Evolved Body Studio
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Movement University is an Instagram Account, and Movement Blog, focusing on both the biomechanics and somatic experience of movement. Move.U. looks to celebrate the nuances of movement and rest alike.

 

MOVEMENT UNIVERSITY

Often in the fitness world we hear this style is better than that, or this will help you but that will hurt you. Movement University started as a project to help clients understand that there is no poor movement just movement done poorly. Project Move.U. is an Instagram account, a blog, and soon to be classes and workshops designed to help clients, and teachers alike, discover and explore the nuances of movement through both a functional anatomy and somatic lens, all with a playful spirit and the message: just get out and MOVE!


 

It's not a weak glute ... it's a weak relationship with the glutes

Before we had words we had movement.

In the big picture, and in your life, it's true. Science claims modern humans have been around for roughly 200,000 years, but we only developed a spoken language about 100,000 years ago. We've spent half our history without words. Ask any new parent and I'm sure they'd agree, it'd just be easier if that baby could TELL you what they needed/wanted, instead of you intuiting those needs. Yet somehow you learn to, and somehow we communicate, each of us, and our ancestors alike.  We are ancestrally and genetically programmed to understand non-verbal cues.

Movement is the most primal iteration of communication. When words were non-existent, or at least not cohesively meaningful, we still understood (and continue to understand) each others intentions through movement. We know when a movement is friendly or aggressive, and if someone speaking a foreign tongue gestures me into the right direction I can usually find where I'm going. Movement itself is a language, and can be studied as non-verbal communication. What you're not speaking often communicates more than what you've said.

My Bachelor's degree is in Communication (specifically Interpersonal stuff). One of my favorite theories from those studies is the idea that "the message is in the receiver NOT the sender." Elaborated to, what you intend to say (your intention) is less relevant to the communication (or dialogue perhaps) than what the other person hears you say (or interprets your intention to be). That's why, more often than not, it's just good practice to re-state what you think you heard another person say (What I'm hearing you say is ________. Would you agree?)

As a Movement Coach and Myofascial Release Therapist clients will often ask how I "just knew" what was wrong with them? How could I have guessed that not only this hurt, but that THAT was also problematic?!?! It's simple, I understand movement as a language, and I practice good listening techniques. I let their body tell me, and if needed inform them what I've understood.

When I'm working with a new client I like to think there are three minds working to resolve movement issues. A client will frequently list off their problems or motivations. I'll then have my "educated" opinion on what might be some things on which to work. It's not until that person starts moving that we really start to get some answers ... from their body and movement language. I notice what areas they are more reluctant to, or incapable of, moving through. (What verbs don't they know?) Is the movement quality finessed / or sluggish / segmented or fluid / linear or spiraling / do they have access to all those qualities? (What adjectives have they explored?) Do they know where their bones are in space? Is the movement embodied? Mostly? (Are there nouns to work with?) Then it comes down to dialoguing and listening. Hey, what are you noticing about the way you're moving? Does it feel any specific way? How about when we change _____? Does/Doesn't that alter your experience? How might you be able to recreate that for yourself? 'Cause here's what I'm noticing ________. 

Each of those communication/movement experiences is telling a story. Your body is constantly informing you. It's telling your story to me, an observer, but it's also telling you a story about your experience. Those experiences are creating relationships. If I'm ever quoted I hope it's this: It's not about a weak glute, it's about a weak relationship with the glutes. Somewhere along the line you've stopped listening to them (and they could be any muscle, bone, etc) and so they've stopped communicating (maybe it was a skiing accident, or you were sedentary too long, or bad posture you mimic'd), and just like in any good dysfunctional relationship now when you want their attention you're really gonna have to work for it.

And here's the deal, as a Coach and Therapist I'm not always going to have the answers for you. In fact, I'm probably almost never gonna have those answers. What I have are suggestions and ideas (a lot of them) for new ways for you to communicate with your body in an effort to build stronger relationships. Some will be physical and some might be more subtle. After all, my experience with your movement language (and body) is just that ... MY experience. Yours may be different (it will definitely be different), and remember that the message is in the receiver. You have to work to enhance YOUR communication with your body and movement, but a good coach will assist you. Our original "language" was/is movement, you have to re-learn to settle in, be present, and observe ... and my job as a Coach is to help coach you in those efforts.

Because how you move matters. It matters for the obvious health reasons. It matters for the (sometimes obscure) way you feel in your body - good or bad? It matters in relationships. Those relationships you have with others, and more importantly the relationship you have with your body. What stories are you holding on to that are no longer valuable? That are no longer true? That are no longer consciously noticed but still affecting your life? Get curious about how your body communicates, and change the dialogue by changing the movement. 

Lastly, Instructors, is your experience with your client's movement getting in the way of their experience? Are you over-cuing from your interpretation of their movement language, without consulting their interpretation? Is it a weak glute you're seeing? Or is it a horseback injury from twenty years ago that you haven't asked about because you just "know" that your exercise will fix them? The stories and records encapsulated in that organic tissue are often far more interesting than exercises, and whether you hear those stories, or just watch them pantomimed throughout a movement, what would happen if you were more willing to hold the space for your client to explore what their body is saying to them rather than intervening with your experience?

by  James Crader