Profile: Movement Coach Gavin Broomes

Profile: Movement Coach Gavin Broomes

Movement Coach Gavin BroomesWhen I had the idea for this series, my primary goal was to introduce you to some amazing movement coaches from around the world. My hope was that you would learn from them about movement, philosophy, and life in general, as well as get a feel for what kind of qualities to look for in a movement coach, personal trainer, physical therapist, Yogi, etc. More importantly, I want you to be as inspired by their stories to move more, move often, and move well. The coaches I already have or plan to profile are colleagues and friends who I following socially and have been learning from for years. What I am finding, as a profound secondary benefit for myself, is how much I am learning about these coaches too, their movement theories and philosophies, as well as movement in general. They are my teachers, too. This profile on movement coach Gavin Broomes is no exception.

Introducing Movement Coach Gavin Broomes

I am excited to introduce Gavin Broomes B.Sc., FTMA(c). Gavin is originally from Canada and is currently living in Argentina. He is a Neuro-Rehabilitation Specialist and Movement Analyst specializing with children with Cerebral Palsy and other disorders of movement and posture. Gavin is a highly regarded and respected coach and educator within the natural movement community. 

I was originally introduced to Gavin through Rafe Kelley of Evolve Move Play a couple years ago. And reintroduced again through Ben Medder and Astrid Boesser of Monkeyfit (you can view Astrid’s movement coaches profile here).

Gavin has worked almost 25 years in health, fitness, and physical rehabilitation. His experience extends from clinical sports medicine clinics, high-performance training, and rehabilitation with professional and Olympic athletes. However, his current passion is working with children with Cerebral Palsy and other movement and posture disorders.

Movement Coach Gavin Broomes is a truly special kind of movement coach, and I don’t say this lightly. Anyone who works with children, especially children with disabilities is incredibly special. It has been my experience that those who work with special populations tend to have an immense sense of humility, empathy, compassion, and grace. Gavin has these qualities in spades. If you take a look at his website The Fascia Therapy Blog, you will quickly see how he takes the focus off himself and dives into the heart of teaching and learning. The story of how Gavin went from working with high-level Olympic athletes (the level that most movement professionals dream or strive for) to special needs children is fascinating and speaks volumes to his huge heart.

He was working at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada in the Exercise Science department as an anatomy lab instructor and Strength and Conditioning course instructor. In the summer of 2006, the department was going through budget cuts and he was told his contract would NOT be renewed.  

He received a call from a private clinic in east end Montreal offering an interview for a job working exclusively with children and individuals with neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders (Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc..). He accepted the offer. As it turned out, the job was actually fascinating, engaging, and incredibly challenge. As Gavin states, “although the choice to change my professional trajectory had it’s genesis in an external factor, it turned out to be the most influential ‘stimulus”  to my continuing education and learning…when we see the body at it’s most fragile (I work with the most severe cases), we get a greater understanding of the fundamental necessities for human life, physical robustness, and systemic health.”   

An interesting “plot twist”, after accepting the job he received word that the university decided to renew his contract…but he had already committed to this new job and was already hooked and engaged!

“I have seen the most exceptional of athletes as well as the most profoundly weak individuals (even worked with children who were less than 1 month old and fit in my hand…a wonderful and priceless perspective!!”

Movement Philosophy

Movement Coach Gavin BroomesMost of the movement coaches I follow have very similar movement philosophies. However, we all have a very different perspective, language, experience, and education from which we derive our philosophies. Gavin has a highly intellectual understanding of human movement. He has a movement language that can shoot over the brow of many movement coaches as well as any laymen movers, but the essence of his movement philosophy is quite simple, yet incredibly meaty. He sums it up this way:

  1. Movement is not a part of life nor a “way” of life…it IS life.
  2. When you understand the evolutionary perspective (or WHY we are engineered the way we are) of movement, then the WHAT and the HOW become infinitely clearer.
  3. Movement is not “something you do”… it is most certainly an EXPRESSION of self. Therefore, there is no true “wrong way” to do things.

If you are at all familiar with me or this blog, you know how much these three points above resonate with me. It is my life’s purpose to grow into the best physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually healthy version of myself possible and to serve others following a similar path. I believe that to experience optimal health we must learn and embrace everything that makes us human. We evolved in a very specific way to thrive in our environment. As our environment has changed, it has changed how we move and express ourselves as humans beings. Every moment we sit at a computer, television, or in a car we are losing a little piece of what makes us human… We lose a little bit of our humanity. This doesn’t mean we have to ditch our modern technology. It does mean we have to make a conscious effort to reconnect with the essence of what makes us human.

One of the things I love about movement is that it transcends the physical. Humans are multidimensional beings. We have physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual levels. The language of movement has the same meaning no matter which level you are speaking of. If you are tight, restricted, rigid in the physical plane, you are experiencing the same intellectually, emotionally, and more importantly spiritually. If you want to feel fully, express fully, love fully, you have to move well on every level. Movement IS life. It is not “something that you do,” it is the very expression of who you are in every moment.

Coaching Style

Gavin’s movement evolution came from the realization that the more conventional or traditional methods of “being fit” were deficient at addressing the practical challenges of the “aging population.” Basically, as he got older, he realized there was more he could and needed to do to not “just be fit and healthy”, but also fully thrive. This mindset spurred an evolution in his coaching and teaching as well. If movement is life, moving more means living more. Since movement is an expression of self, moving more leads to greater knowledge and expressibility of self. In order to be a fully vibrant, thriving human being, you must continually move and adapt your skills as a human mover.

The most profound shift Gavin sees in his clients is in their overall approach to health and exercise. The straightforward re-connection to nature and natural movement transforms movement from what previously may have seemed like a chore, “I have to workout,” into a lifestyle shift that is actually pleasurable to do, “I get to move.” If it is a habit and is pleasurable, then it simply becomes part of your fabric.

Movement Coach Gavin Broomes finds that his clients face the biggest hurdle as they move through what is essentially a major “paradigm shift” in mindset. In other words, it is hard to get past the idea of needing gyms, fitness clubs, weights, sets, and reps in order to tap into the physical resources we already have. The concept of efficient and effective physical health derived outside of the traditional mainstream fitness industry is difficult to fully embrace at the beginning. To help them get through the shift, he pushes them to just experience it; once they have the “visceral” experience of moving in nature, they quickly develop the intrinsic understanding that “hey, this is good and it’s fun.”

Shaped by His Movement Environment

Movement Coach Gavin BroomesBeing a profound nature lover, Gavin tends to gravitate towards the rural and urban landscape. His philosophy is squarely rooted in randomness, variability, and volatility, which requires that he seeks out those locations and “equipment” (trees, rocks, walls, fences) that manifest those very characteristics.

The environment essentially dictates the “plan for the day.”  Whether it be the specific location or the weather, the randomness of nature presents a unique opportunity to work through those intangible “skills” (physical and mental adaptation to change). Which, when you think about it, is perhaps the most important metric to our everyday lives–how well we adapt to gradual or random changes in our immediate environment (whether they be physical, emotional, social).

There is so much more about Gavin I would love to add to this profile. In fact, I cut out a ton to keep this readable and digestible. Gavin has a couple of really interesting projects he is working on. He is currently offering some private coaching, generally within the context of injury rehab. He is working on a project for next summer that uses movement and the natural environment as a catalyst to mitigate the effects of PTSD for urban responders (fire, police, military, paramedic). Be sure to follow Gavin below and if you’re not a subscriber to this blog, do so now. I’ll keep you updated.

Movement Coach Gavin Broomes Bio

Gavin Broomes is a graduate of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada (1997) with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a specialization in Athletic Therapy. He is the creator and co-founder of Fascia Therapy which is a neurorehabilitation concept as well as the GBM Method which implements innovative approaches to performance and injury rehabilitation. Adding to 24+ years of professional practice, Gavin has been fortunate enough to have worked closely with people along the entire spectrum of physical aptitude ranging from the elite athlete to the most severe manifestations of movement disorder such as Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis.  Gavin got the “teaching bug” during a brief stint at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada as an anatomy lab instructor for 5 years which has continued to manifest itself in the varied teaching and educational workshops he provides to this day.

How to find Movement Coach Gavin Broomes

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Profile: Movement Coach Astrid Boesser

This is the second post in a series of profiles on Movement Coaches from around the globe. I’d like to introduce the people who, for me, teach and inspire the culture of movement as a system of wellness and more importantly… growing and thriving in life. You can view the first Movement Coach Profile on Eric Brown here.

I feel like my young son impatiently awaiting a camping trip, birthday, or big holiday. I am super excited about this next movement coach whom I get to profile. She is the embodiment of everything I love about the culture of movement–skill, strength, play, fun, tribe, laughter, and so much more.

Introducing Movement Coach Astrid Boesser

Movement Coach Astrid BoesserI am thrilled to introduce Astrid Boesser, the plotter, sister, and sarge to a super fun tribe of free, multi-talented monkeys. She is the owner of Monkeyfit in Mörfelden-Walldorf Germany, specializing in playful outdoor training including parkour, play, roughhousing, fighting monkey, movnat, calisthenics, movement games, prehab, and other seriously fun stuff.

I haven’t met Astrid personally (yet). However, if you take a gander at some of her movement videos below and on her website, you will quickly see why I love her style. She has a powerful commitment to supporting and encouraging her tribe to live a joyful, modest, self-paced life. She lives what she teaches and it shows on her face and in her community.

Movement Philosophy

Movement is life! How we think, engage, train, and play as a human mover transcends all aspects of life. If you feel stuck, unmoving, unengaged, unchallenged, unsatisfied, or unfulfilled in life, changing the way you think and explore movement can lead to massive life change. This is why I consider a coach’s movement philosophy to be paramount to the quality of the coach. A good coach doesn’t just provide you with a kick-ass workout, they also provide a learning opportunity for you to discover yourself!


Astrid’s movement philosophy is simple and powerful.

  • Rather than chasing results, live in ways that might just yield them.
  • Build a broad foundation for physical and mental resilience
  • Be prepared for whatever shit comes your way.
  • Ability is what you can do now, without warm up, regardless of circumstances, while staying intact.
  • Seek out primal over artificial, diverse over monotonous, whole over isolated, elastic over loose.
  • Train every aspect – left & right side; front & backline; hard & soft; fast & slow; in & out of alignment.

I absolutely love movement coach Astrid Boesser’s list, especially the first and last bullet points. In our fast-paced culture, it’s easy to become hyper-focused on the “results.” Hitting personal records, lifting more weight, logging in more miles, and just generally striving for more, more, more–the quest for quantity instead of quality. We are only as good as our last lift, race, or event. However, for most people, these “results” don’t offer much if any practical or functional improvements to our life. We build an image of ourselves with eggshells. All it takes is one small injury or accident, the numbers go into the toilet, and the whole thing comes crashing down. True results come from having the practical skills to thrive in all areas life throws at us both good and bad. “Live in ways that might just yield them” is a completely different way of looking at how and why we move the way we do. That is powerful stuff and I’m totally stealing it for myself… and my clients.

roughhouse300x169“Train every aspect” is equally important. Walk into most gyms and you will see people training within a state of neutral. Everything has to be aligned the “right” way. However, nothing in life happens in this state of “neutral”. Your neutral squat and deadlift may look perfect in the gym, but how do they help you move a couch down three flights of stairs? If you don’t specifically train your body out of neutral, you are not preparing your body for the practical experiences that take place in life. You may be getting stronger at your lift, but this doesn’t exactly translate into getting stronger at life!

This doesn’t mean that squats and deadlifts aren’t valuable, they are. However, through movement coach Astrid Boesser’s philosophy, we get a greater context for how these types of lifts can fit into our larger movement paradigm. It is Astrid’s philosophy of movement that provides her tribe with an opportunity to look for something deeper. What can you add, to how you currently move and think about moving, that would provide some serious soulful nourishment?

Movement coach Astrid Boesser teaches how to change your mindset to become happier, more creative, courageous, and capable. She challenges her tribe to tackle and overcome whatever obstacles life throws at them. That daily life is a series of opportunities to move and play. Not only out in nature, but also as you wait for the train, walk the dog, hang with friends, or with your kids. Rather than feeling bored or rushed, you get to explore the opportunity to play- -squat, hang from a canopy, balance on a curb or rail, or go for a handstand. As children, we are encouraged to play, why not as adults?

Astrid believes that with this shift, formerly disliked chores turn into infinite possibilities to use and expand your abilities. You might start wiping the floor in a low squat, take to hefting home groceries, look forward to heavy gardening, and generally begin to see an upside to any strenuous task or adverse circumstance. You may even feel magically attracted to climbing frames, trees, rails or walls. Next thing you know, you’ll be dragging all your friends along too.

Shaped by Her Movement Environment

Fitness has always been a part of Astrid’s story, but her career really took shape when she chanced upon Erwan LeCorre’s The Workout the World Forgot and saw Thomas Couetdic play on rails like a monkey (in between showing clients how to coach in an unassuming, sane, natural and empathic way. She immediately knew this was what she wanted to do with her life. As she studied, she gained insight and kept learning, about herself, how we all sometimes stand in our own way, and how we can evolve.

What fascinates her about parkour (or any strenuous or risky physical practice) is the mental aspect. The moments you venture beyond comfort, face your fears, learn to manage them, eventually dare and manage something you previously thought you couldn‘t accomplish–that‘s when you regain freedom. It‘s an exhilarating joy and well worth the effort.

Movement Coach Astrid BoesserWhen she’s ready to move, she turns to the natural playgrounds around her city: forest, river, lake, station, dunes – using whatever she can find like walls, logs, sand, and tires. Occasionally she brings along toys like sandbags, practice balls (Fighting monkey), sticks, rings, or rope. In locations like the lake or dunes, with their vast reservoir of sand, she practices tumbling or plays with sandbags. Whereas the forest and river inspire her to climb, vault, crawl, balance, and perform jumps across the water.

Coaching Style

When she’s coaching a client, Astrid prioritizes a playful spirit and creative vision–she wants each individual to experience joy in exploring and testing his or her abilities. To develop the ability to spot creative opportunities to move, play, and grow. She encourages a growth mindset and the willingness and confidence to change. This requires the ability to use one’s mind to realistically assess their current abilities; analyze what it takes to accomplish what they want; listen to their body, and choose suitable progressive steps to reach their goals. Clients learn to apply positive mindfulness to focus on the details they want to improve. They learn to utilize their breath, regulate their nervous system, and recognize and appreciate each small improvement as an evolution.

As they evolve, they are able to confidently move forward, bravely face, adapt to, or overcome whatever life throws at them. They develop a habit of listening to their heart and creating a balance in life that enables them to live sane, healthy and happy. She encourages all of her tribe to relearn how to play, feel genuine joy, overcome inhibitions, become comfortable being loud and wild, build a community, and most importantly to get dirty!

Movement Coach Astrid BoesserShe enjoys watching as her tribe become happier, healthier, and more self-confident. Seeing their awareness of the positive changes in life. Sharing in their excitement as both physical abilities and body composition and appearance improve. The best part is witnessing how much they get back to loving themselves.

Astrid finds that the biggest challenges new clients face are the mental blocks: low self-esteem, lack of confidence in their abilities, fears, and inhibitions. Occasionally this is paired with high ambition and a lack of patience. Some clients have to let go of being excessively goal-driven, interfering with the experience of how can play help me? And what do I gain in this game?

To help them move beyond these hurdles, she listens and observes closely, spurring some on while reminding others to take it slow. She offers suitable progressions that, while challenging, allow them to manage what they‘re practicing, go out with a sense of achievement, rejoice and gain confidence in the process. She gently challenges folks to face their fears and find ways to step through them… Always, she keeps things fun!

Examples of Astrid Boesser’s Movement Coaching

Astrid’s Bio

Movement Coach Astrid BoesserGrateful for learning from grandparents (plant lore, love of nature), parents (tree lore, fishing, adventurous spirit, self-reliance), competitive cross country skiing (discipline, grit, patience), TaekwonDo (hardness, physics, tolerating pain, managing emotions), Wing Chun (elasticity, whiplash effect), fast pitch softball (coordination, throwing, catching, batting, pitching, teamwork). She studied agricultural sciences (ecology), self-taught: herbal medicine, nutrition sciences, mythology.

20+ years of experience as a partner, group fitness instructor (focus: bodyweight, HIIT, Yoga, Mobility, prehab) as well as web- & printdesigner—earning most of what I need via the latter so I‘m independent and, coaching wise,free to share exactly what I believe in; especially in MonkeyFit.

“I like to learn from everyone, friends, fellows, monkeys, traceurs, coaches; by good or bad example. ;)”

Astrid’s Awesome Movement Workshop

If you are in Germany or able to make the trip, I highly recommend joining one of Astrid’s awesome workshops like this one below.

The next time I am in Germany, I will be making a date to train/play with Astrid. I suggest you do too.

How to find Astrid Boesser
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Profile: Movement Coach Eric Brown

Profile: Movement Coach Eric Brown

As a movement professional, I follow some of the top movement coaches around the world. I am incredibly grateful to call many of them teachers, colleagues, and friends. In the world of fitness, it is incredibly challenging to separate great movers from great coaches. So I am starting this series of Movement Coach Profiles to introduce the people who, for me, teach and inspire the culture of movement as a system of wellness and more importantly… growing and thriving in life. 

Introducing Movement Coach Eric Brown

Movement Coach Eric BrownFor my first Movement Coach Profile, I’d love to introduce you to Eric Brown, a Level III MovNat Certified Trainer from Dallas, Texas. On top of being a terrific movement coach, Eric is also a MovNat Team Instructor, former U.S. Navy SEAL, and Naval Special Warfare Center Instructor of the Year. I first met Eric a couple years ago. We took the MovNat level one certification course together. Being ex Navy myself, and having several of my closest friends as ex SEALs, I connected and liked him immediately. Eric has a quiet authority to him. A wisdom of age and experience that is expressed through his physical presence and his passion for teaching.  

Movement Philosophy

Eric’s movement philosophy really resonates with me. Whether in the woods or in the neighborhood, “practical, in nature – pun intended,” he shows people how to master their natural movement abilities; develop movement skills to be of service for their community. He teaches a way of moving and being in the world that prepares them so that no matter what life throws their way, they can live a full, healthy, vibrant life.

Movement Coach Eric Brown

In my eyes, something that really sets movement coach Eric Brown apart from mainstream fitness is his focus on developing practical movement skills. You can find tons of “coaches” with videos of themselves doing amazing physical feats. However, what someone can do and what someone can teach doesn’t always match up. I see a ton of coaches so focused on teaching the big sexy Instagram movements, that they can actually hurt their clients. Eric instead focuses on the basic progressions to build a solid movement foundation. It may not look sexy, but it is the stuff that when done well… will improve your movement and change your life.

Shaped By His Movement Environment

As his movement practice has evolved, Eric has come to see his environment as an extension to his movement. He is constantly observing his surroundings, looking for opportunities to move, explore, and play in everyday life.

Movement Coach Eric BrownEric doesn’t spend much time in the traditional gym. If he has to be in a closed-space, he prefers an open floor plan studio to a gym (a throwback to his martial arts upbringing). For the past several years, his main training areas have been the woods, parks, and home. He is in the process of setting up a training facility for the MovNat Dallas and Never Afraid To Move (NATM) businesses.

Whether he’s in the woods or in a training facility, he uses his environment as a guide; there’s always a an opportunity to use his mind, body, and spirit in a way that will help him grow as a full being. One of his favorite spaces in Dallas for movement is the Cedar Ridge Preserve. With the trails, trees, hills and different terrain, you can use just about all of your natural movement skills.

Another thing that sets Eric apart is the way in which he leads by example. Check out the tremendous videos of his below to see his passion for movement and how he lives what he teaches. I consider this to be another sign of a great coach and teacher.

Coaching Style

Movement Coach Eric BrownAs a movement coach Eric Brown’s goals for clients involve more holistic metrics than typical personal training goals. For Eric’s clients, the number one hurdle is slowing down. He works with each individual to keep them from jumping too high or too far, or from trying to lift too much to fast.  He wants them to see and feel the power of what is available within their body. That they develop ownership of these skills so that, when they are needed in real life situations, they can have trust and confidence of their body to respond well. He tells his clients, “Patiently persistent practice produces proper practical progression,” because who doesn’t love alliteration. But more importantly, if you begin with small steps, and put in the time, you will achieve mastery.

Eric demonstrates movements and provides his clients with video so they can continue their practice and progress outside of their sessions. He breaks the big movement skills into smaller bite sized progressions. A strong focus on the baby steps until you are ready to tackle bigger more complex movements. He reminds his clients to “find your best self in your movement,” and “motion makes magic.” Over time, clients shift their mindset with small movement victories. At the end of the day, he’s trying to help their dreams become realities and memories, as they continue to move the mind, body, and spirit into the truest expression of themselves.

Examples of Eric Brown’s Movement Coaching


Movement Coach Eric Brown’s Bio

Movement Coach Eric BrownEric Brown is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, Master Training Specialist and Naval Special Warfare Center Instructor of the Year. Having trained and instructed in a variety of physical and mental disciplines — e.g. obstacle courses, calisthenics, rescue swimming, ROPES challenge courses, combative arts, neuro-associative conditioning — Eric has experienced a wide breath of life lessons that have brought him to a deeper understanding of his role in life and society. A family man, he enjoys moving with his wife and young son, fulling expressing his “NATM – Never Afraid to Move” way of life. As a Level 3 MovNat Certified Trainer, his mission is to increase the quality of life for the young and old. Letting those open to the training know that consistency is the key to moving and feeling better. As he often says, “Patiently persistent practice, produces proper practical progression.”

Connect with Movement Coach Eric Brown and Never Afraid to Move

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