1. How would you define your personal practice?
My personal practice is a lot like my temple. It is where I go to pray, find meaning, and set the sail of my life. It is a stable platform in a world rapt with uncertainty. Something that I can return to again and again, as such I also use it to free myself from my self-imposed limitations and release my innate potential. For me this goes way beyond the athletic or movement based outcomes of movement culture, and into the very essence of the totality of my life. How can my time in my personal practice contribute to better relationships, life purpose and self-expression? As important as the practice is to me, and as much as I enjoy doing it, I do not practice it for its own sake, but for the deeper sense of alignment I can have in the rest of my life. My influences expand beyond movement culture, and they delve heavily into psychosomatics. I am mostly interested in how the mind, body and spirit interact and that place is where I like to spend the majority of my time.
2. What turning points have you encountered on your movement journey?
I have had several, and at the time of this writing am currently going through another one. I have discovered that it is best not to be attached to a particular set of skills, and simply develop an intention, season and ongoing process. As a kid I actually taught myself to throw knives, and use a staff with some pretty significant skill. In my early teens, I took my knife throwing to whole new level, started practicing parkour and taking martial arts more seriously. It was all very unstructured and organic at the time. At around 17, I decided to get into Crossfit, which took me to 6 days a week at high intensity training. At the time I knew very little about biomechanics or stress physiology.
Due to this ignorance and the fact that I was unaware of some serious physical compensations, I ended up destroying my body and by age 18 could barely run a few yards without agonizing knee pain. I also had banged up my shoulders, wrist and elbows. This then led me into a broad range of discipline in an attempt to heal myself. Corrective lifting, Daoist movement arts, primal movement, developmental movement, yoga, mobility and bioenergetics therapy. These have all taught me different lessons and together they form the core of what I practice.
3. What role has injury played in cultivating your current niche?
Injuries have been instrumental in my process. They are the signals, and messages coming from your body, about what needs more love, attention and awareness. We often think of injuries as something that happens only to muscles, bones, tendons, joints and ligaments, but to me the word has a broader meaning. Hormonal disregulation, deep chronic tension, emotional wounds and digestive trouble amongst others, can all be injuries to the total integrity of the organism. I have suffered from all those types of injuries at one point or another and am still recovering from some. For me, I view the whole person as what needs to be healed, cultivated and integrated into a more synchronous and alive totality.
4. Do you consider yourself a teacher? Why or why not?
I would personally consider myself more of guide. I prefer to help people understand principles of action and go from there. I am less inclined at the moment to prescribe a particular path or way of doing things. I much more skilled at helping people find their way inside the chaos by pointing them in the right direction and explaining what they might expect in the transformative process in general.
5. What has been your experience with physical education, both in the schooling system and sought out knowledge/ know-how elsewhere?
My main teacher has been my own body and process of healing. In it, I do my best to discover the universal inside the individual. I am a certified trainer with Onnit academy both in their foundations program and a steel mace “specialist”. I have consulted bioenergetics therapist, my spiritual mentor is a martial arts master, and I have connections to many “movers”. I am a voracious and obsessive student however, and look into as many fields as I can to learn and explore more. The least instructive experiences I have had have been in official settings. Learning from my own body and understanding the experience of others is the best teacher I think.
6. How do you involve your mind/ emotions into your physical routines?
The mind and emotions are the primary focus of my current movement practice, and I view the physical as a means to touch those places. Becoming more grounded, clearer headed, better focused, more emotionally versatile and expressive, learning to contain instead of repress, shedding old emotional wounds, expanding my sexuality, and healing the total self is what I seek from my routines, which are a lot broader than “movement” alone.
7. What are your personal aspirations regarding movement? How do you hope to find purpose and use in the skills you have built?
For me it comes down to how well I can live my life, my capacity to serve and be at home in my body; in a healthy, happy and pleased body. This shift has been a while in the making, but at the moment, some big pieces are coming together congruently in that I am strongly transitioning from training for movement skills, to training for my life. It easy to believe we really are doing that, when in truth we are simply practicing routines for the sake of getting better at the routines. The practice can look like many different things, but the intention must be singular.
8. How can people find/ contact you? Do you have a site or social media handle to share?
My website: theancestralnow.com
email: [email protected]