Sunday, September 30, 2018, 20:40





Life as we know it is characterised by Movement. This is the basic condition. On some level, everything that’s alive displays movement, is animated. The word ‘Animation’ is derived from a latin root ‘Anima’ meaning ‘Breath’ or ‘Soul’. Anima, the soul, the breath, is what seperates life from the lifeless.


Understanding that animation or movement is the primary affirmation of life is an important underlying principle. You may not have considered life from this perspective before, but doing so provides a solid foundation. We can work from this platform toward achieving a goal, or when moving toward self-understanding.


Beyond Fitness takes a deeper look at movement, and the shift toward 'Movement Culture’, through the wider lens of Personal Development. We go beyond movement as it relates to Fitness Science, and consider why we move? and why we choose to move in a particular way?


Understanding why we do what we do is the first step toward developing excellence in what we do.


The way in which life moves is an expression of the life force within it. On a fundamental level, it can be considered a visible expression of the soul.


Movement brings about change over time. Change occurs as a result of movement, whether it’s brought about through conscious action or happens unconsciously. We move to alter our state of being. This applies to involuntary movement like the beating of a heart, digestion of food, or adaptation at a cellular level. It’s also applicable to moving toward a pre-determined goal or destination. In each case, movement is the facilitator of change.


Life is movement and movement brings about change over time. The change could be an improvement to our physique for health or performance reasons, it could be to elevate our lifestyle, it could be self improvement through study, or it could be moving toward self realization. All forms of Personal Development require an effort, movement, by the individual to bring about change over time.


Personal Development can be seen as an effort by an individual to extend the boundaries of their experience. To go beyond the limits of their being. The objective may be a predetermined goal or a deeper understanding of their self. In either case, the individual seeking to develop themself is motivated to move toward their destination.


The way in which we choose to move is an expression of our individuality. Running or reading, walking or talking, singing or scrolling; our choice of movement, at any given moment, is a superficial reflection of who we are. We may aspire to become or achieve, but before we can successfully accomplish the goal we must make an accurate and honest assessment of who we are.  


The way in which we naturally move is a clue to self-discovery.  



Different animals move in accord with their nature, and humans naturally move in harmony with their individuality. Observing a human being, who isn’t aware they're being observed, will give you insight into their individuality. Observe the movement of a human who knows they’re being watched, and you'll see their personality on display.


We adopt postures and move in ways which, unknown to us, reflect who we are and how life has shaped us. Upper-crossed syndrome, forward head posture, a slow meandering gait, or shoulders back, chin up, a firm handshake, and a brisk confident stride. We reveal ourselves by the way we move unconsciously, and in the way we consciously choose to move.  


Consider the spiritual freedom of breakdancing, or the formal precision of a marching army. These are polar opposite human responses, through movement, to the world in which we live.  


We each have a natural inclination toward certain activities, particluar movement patterns, and we usually move in line with this. Some of us love to dance, others feel more at home swimming in water, while some would prefer to climb a mountain or travel. Choosing a form of movement, or a goal to move toward, comes out of self-discovery.  


A deeper observation of movement reveals that all living things move in order to achieve balance. We continually shift between states of rest and motion in order to find a degree of stability.  


A tree in the wind, clouds in the sky, the ebb and flow of the tide, all living things remain in motion, and in doing so bring stability to the whole. Understanding movement from this holistic perspective, we're able to engage in what we do more purposefully.


Achieving stability in our life results from finding the proper balance between Rest and Motion. We can accomplish this by understanding that movement is one energy, and that rest and motion are at opposite poles.  


This appiles when we're moving toward a goal, or when we're engaged in a form of movement for exercise. Our bodies adapt to physical exercise during a period of rest, and similarly the goal is achieved when we open ourselves to receiving it. Rest restores equilibrium and ensures that the necessary progressive adaptations are made.    


The way we move is in union with existence, and existence unfolds in harmony with our development. 


Now that we’ve had a look at the root of movement, and why we move in the way we do, we can better understand the innovation toward Movement Culture.


The current fitness trend toward ’Movement Culture’ has grown rapidly in the last few years, and proponents from Kelly Starrett to Erwan LeCorre and Ido Portal, have recently been at the forefront of popularising this method of training. It's popularity has grown to the extent that it's been described as 'an all encompassing, democratic form of fitness training, on the rise, and a new path to health and well being.’


The rise in ‘Movement Culture’ can be viewed as a form of response to the societal imbalance we're experiencing. More people are finding, and sharing, natural ways to move and develop the human body and enhance their experience.  


There's a fast-growing wave of athletes, dancers, martial artists, yogi, and other movers who are championing the benefits of enagaging in 'non-specific movement patterns'.   


We have chosen to participate in activities that ‘move’ us in one way or another, as an affirmation of life and our collective experience. We also do so in response to the life negation we see around us.  


Animation is our essence, and movement is the primary affirmation of life as we know it. You and I remain in motion as a positive expression of life, in union with existence.    


- find your flow and go with it -


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