based cues (Center of Gravity, Base of Support, Body Weight Shifting, Momentum, etc.) instead of muscle-based cues (engage your Lats, Glutes, Rhomboids, etc). This alone is a huge leap for many professionals conditioned to only teach through a narrow lens.
– MovNat prioritizes movement competence (“skill”) over capacity (“fitness”). This is the reverse of how many organizations approach movement. We observe that high levels of competence lead to better fitness and conditioning without directly addressing those capacities via complicated programming. In essence, when you move well, you move often because you enjoy it, leading to better fitness automatically! And of course, individual capacities (e.g. conditioning attributes like strength and endurance) can be developed in a direct way as well.
– MovNat is about foundational, practical movement, which serves as the base for all other movement (sport, artistic expression, capacity-based training). A foundation isn’t build out of isolated “correctives” or random movement explorations, but rather an integrated skill set of fundamental practical abilities.
– MovNat connects the dots between movement and altruism, a sentiment found in George Herbert’s work that we carry on in our own way: “Strong to be Helpful.”
To drive my point home, on the danger of putting MovNat in a box, let’s do a quick thought experiment:
Imagine looking at the world with fresh eyes. For a few moments, lose yourself completely in a powerful daydream. Envision yourself immersed somewhere deep in nature. Slow down how fast you are reading these words to allow the visualization to actualize. Forget all you know about yourself and the world around you. Feel the soft movement of air against your skin, the palette of light and color entering your eyes, the gentle wrapping of life bubbling all around you, and the smooth gliding sensation of your movements as you walk. Experience the plethora of incoming sensations sent to your brain with the curiosity of a child once again. Hold onto it for as long as you can. Then, take a moment to reflect on the feeling of deep awareness, the richness of perception, and the fullness of experience that accompanies total immersion in the moment.
Now, experience the complete opposite. Walk once again in your dreamland, but this time experience the world in a different way. Label the greenery as “trees” then blind yourself to them. Label the sounds as “birds” then tune out all incoming noise. Label the whole scene as “beautiful” then tune it out as you search for the next “post worthy” image amid a storm of thought. It takes way less attention, awareness, and curiosity, right? For most of us, this will be an all too familiar feeling of subtle anxiety coupled with spikes of euphoric anticipation. But, how deeply did you experience? What did you learn?
The brain is a powerful tool that helps us take complex phenomenon and make them simple. It helps us save energy, which was crucial for survival in eons past. Unfortunately, this process can come with a cost when the willingness to go beyond superficial generalizations is lost.
Don’t label MovNat or put it in a box. Come experience a fresh perspective.
Ready To Dive In To Natural Movement Fitness?
If you’d like to learn more and you’re ready to dive in to the world of Natural Movement Fitness, join us for a MovNat Level 1 Certification or a MovNat Workshop. We hold events all around the world. Or, find a MovNat Certified Trainer or Gym in your area. We also offer MovNat Online Coaching as an alternative to live instruction.
Most people know that they should be more physically active. Some even recognize the incredible value in a system like MovNat. But they struggle with actually implementing natural movement into their daily lives. That’s why we work closely with people from all walks of life to help them move better, get healthier and stronger, and discover their true potential with natural movement fitness. It’s also why we work extensively with health and fitness professionals who understand the value of this new paradigm and are eager to start implementing it with their clients.
So, if you’re ready to take your movement practice to the next level, this is your chance. Please join our community and check out an event near you soon.