Hi! My name is Annette Cashell, and I used to have a “proper” job. I’m Irish and grew up in Ireland but, for many years, I worked in Germany and the Silicon Valley, USA as a Marketing Manager. I loved my job but my body did not.
It started out with carpal tunnel syndrome. I “fixed” that with physio. Then I got knee cartilage issues. I “fixed” that with fascial rolling. Then I developed degenerative disc disease in my lower back. I “fixed” that with pilates.In fact, I was so impressed with pilates that I quit my job and re-trained as a STOTT pilates teacher. Fast forward a few years and I developed a severe nerve issue; a neck fusion operation was suggested as the only solution.
I was starting to get mildly irritated to say the least! And confused… I couldn’t understand WHY I was getting these health issues. I didn’t smoke or drink, I wasn’t over-weight, my stress was manageable, I was a STOTT Pilates teacher for crying out loud (!), I lived an “active lifestyle”…. or so I thought!
Faced with this (to me, very scary) operation, I decided to finally look at the big picture as to WHY I was still getting these issues. Not life-threatening, I grant you, but enough to seriously affect my quality of life and mental health.
And I realised that actually I wasn’t that “active” at all. Sure, I dutifully worked out at the gym three times a week and hiked at weekends but I was sedentary the REST OF THE TIME. And, it turns out, the REST OF THE TIME was what really mattered!
Thanks to the inspiring work of Katy Bowman, Nutritious Movement, I started to add movement into my day. Frequently. And with variety. And my body thrived. So much so that I was able to avoid the neck fusion operation and all the pain/heartache associated with it.
That’s worth repeating: I was able to AVOID the neck fusion operation and all the pain/heartache associated with it. Just by moving differently. And more frequently.
I re-trained as a Restorative Exercise Specialist and became passionate about adding movement into the everyday. In my classes, I noticed how many of my older clients were able to move better than the teenage ones (even the “fit” ones) and realised that this younger generation was adapting to a sedentary lifestyle at a far faster rate than my generation. I also realised that the sedentary lifestyle habit was being hardwired in primary schools, where movement was often actively discouraged!
MOVEMENT MONTH TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM
So, I decided to develop theMovement Month program for adding natural movement into primary schools in a non-disruptive and cost-free way. In 2018, the program got accepted into the Mentoring Program of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, and I’ve been developing it ever since.
I’m now at the stage of trialing the program in Ireland and the UK and the results continue to blow me away. Not only are the school children happy to move more, but the teachers are incredibly happy too, reporting better focus, attention and behaviour from the class!
Just by moving differently.
And more frequently.
MINI MOVEMENT MONTH PROGRAM
Most recently, I’ve also created the Mini Movement Month program, which shows you how to add natural movement into your everyday life at home, using little or no equipment, and with the changes living on AFTER you’ve made them!
Relevant at any time, but especially relevant during Covid-19 when so many children are being home-schooled or distance-learning; they are missing out on their regular activities and may have restricted outside movement. Just like their parents, they may be sitting more and moving less than usual.
Each of the 4 weeks addresses a specific natural movement idea;
Sitting Less, Sitting Differently, Going Shoe-less and Movement Breaks.
See on the Map