THINK OF ME AS A PERSONAL TRAINER WITH A TWIST AND THE TWIST BEING WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS
Typical approaches to health focus on diet and exercise but largely overlook stress, sleep, our overall lack of movement (regardless of exercise) and our increasingly toxic planet.
But what of the role of nature? The role of community and of living and working with purpose?
How do these overlooked elements factor into your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing?
CONNECTION TO SELF
Today, the pace of life demands action, ‘fall behind and you’ll be left behind,’ is the mantra of progress but with a deeper connection to self, we can ensure our actions are aligned with our values, enabling us to choose work/relationships/education/habits which are supportive of our highest self or self expression.
CONNECTION TO NATURE
There is a natural order to life on this planet and increasingly, technology has allowed us modern human beings to operate outside it. Since the advent of agriculture, humans have gradually divorced themselves from the rhythms of the planet. Roughly 10k years later, it’s difficult to summarize how removed we have become as its effects are woven into every facet of life.
It’s about how we move (averaging 8+ hours/day in a chair), how we eat (30 species a year compared with hunter gatherer average of 200+) and how we think (Greekian logic or mental perception vs indigenous heart centred or feeling perception)
CREATING INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY
As a reflection of the values and interests you’ve grown into, an intentional community is a powerful place to anchor your new habits and ways of being.
Mens work explores what it means to be a conscious, self-aware man in today’s world. Its aim is to help men access and embody their masculine essence in a balanced way that supports them in becoming strong, confident, focused, balanced and grounded.
I work with a Vancouver based community called the Samurai Brotherhood. You can learn more about the modern mens movement and the brotherhood here.
A TRADITIONAL DIET
Nutrition is a 20th century concept, one whose finding have been (and continue to be) shaped mostly by politics or interest groups and rarely by objective science. Today, the shifting landscape of nutrition advice and fad diets has misled and confused most people.
In place of dietary dogma, and after guinea pigging my own vegan, raw vegan, vegetarian and paleo experiments I recommend a traditional diet, similar in practice to paleo but with some wiggle room. The concept was first brought to the west and outlined by Dr. Weston A Price, an early 20th century dentist.
A traditional dietary approach also introduces periodization to meal time: Protein fasting, intermittent fasting and long term fasting are well trodden dietary frameworks that challenge the 3 meals a day structure and offer benefits like improved body composition, inflammatory control, mental alertness and strengthened immunity.
AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
if you exercise for an hour a day what are you doing for the other 23?
An active lifestyle approach to physical literacy suggests that there is more to be gained by the aggregate of the 23hrs of non exercise movements each day vs a dedicated workout.
NATURAL MOVEMENT / MOVNAT
Just as a traditional diet means taking cues from our ancestors, a natural movement approach to physical fitness means looking back at how we used to be.
Hint hint we were hella strong, adaptable and resilient.
Prior to agriculture (so for 95% of our species experience on this planet) we averaged 5000 kilometres/year walking, often carrying heavy loads over rough terrain. This time walking was punctuated by bursts of intensity; hunting, fighting or fleeing danger.
I'm certified in the MovNat system of physical training and coach elements of this using logs and stones on beaches the forrest and streams.
Up until our late 20's or early 30's the bodies adrenal glands give us a free pass of sorts: we're able to enjoy a work hard / play hard lifestyle but for most people this eventually comes crashing down. Whether you're experiencing burnout or are on your way there, energy management is an essential skill for navigating modern life.
Our biological stress response evolved to handle acute stressors like hungry lions and other fight or flight scenarios. Today, this stress response is woefully disconnected from the reality of modern life: The undercurrent of stress and anxiety that pervades our modern experience is the biggest threat to your health. While we work to uproot the underlying causes of this angst, it's essential for modern humans to carry with them a toolkit of stress management practices. In tandem with the energy awareness above, this tool kit uses mind/body/spirit practices to proactively alleviate stress and anxiety.