Humanoeuvre: Movement – Mobility – Mindfulness

Humanoeuvre.pngThe human body is a design marvel. We are built to move, and in a seemingly endless variety of ways.

Physically, when compared to other animals, we are fairly pathetic. We can’t run fast, when either pursuing prey or running away from a predator; we have no fangs, claws or horns for either hunting, self defence, gnawing or digging. We are just a soft, hairless, weakling with an oversized head.

But how we move!

This ability to change our movement patterns from moment to moment has allowed our true super power to come to the forefront and allow our species to spread across the globe, becoming one of the most generalist, adaptable creatures on the planet. Movement has created adaptability.

Walking, sprinting, climbing, swimming, jumping, swinging, crawling, balancing, rolling, throwing, catching, dancing, crafting, we do it all.

Or at least we did.

Fast forward to the modern, western era and things look a little different.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You wake up, do your ablutions and go down stairs.

You sit down to have coffee and some breakfast, maybe watch Lorraine for a bit.

You drive to work, sitting down.

You get to work and sit down at your desk, only getting up for the toilet (often sitting down) or a coffee break. Maybe a quick sit down lunch at a local cafe.

5pm comes and we sit back in the driving seat and head home for a sit down dinner with the family.

We’ve worked hard today and are knackered. All we want to do is sit on the sofa and watch Game of Thrones.

Rinse, repeat.

animal-animal-photography-cat-35662Compared to our ancestors, even those only a couple of generations past, we don’t move anywhere near the level we are designed to.  We are potentially sitting ourselves to death.

Even those who are meeting the guidelines for healthy activity are now seeing the same ill-health markers as those that don’t. This is referred to as Active Couch Potato. The huge amount of time sitting is having a deleterious effect over the good exercise and movement work put in, compromising our metabolic health. See this study and this post.

What’s the answer?

To view movement like food.

If we ate salad for 1 hour, three times a week, it would undoubtedly be of benefit to our nutritional profile. But is it going to counteract the fact that we eat cake for the rest of the time? No, of course not. It’s the same for movement.  

I’m drawing on the excellent work of Katy Bowman here (check her out, she’s ace).

What we need is movement snacks, little and often, and as varied as we can make them. Sprinkle these throughout your day and some pretty cool changes start to occur.

And if you’re not sure where to start with movement, or you would like to take part in a social event focused of moving, then why not try the new Humanoeuvre course starting next week.

In this course we will be looking at gentle stretching and mobility, ground based movement and crawling patterns, balancing, mind/body awareness, relaxation, and breathwork, amongst many other aspects of movement.

It is suitable for absolutely any ability level. You are likely to have sore abs from the constant laughter. This is supposed to be fun!

This course starts next Wednesday 1st May at 6.30pm.

To book, click here

Or contact me more info.

Move along now!

5K to Carn: 5 week introduction and preparation for the Ríth An Carn mountain race.



As many people know (because I keep banging on about it endlessly) I am currently in the middle of a training cycle to try and get me ready for the Seven Sisters Skyline Mountain Ultra Marathon.

This, for the most part, involves me running up as many steep climbs as possible, and while not the steepest by any stretch, Carntogher Mountain is the hill I spend most time struggling up.

It’s perfect for me. I look at it every morning when I open my curtains, it’s constantly changing conditions beckoning me up. I’ve been up in every conceivable weather pattern. No trip to the Carn is ever the same. It’s both a struggle and pure exhilaration every time I run it.

In short it has become one of my favourite training partners.


My 2 favourite running partners, the Hound and the Carn



The very first time I ‘ran’ it I thought I was going to die. The mountain very quickly taught me the lesson of the tortoise and the hare. The second time I ran it I allowed myself to walk much more.

The result? 4 minutes quicker.

Lots of people in the various running groups I work with tell me they’d love to to take part in the annual Ríth An Carn race in the 12th July, but feel that it’s a bit beyond them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you can run around the 5k mark, you can do this. Hell, even if you can’t do a full 5k running, you can still take part, running what you can, walking what you can’t.

You see the secret to running in the hills is to be okay with walking.

Yes, those speed freaks out front appear to be floating up the side of the hills on the vapours of their own ethereal emanations. But the rest of us?

For me, the only thing emanating from myself is sweat, snot and a chain of good Anglo-Saxon expletives.

So with this in mind I have decided to run a 5 week, lead up to the Carn race, course. We’ll meet up on a Thursday evening, then again on a Sunday morning.

During these sessions we will learn to conquer the Carn through utilising correct body mechanics, stride patterns, knowing when and how to walk, and tackling down hill sections. We will perform some hill repeats to strengthen our legs and cope with the extra work required for uphill jaunts. But above all we are going to have a lot of fun and lose any fear we have up running up hills.


the hills are alive with the sound of wheezing

This course starts on Thursday the 6th June at 6pm and Sunday the 9th at 10am.

Cost: £20

Feel free to contact me if you require any more info.