One of the more alluring things about MovNat® for many people is that primitive and primal feeling of getting fit without the gym and all the trappings of modern fitness. Simple and uncluttered, it moves something deep inside of us that craves connection with our physical bodies and with the natural world around us. It is a bit of deja vu as well- a remembrance of the way humans use to live and lived from much of our history. It is the siren song of our highest potential and of our wildness.
A common struggle for those new to Natural Movement® though can be where exactly to find places to do such a workout in nature. The more you play and practice the skills, the more you will begin to see the opportunities all around you. In the meantime though, while you develop your vision for appropriate natural playgrounds, here's a couple of tips for how to start training your brain to see the workout through the trees.
- Make sure its land that you have legal access too. It's not cool to invade private property.
- If you are in a forest environment, look for an open understory so that you don't have worry about accidentally crawling through poison ivy or another dangerous plant.
- Before beginning any workouts, check the area for an potential hazards- safety first! Make sure there are no pokey branches at eye level, broken glass from someones year's ago party or poisonous plants about! Though its important to practice mindfulness and awareness during your workout, checking the area for these hazards beforehand will allow you to direct your mindfulness toward you movement instead of objective hazards around you.
- Look for a fallen log- there are tons of things to do with sufficiently sized downed log! Balance on it, jump on or off of it, tripod transitions, vault over it, crawl on or under it. A log is a whole workout in and of itself.
- Look for rocks and smaller logs to play with. These can by lifted, carried, thrown in a variety of ways. You can also use them to practice weighted variations of get ups. Try doing a cross-squat get-up or strength get up while holding a rock to your chest or a log over your shoulder. Rocks that are too big to lift or large boulders can be great to practice jumping skills!
- Keep your eyes peeled for long straight(ish) branches about head height or just a little taller for practicing climbing skills. They are rare find, but they are out there. In the Northeast where I live, I find maples to be the best bet for finding good climbing branches.
- Don't forget to practice Leave No Trace. Take everything with you when you leave a place, including all garbage and potential litter. It's also a wonderful idea and highly recommended to have a little gratitude practice toward the trees and the woods. Make as simply or elaborate as you like, but expressing gratitude will help reinforce your connection with nature- one of the things that probably inspired you to get out into the woods and move in the first place.
Are you inspired to take your movement training out in to nature??? We'd love to see how you express your movement practice in the wild! Share a video on IG and use the hashtags #movnattribe and #wildhumanworkout to inspire others!