by Aaron Baulch, NSCA-CPT / MCT Level 2 & Combatives
Stepping into my studio each morning I am continually reminded of its simplicity, not quite primitive, but close enough.
Kettlebells and a classic barbell set for lifting and carrying, a pull up bar for practicing hanging and climbing skills, various sized boards and concrete cinder blocks comprise a make shift balancing course that changes often. All of this sits atop a 30-by-30 set of black horse stall mats that allow space for crawling, rolling, throwing, catching, and jumping. With this simplicity comes a sense of peace and, with no bright shiny exercise equipment or sensory overload to distract us from our practice, mindfulness can slowly be cultivated. Of course, we get outside as often as possible to move barefoot in the grass and hopefully find a tree to climb. Each day, as a teacher, I get to use my imagination to create movement combinations that make work seem like play.
REFLECT AND VISUALIZE
Early mornings are a time I often use for reflection and visualization. I reflect on where my fitness and movement path began and visualize this path as it winds into the future. This reflection and visualization is always interesting and is a major part of who I have become as a teacher and student. Continually looking back and evaluating my movement practice has allowed me to create my own personal movement timeline. It began with competitive athletics, moved into and through a brutal but rewarding bodybuilding career and onto a rejuvenating and therapeutic yoga mat. Today, all of the significant points or dots on my timeline are being connected through natural movement and the MovNat method. How and when did your timeline begin? Is it something that you have thought about? If you have, Great!! If you haven’t, it is time to start!!
CONNECTING THE DOTS
As children, most of us can remember doing connect the dot pictures. Early on most of the dot pictures were simple, like stars, squares, and triangles. But, as we got older the pictures became more complex, like houses, jet planes, and people in action poses. The MovNat method is very much like a connect the dot picture. I often teach using this simple analogy as we deconstruct movement from the ground up, breaking down complex skills into simpler, more user-friendly techniques. This naturally breeds a more user-friendly learning environment, offering both the advanced practitioner and the raw beginner a chance to connect the dots on their own personal timeline. Connecting the dots on your timeline can be simple as long as you understand where you started and where you hope to go. This will make the movements that are practiced in the now have a greater purpose and meaning.
MovNat is an incredible method. When practiced mindfully and patiently, it has the ability to transform our bodies and minds. Everyday, in the simplicity of my studio, students learn a little at a time about themselves, as they connect natural movement dots that translate into their daily lives. Words such as PATIENCE, MINDFULNESS, EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE, all MovNat pillars, begin to take on a much greater meaning as we apply them with more mindful attention. For me, teaching has always been a gift. An opportunity. MovNat has given me, and others, a formula and platform to teach natural movement as it is intended – systematically deconstructing movement from the ground up. The system allows us, as teachers, to help students piece together their movement timelines. Piece by piece and skill by skill the dots are connected, making each daily practice have meaning. By now, I hope you are thinking about your personal movement timeline.
Do your dots create a clear picture?
Or, are the dots placed randomly with seemingly no connection or purpose?
Does your training practice translate to real world activities?
Do you feel trapped inside a tight and rigid body that is holding you prisoner?
If so, it is time to make a new dot on your timeline and begin to Mindfully connect the dots, the MovNat way.
For over 25 years, the health and fitness industry has been Aaron’s chosen profession. After graduating from Oklahoma University, with a Liberal Arts Degree, he moved into a natural career path as a personal trainer. Currently residing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Aaron’s training journey has included numerous opportunities, experiences and certifications. He is the Owner & Founder of Mindful Body Fitness and proud to be a MovNat Licensed Facility. Aaron will soon be completing his Restorative Exercise Specialist and Primal Health Coach Certifications, to go along with current certifications held from NSCA, MovNat, Mount Madonna Yoga Institute and FMS. He has extensively explored Anusara Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and the hardstyle kettlebell techniques of the RKC. Today, his focus lies in being both a teacher and student of Natural Movement, mindfully looking for the practicality within our movements and as often as possible, mixing in a large dose of play.