Natural Movement

We are currently running classes regularly in Canberra, on Tuesdays (morning and evening), Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings.

The “natural movement” concept is very, very general. So general that it has actually become controversial, with many people who seem to believe that it can’t actually be defined. My own take on it is really just that natural movement is everything humans have evolved to be able to do. Sitting at a desk typing and moving a mouse around is natural movement, it’s just not really something we need to practice more of. Some other forms of natural movement that perhaps we might like to practice could be: balancing, climbing, lifting, throwing, carrying, or wrestling; crawling or brachiating; swimming; spinal undulations or making circles and spirals with the tailbone or each individual vertebral segment; rolling, cartwheeling, jumping, spinning; or dancing; different ways of breathing or different forms of vocalization; sneaking, hiding, moving silently or without being seen.

So these classes are very much about exploration. “Fitness” is a side effect. Movement is the means and the end. We are exploring what a human is, what a human has been in the past and might be in the future. We are also exploring our entire pre-human ancestry, as recorded in our body structures, sensory systems and movement patterns. So in a single class we might practice everything from subtle movements to explore all of the hidden joints and muscles of the feet, to brachiating like gibbons on the monkey bars, to all-out sumo wrestling.

Here is the link to our “Natural Movement Canberra” Facebook group.

And here’s the “about” spiel for the group:

“NATURAL MOVEMENT!” Strength, mobility, agility of the whole body and each individual part. Freedom of movement in every direction from every position: lying down, sitting, kneeling squatting all-fours and standing. Every possible variation of rolling, crawling, squatting, walking running jumping balancing lifting throwing and wrestling! Incorporating concepts and methods from any and every culture and tradition, including Yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais, Qigong, Capoeira, Chinese Japanese and Russian martial arts, dance, Movnat, Parkour and the Methode Naturelle, oldschool strength training, Monkey Gym and gymnastics. An ongoing exploration of human ancestry through MOVEMENT in different environments.

Safe, progressive training involves gradual skill aquisition, re-hab and “pre-hab” of all joints, muscles and connective tissues, so classes are open to everyone regardless of prior training, age, gender or physical fitness (minors must be accompanied by and adult).

8 Responses to Natural Movement

  1. Susan Barbati says:

    Hi
    I was browsing through the web site as I am interested in learning more about Natural functional movements I am a personal trainer and feel that there is not enough of this in the industry and I would love to learn more for myself and my clients. I am not sure about class or where to begin so I was hoping for some feed back. If you could get back to me I would more than appreciate it.

    Susan Barbati

  2. simon says:

    Hello Susan! There is a lot of great stuff happening around the world. Ido Portal has been doing an amazing job of promoting “movement” as opposed to “fitness”, “strength”, “mobility” or any other label. Within the Parkour community also there are a lot of people doing good things – if you want great exercises that anyone can use, check out a guy called Ryan Ford from Apex Movement, on youtube. There are various other groups teaching things called “natural movement”, mostly with some of the right ideas, but often very limited in their approaches without enough emphasis on exploration and play. In the USA, friends of mine that I can recommend include Rafe Kelley, Joshua Leeger and Frank Forencich of Exuberant Animal, Kellen Millad, Richard Garcia and Kwame M. Brown (both of whom work with adults and children using play as the primary teaching and learning tool). Also check out any capoeira class, contact improvisation class, contemporary dance class, and wrestling/judo/aikido/BJJ class, or Systema (Russian martial arts), as all of these arts require as their base the ability to move freely in any direction from any position in response to unpredictable environmental conditions. Good luck!

  3. avery says:

    Hi,
    Just busted out of my cage and migrated north. If you’re classes are open Id like to come play… Could you let me know the particulars: time/ place/ duration/cost?
    ta.
    avery

  4. simon says:

    Hi Avery. The best place to check is the “natural movement Canberra” facebook group. Classes currently running are thursday evenings, saturday mornings, monday evening, tuesday morning, tuesday evening (indoors). The times and locations are all listed on the facebook page.

  5. avery says:

    sorry to be a luddite but it would seem that without a facebook account, one cannot see the class times… and, alas, i refuse the former but hope still for the latter…
    hence my old fashioned enquiry… perhaps this could still be remedied?

  6. simon says:

    It can indeed! Just send me an email at simon.thakur@gmail.com

  7. nic says:

    hey hello natural movement teachers,
    are you fine folk still running these classes?

  8. simon says:

    Hi Nic! Craig and I have both left Canberra now, but there is still a little crew of dedicated people training regularly in Canberra, I could put you in touch with them if you like, as well as many other great teachers and groups there.

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