We don’t need a book of rules and regulations not a reason nor a philosophy in order to move. Not anymore than birds need a flight manual.
Yoga has brought me a newfound appreciation for movement. Prior to cultivating a yoga practice, I was lazy and proud of it! I was always that friend that ate the worst stuff and hated anything that even looked remotely like exercise. As I rounded my thirties, this lifestyle left me feeling tired, bloated, and generally unhappy. I was no longer able to ignore my physical body, I was forced to do something about it. And so I started yoga, and to my surprise, it’s grown to be one of the great passions of my life. It’s given me more peace, strength, and focus than any other practice I’ve ever tried.
Along with my yoga, I’ve become increasingly interested in human biology and anatomy. Reading about how our bodies work has helped me foster a connection with my own body, and it’s led me to related fields and disciplines. This is how I came across the concept of movement culture and Ido Portal, an Israeli mixed martial artist, and global movement guru. He describes Movement Culture thusly:
Movement Culture represents a contemporary paradigm shift in physicality, moving us away from main culprits in movement and fitness as well as the separation between health, aesthetics, performance and art.
The “mover” is someone who desires to redefine physicality in a new way. It’s not about being a sportsman and specializing in a particular discipline. It’s about being cross-disciplinary.
Someone who sees beyond the technicalities of each movement pursuit or discipline. Someone who finds interest and wishes to understand the body, health, performance and physical artistic expression.
He talks about this and more on this episode of Lewis Howe’s podcast, School of Greatness. We learn about Ido’s background and upbringing, along with what’s motivated and inspired him along his journey. He recommended the following challenges for those that want to explore movement culture further:
These aren’t the squats you do at the gym! The idea’s to sit in a squat for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days. Of course, the 30 minutes are done throughout the day. You have to ease your way into spending long amounts of time in a squat. Start with 30 seconds, throughout the day, that will begin to condition the tissues. By month’s end, the benefits can include increased mobility in the knee and hip, along with improved digestion.
HANG IN THERE! This challenge’s a little more advanced. The idea’s to spend a total of 7 minutes a day in various hanging challenges. It benefits the shoulders, elbows, wrists, lower back, ribs. Gravity plays a huge part to help align you.
Those are just a couple examples of how you can move your body. In addition to his YouTube channel, Portal also holds a variety of events and workshops throughout the world to share his teachings with a loyal community of movers. He’s an interesting character, and I like his philosophy. I’ve started following him and watching his videos to incorporate these ideas into my yoga, and to encourage intuitive, non-prescriptive movement.