A balanced movement practice, to me, should have an element of restorative movement, an element of mobility development, an element of injury prevention, and an element of athletic development; specifically natural fitness.
The proportions of what each individual needs to focus on may vary, but if even one of these elements are neglected, I believe that such a movement practice is incomplete or imbalanced. There may not be anything wrong with the things that consist of that practice, but if something is missing, my goal is to offer the tools and techniques to fill in the blanks.
Restorative Movement (self-care techniques)
In my practice, this involves self-treatment techniques based on my two decades of professional experience as a Shiatsu & Sotai therapist. We learn to employ our body weight with hand and finger pressure along the meridians to relieve abnormal pain and tension by clearing stagnation with Shiatsu. With Sotai, we balance the function of our joints and nervous system to restore structural alignment. A complete restorative movement practice includes palpation, some "stretching", and an aspect of active movement for neuromuscular reprogramming. There are a lot of crossovers between Restorative Movement & Mobility Development, but the way we approach these movements is different depending on what the intention is.
Mobility Development (Flexibility & Joint Resilience)
Mobility is a harmonization between strength and flexibility of our joints. A joint that is only flexible has poor integrity, and if it lacks strength, it has a hard time resisting buckling under pressure. Conversely, a joint that is only strong becomes stiff and brittle, unable to absorb pressure, and increasingly limited in its range of motion. This aspect involves active meridian "stretching", MovNat-based ground movement, and joint mobilization focused on cultivating body awareness and whole body movement synchronization.
Injury Prevention (safe-falling)
Although mobility development itself plays a big role in injury prevention, and neglecting problems that require restorative movement increases the likelihood of hurting oneself, injury prevention in this aspect of practice, is concerned with developing the actual techniques of falling safely. This consists mostly of breakfalls and rolling, but also integrates balancing, single leg strengthening, and jumping on flat ground (especially the landing), to develop your proprioception and body awareness in movement. Everything in this element of practice works from the ground up, and is progressive in nature, so there is always something suitable for beginners and some interesting details and optional progressions for more experienced practitioners.
Natural Movement Fitness (MovNat Training)
This aspect of a balanced practice is focused on developing our athletic capacity using natural movement skills that are innate to every human being (that's you!). This element consists of skills such as lifting, balancing, jumping, throwing, crawling, and more. There is a focus on conditioning here, but also including the most important points and common inefficiencies about positioning and breathing, sequence and timing, tension and relaxation; essentially, how we build the skills. We explore easier, as well as more challenging variations, depending on what you need. Sessions often start with a warm up, then a segment of skill development, and then a combo or circuit that challenges our conditioning. We finish off with a brief cool down. The level of intensity and volume you subject yourself to in these classes is flexible completely up to you, so two people can do the same training session, while the level of challenge can be scaled to suit each individual.
Longevity and Quality of Life
I believe in each individual taking personal responsibility for maintaining their health, and I want to guide you to learn the tools and develop the mindset to continuously move toward balance and vibrant health.
Cultivating Freedom of Movement
Beyond the element of stimulating the natural self-healing potential of our bodies through restorative self-treatment exercises and techniques, this training approach aims to build flexibility and joint resilience, to become strong and mobile enough to unlock your movement potential and build a body that supports the kind of movement and activities you enjoy.
Reclaim your Natural Fitness
Learn how to perform Natural Movements correctly through the MovNat system. Injury Prevention and Mobility Development are a great introduction, while many resources to get deeper into the MovNat practice exist, such as e-courses, free email newsletters, and more.
There are so many methodologies out there, and so many schools of thought. Many of these methods try to replace the activities that you enjoy, but my approach is about supporting the activities that you love to do. These are skillsets that will make you stronger, more coordinated, more resilient, more flexible, less prone to injury, and better able to support your natural healing process. Whatever other activities you enjoy to do, the practice of Natural Mobility will not only improve your performance, but also enable you to move more freely and prevent issues from creeping up.