We work in a few ways that are all directed towards the same end goal; a healthy human. For us to truly be healthy or have the best possible chance of health we have to believe in working towards and embodying these following key areas:
Each one of these points contributes to each other and seldom do they get presented and spoken about in a unified way.
We have a vision to build a Movement Retreat, which as you will come to discover, encompasses and brings to fruition the points previously mentioned. Within that vision, we see the cultivation of crops/food, alongside improvement and contribution towards the local landscape. Additionally, we foresee this to be an educational hub; as we will be utilising these different modalities to engineer a healthy human, we see it as a responsibility to share knowledge and best practice, especially in a world where business/people make themselves seemingly indispensable.
We are looking at building a movement retreat within nature and here are the specifics:
A large plot of land, with access to fresh water ideally leading towards a large body of water.
It is to be within or very close to a forested area that the land can feed into and integrate with.
Mountainous nearby geography would also be ideal.
To be able to accommodate a large building for practical sessions to be done indoors, also a communal kitchen, and theory working environments.
Cabins/tiny houses for visitors.
Sheds for storage of tools.
Residential property for permanent community, ideally spread out across the land (50+ metres) .
Flattened section to have classes outside.
Communal farm land.
Allotments for local community to use.
Lake, or space to create a lake.
Potential to contribute to replanting any potential deforestation.
Permaculture to be practiced upon the land
Movement - Acro-Balance, Animal Movement, Calisthenics, Climbing, Dance, Flow, Functional Training, Gymnastics, Parkour, Running, Strength Training, Tai Chi and Yoga.
Food Cultivation - Foraging, farm land and allotment practices taught by local community, in exchange for usage of the land. They can keep allotment produce profits.
Mind - Breathwork, Meditation, Neurological Behavioural Patterning, Self-Development.
Ecology - Learning about how to interact with nature, sustainable hunting, how to grow and build the different layers of forest, being mindful of our impact on the ecosystem.
Residents - These will consist of teachers, practitioners and contributors to the land. Permanently residing here, contributing towards construction, conservation and nurturing of the land. Their houses will be spread out across the land, so they are not 'living on top of each other' and they have to walk through a small amount of nature each day to get somewhere.
Locals - Referring to the indigenous people in the surrounding areas. They will be useful for their wisdom, and their understanding of the land. They can grow their own crops in the allotments with the opportunity to go sell their yield at the local market. In return, they become teachers for the visitors on how to cultivate food from the land, and they can also attend to the communal farming land.
Visitors - These are people who will come for retreats who will stay in visitor's cabins/tiny homes.
Specialists - Movement Practitioners, Botanists, Conservationists, Dieticians, Labourers and people well-versed in sustainable construction.
Please, allow us to dissect and zoom in on those points mentioned in the introduction:
Movement - Through various forms of movement, we will innovate the body’s potential. Without trying to give too much focus to distinguishing between the different regiments of physical practice, we will work within the realms of animal movement, calisthenics, climbing, dance, flow, functional movement, gymnastics, parkour, running, strength training and yoga. None of these are exclusive and we are in constant pursuit of keeping the lines between these practices blurred to avoid fixation on menial and arbitrary rules associated with said practices. The less clutter we can offer the mind, the more physical potential there is to be had. When we move, we teach our body to accommodate different types of load bearing, a broader array of movement patterns, increased exposure to proprioception and physical skills. By practising this, we are also are able to enact neurological change. The brain is literally programming everything you do, and the more that is done, the more the programming becomes hardwired, and you literally get layers of fat (this is a good thing) wrap around the neuron to protect this pathway and make the message-signaling more efficient.
Cross-hemisphere Communication - This is subject often overlooked in physical practice, but getting in movement that calls upon more of a cognitive roll to execute is key to not only a healthier body, but also brain. Think about the monotony found in regular gym exercises, or a job that requires to function on a basic level of repetition, slowly descending the body into numb/shutdown mode. This is not to mention the physiological ailments stemming from long-term exposure to repetitive motions. Cross-hemisphere communication in the physical sense is simply the movement of opposite limbs. Over time, we can recalibrate the body via the brain through acknowledging the brain as the same entity as the body and treating it as such.
Beyond the sport/gym - Our bodies were not designed for a sport or the gym. We constructed these things to suit our needs for a physical outlet, especially now that hunting for our food, constructing our shelter and running away from prey are all pretty much a thing of the past. A byproduct of this stagnation of life is that we have become less aware of our body as a useful tool, reducing it simply to buzzwords such as 'trophy' and 'aesthetics', causing all sorts of potential physical and psychological issues.
Insecurities - Through the mainstream media, 'fitness industry' and social media, we have come to adopt a whole bunch of insecurities surrounding expectations of what we should look like: the end product, the best biceps, the slimmest waist, the best tan, getting the body of an athlete without leading the lifestyle of one. We have turned to botox instead of turning to healthier food choices to maintain youthful looks. We shortcut so much in western society, because everything is built off the back of consumption and quick turnarounds. This only serves to increase the share profits of a guy you’ll never meet at the expense of your mental wellbeing.
Mindset - Working on adopting a productive, proactive and positive mindset is the key here. We don't want to set people up for failure with the cliche of a positive mindset or say nice things at the expense of being productive, however learning to incorporate it at every given opportunity is a must. A lot of people can be wrapped up in the idea that the universe will provide for them; it will meet you with the amount of effort you decide to put in. Being passive about moving forwards seldom works if we are talking large scale plans and big impact, which is the direction we are working in.
Linguistics - This is a big one. Whether is it talking to others or the way you talk to yourself, we are keen in assisting people in rediscovering the way they articulate life. Learning to speak to yourself with respect is a must;you are the best person to test boundaries on and in the long term you will start to see a difference in the gentleness and appropriateness with which you treat yourself. Once you've done this, it is much easier to yield respect from others and the way you naturally speak to others improves relationships and thus increases efficiency in communication.
Meditation - We want to make this practice as accessible as possible, and we offer varying ways for you to access it, from talks/theory sessions, physical practice through movement, and actual guided meditations in the traditional sense. We do this at varying depths in order to speak to people in a way that they understand, something that is often overlooked and keeps this way of life as an esoteric technology, thus people miss out on the huge benefits on offer.
As previously mentioned, cross-hemisphere communication rewires the brain, giving you the potential of improved cognitive function, and more appropriation of attitude towards life, lessening of the power of stress, decreasing anxiety and improving our ability to stop getting in our own way as much. These kind of benefits can massively assist with balancing our hormones, thus improving our internal eco-system.
Hormonal - Everything we put into our body influences our hormones. Our central nervous system is built upon our hormones, which is why it is important to fuel our body accordingly. A lot of our foods are bought over the counter, be it meat or plants. These are often 'boosted' with different chemicals causing hormonal warfare on our body. Certain foods can leave us chasing a high, others can sustain us efficiently, and others can literally kill us off in a way that is akin to Chinese water torture, but because death isn't instant, we pay it very little attention until we verge on terminal illness or similar. Even then, people don't want to take responsibility.
Sourcing and cell reproduction - In the Western World it can be difficult to access really wholesome organic food. In order for the human to achieve a greater level of health, nutrition needs to be as close to on point as possible, and natural. The more we can access this type of food through growing our own, foraging or finding suppliers of wholesome goods, the more our body will benefit. Every cell you are made up of is produced from whatever matter you put into your body. All our cells are replaced over a 10-year cycle, so whatever you've been eating has become your own bricks and mortar. The old age statement ' you are what you eat' is not a throwaway statement.
Food relationship - Through the abundance of overwhelming information out there from the 'fitness industry', people have spiralled into chaotic alignments with diets that truly mess up our body, ultimately making us skeptical of there being a good way to eat. We want to work with people and help them navigate what works and ultimately find a sensible yet powerful relationship with how they are fuelling their body.
Disease - Long-term poor food choices are linked to long-term diseases. These come from a society where poor food choices are perceptively easier to acquire and our brain has been wired to get fixes of the sugar within them to keep us bolstered in the environment where we are often at a state of low level stress. We want to show people how to make better food choices and allow them to see how that has the potential to improve their health. It is commonplace now that processed/junk foods can cause an acidic PH in the body whereas more natural choices steer the body into a more alkaline state. The relevance of this? There is research out there to suggest that disease manifests in acidic environments.
Depression - There are tons of reasons we can experience depression but underneath it all depression often comes from a lack of connection. Where there is depression, there is often a strong synchronicity between needing help and barking up the wrong tree for that help. What we need is people who are going to push us, encourage us to face our battles in a resourceful way and want the universal best for us. People hold us back because they don't want change and they don't want to have to work on themselves. These people can be and often are friends and family. This type of behaviour is rife in contributing factors towards depression and it comes in many forms such as control, abuse, discouragement, 'playing it safe', worrying... we could go on. But you get the picture. We will help you find people who understand that by elevating you, they too are elevated. Also, through environment, better food choices, allowing your body to move in many beautiful and challenging ways, we can pull away from mental exhaustion through physical exhaustion. Such psychological issues can also ease when you are working on the bigger picture and feel part of the bigger picture.
Community health - If you can positively contribute to the community on a physical or operational level, you not only help out others and see the direct effects in real time, but the mental health boost it can give can be so rewarding. Knowing you are contributing towards a great cause can really contribute towards a healthier being, thus the potential for compassion to manifest towards others gets played out.
Unity consciousness - If we are bettering ourselves and bettering each other it becomes a formidable force for change once we synchronise with our mission to make this world a better place. Fewer rules need to be in place and any elusive moral chaperone that we are indoctrinated to believe in becomes less of a need because we are all creating the world we want; a place for us to thrive as creatures.
Working with it - By creating stronger and agile bodies we become increasingly more capable creatures and thus we can contribute more towards the more physical aspects of life, such as construction and conservation. If we can apply ourselves in this way we can shape the world around us, and in doing so we can create a healthier environment for us to live in and thrive. If we look after nature, nature will do so in return
Connecting with nature - The more we can get out into nature and become exposed to it, our stress hormone levels decrease. Putting ourselves into a greater level of exposure to nature can calm us, give us space to think with more clarity, and take stock of what really matters and where we need to focus our efforts if we want a healthier society for us as individuals and generations to come. Living amongst nature can also allow us to reset our circadian rhythm (awake/sleep pattern), which can assist with healing a whole bunch of hormonal issues.
Permaculture - Everything is connected. We view the body in this way (hence why we exist) so permaculture as a way of farming and interacting/harnessing nature to provide us with our yields of food makes perfect sense within this vision. This process doesn't require the strange chemicals that regular farming often utilises, therefore we are making healthier crop and food choices, which is better for bodies and the environment.
Confidence - Discovering your 'true' self (however we want to interpret that). We believe it is strongly advisable to navigate a journey to harness the power of this, as it is where a true and peaceful level of confidence occurs. We will show you how to regain sovereignty and build an authority over yourself that goes unchecked when given away to others. This includes your ability to literally think for yourself with a decent level of discernment and observation of any socially constructed imprints you may have.
Connection - Being able to truly connect with yourself is an ongoing and constant journey. The more you check in and connect with yourself, the more you'll be able to catch yourself and navigate yourself in life. This allows you to gain a sense of self-sustainability that often goes by the wayside completely unchecked. Being able to rely on yourself from a truly solid peaceful state is a very powerful energy source and one that cannot be found in the shops, nor taken from others – it’s up to you.
Navigating the different avenues - Your faith, religion, philosophical persuasion or form of spirituality is not of importance to us, however, as per the previous two points, finding something within you to connect to and find balance is a really useful tool. Metaphors, stories and all the other things that come within these realms can be really useful to offer perspective in a simplified way. Where we come in is by helping people stay on track with their journey with their own sovereign approach without being coerced by people with alternative agendas . We can assist with what to look out for and for other potential red flags. Our time is short on this planet and we want to lead the richest life possible, so anything we can do to help you avoid the wolf in grandma's clothing is always a win.
The execution of this project is already underway in a very fundamental way. We currently run workshops/classes and private sessions assisting people with their health on a physical, mental and nutritional level. We also have a volunteer sector which we deploy our volunteers into different community projects across Manchester and have done for the past year.
Going forwards we need to start looking at attracting the following:
Donations - This is really going to help shift things forwards, meaning we can pay more people to make more of this happen, and more marketing to spread our word.
Current offering - People buying into what we already offer, coming to the classes, allowing the brand to grow and become bigger so we can leave what we created in Manchester to flourish as our UK base as we look to move to an additional home.
Conservationists - People who are looking at getting into/or already have experience and want to come and join in for the ride. There are going to be so many aspects of this project that are going to be helped by someone that understands conservation. We want to keep our impact minimal yet we will be building property, redirecting water in order to make a lake (should there not be one) and making pathways through forests so there will be a need for conversationist expertise on how we keep practice at the least damaging as possible.
Botanists - We will be working in an environment dominated by the plant kingdom, so having someone who speaks the language, understands best practice and how we can work well with them, especially going forwards as we contribute towards replanting a forest is going to be important.
Permaculture Practitioners - Being in tune with nature is key, and making it work for us with minimal impact is key here, so finding someone/small team who can lead the way on this is going to be necessary to provide food for the residents and visitors of the retreat.
Labourers - We would be looking for people who can utilise sustainable methods of constructions, from building sheds, outdoor showers to your own home and for a home for others. We are not looking at building mud huts, we are looking at creating beauty, comfort, luxury and this needs the right kind of people to be working on it and pioneering this aspect of the project.
Sustainable Energy Engineers - If you have a head for producing sustainable energy, your skills will be greatly appreciated. There will be water to get moving and electricity to be harnessed. We want to incorporate technology into this vision as we want to take some of the great inventions of the western world and bring them in harmony with nature.
Volunteers - However you would like to come and volunteer. Maybe you are wanting to gain experience in a certain aspect of the project, or across all - many hands make light work and the more rest everyone can get whilst trying to create this holistic powerhouse the better.