I have always enjoyed movement and exercise. I was a competitive swimmer for many years, a keen runner and long-term yoga practitioner. As a biologist I thought I had a good understanding of what I needed to do to keep healthy and saw myself as strong and fit. However, starting in my late 20s, aches, pains and dysfunction crept in and although I was very good at swimming and running, there were other movement patterns that I struggled with: a squat for instance and I was generally as stiff as a board.
I started to do some research on my musculo-skeletal issues and I discovered the work of biomechanist Katy Bowman, director of Nutritious Movement®. Katy's scientific approach to human movement made so much sense and revolutionized my approach to health. I certified with Katy Bowman in 2013 and continue to learn with her and other leaders in the fields of alignment, yoga and movement including Lauren Ohayon, Jenny Burrell and the MovNat® and GMB fitness™ teams.
I can safely say I have a more functional body now than I did ten years ago. I love passing on what I have learned, and my goal is the same for everyone – to help people move better throughout their whole body so that they can live well and continue doing what they love whether that is gardening or Brazilian jiu jitsu.
My original training was in marine molecular biology and I was a research biologist for many years. I still love exploring rocky shore coasts for interesting critters, but I now use my training in cell science to understand and communicate what science tells us about human movement and health.
I offer a science-consulting service for individuals and organizations and am busy preparing online science courses for anyone interested in movement, physical activity, ageing, natural movement, human health and evolutionary perspectives on heath - courses live in late 2019!
My hope is that my teaching inspires people to move more and in a way that supports living well and doing what they love.
I run regular 3-hour or whole-day workshops on specific themes in Helensburgh, Scotland. Popular topics are Hips & Pelvis, Neck & Shoulder and The Squat workshop. Some are suitable for beginners and some require prior attendance at a weekly class, a private session or a foundational workshop.
Move Your DNA (MYDNA) Workshops
Several times a year, I teach a two-day “Move Your DNA” weekend workshop. I am one of 35 teachers world-wide selected by Nutritious Movement® to teach these weekends.
The weekends are based on the book “Move Your DNA” by Katy Bowman and are designed to give students hands-on instruction for the exercises in the book as well as guidelines on transitioning to a more movement filled life.
They are fun, informative and a great way to immerse yourself in learning about natural movement and they are open to everyone – new and experienced movers alike.
I teach these workshops in Scotland and the South of England. More details and FAQs about these events.
Upcoming dates are:
Private Restorative Exercise Classes
I teach one-to-one sessions at my home studio in Shandon, Helensburgh. Private sessions are ideal
for those new to Restorative Exercise who want a good foundation before joining an existing class
for those who have something specific they want to address
for those uncomfortable in group settings.
£55 for 90 minutes (required for the first session)
£40 for 60 minutes
£200 for a block of 5 sessions (90 minutes first session and four subsequent 60 minutes sessions)
Weekly Group Restorative Exercise Classes
I teach one general-level group class in Helensburgh:
Thursday 9.30am to 10.45 am Oak Tree Gallery, Acorn Art, Helensburgh
All classes are run in term blocks to ensure that classes are progressive and there is a continuity to the material presented.
Over the course of a block we go from head to toe with a different focus each week. The aim is to develop more balanced use of the body so that you can improve overall strength and capability. Anyone new to this classes must attend a foundational private or small group session before the start of the new term.
Class are all sold in blocks of 6-11 weeks
***NEW*** Starting 24th October 2019, I will be running a weekly evening class
Get to the Core: whole-body approach to core strength
Thursday 7.00 pm to 8.15 pm Oak Tree Gallery, Acorn Art, Helensburgh
My teacher Katy Bowman is a biomechanist and director of Nutritious Movement™. Her foundational message is that we are all under-nourished in terms of movement.
Although many of us would love to move more than we do, we are unable to because exercising may be painful and actually damaging to parts of us; hiking may be good for our lungs but painful for our knees, running great for the heart but damaging to the pelvic floor. Alternately maybe we do a lot of exercise but only in very repetitive ways so we are not getting the benefit of moving all parts of us, or perhaps we simply can't figure out how to fit more movement into our busy lives. This is where Restorative Exercise comes in. Developed by Katy Bowman, Restorative Exercise includes: a set of objective measures to enable us to assess how we move; exercises to improve how we move; and habit modification to bring more movement into our lives.
is accessible to everyone but very effective
is based on an understanding of body alignment
teaches how to measure our ability to move and stabilize joints in the body
has a large suite of exercises designed to isolate and specifically target areas with low mobility or strength
has great power to bring about change through a combination of increasing body awareness and highly specific exercises
includes tips for improving how your move throughout your day and how to bring more movement into your daily life
Includes progressive exercises and skill breakdown for natural human movements like walking, squatting, crawling, carrying and hanging
My original training was in molecular biology and I was a field and lab research scientist for many years. Since 2012 I have turned my attention more and more to what evolution and cell and molecular science can tell us about human health.
I currently work as a scientific consultant for individuals and organizations on a range of topics including:
Cell and molecular science of movement and physical (in)activity
Science of ageing with particular emphasis on the role of movement and physical activity
Evolutionary perspectives for understanding human anatomy, human movement and health
Human and Environmental health promotion
Genetic disorders in relation to improvement/management through movement
Coming end of 2019!
The idea behind these courses are to provide with clear information on a number of science topics in relation to health and human movement/ physical activity. I see lots of misunderstanding in media presentation and interpretation of science as well as in online discussions; this is of course unintentional and largely unavoidable simply because most people don’t have a background in the topics being presented in the scientific literature. Most published science is written for other scientist in the same field. This means most scientific papers can be dry at best and impenetrable at worst.
My aim with these courses is to interpret the science for you in an engaging and relevant way but also to enable you to be able to approach more scientific research yourself.
First ones will be:
1. Bone Health and Ageing: the role of physical activity with a particular focus through the natural movement lens
2. Principles of Evolution: a course to explain principles of genetics, natural selection and evolution common misconceptions about evolution evolutionary mismatch theory current human evolution
3. Immune Health – ageing and physical activity