Movement classes at the Rec emphasize locomotion, mobility and strength

Saadia Cleve, Movement instructor, helps students during a Movement class. Movement is offered at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Recreation Complex. (Gabriela Faraone | Collegian Media Group)

Three years ago, Saadia Cleve, course instructor at the Recreation Complex, started a community of “movers” at Kansas State University.

Pain, discomfort and exhaustion caused Cleve to stop training her body in the way she was used to and search for new forms of movement and exercise. With more than 20 years of experience practicing Ashtanga yoga and competing in endurance races, Cleve knew plenty about how the human body works and what its capabilities are.

With the encouragement of her mentors and other movement teachers, Cleve started practicing a fitness program called Animal Flow. Later, Cleve encountered Ido Portal’s life-changing exercise method: Movement Culture.

Portal’s method stemmed from his study of martial arts and Afro-Brazilian Capoeira. Over the years, Portal traveled the world teaching and studying a variety of exercise formats including dance, yoga and even circus arts.

Now, Portal’s method, known simply as Movement, is practiced all over the world. It includes handstands, legless rope climbing, ground-based movement flow training packed with locomotion patterns and bodyweight movement patterns. The method was designed to show that bodies move freely and in unexpected ways.

With her knowledge of Movement, Cleve worked to start offering Movement classes at the Recreation Complex.

“Movement means a chance to be myself and unite friends of my past with my current life,” Anna Kucera, graduate student in veterinary medicine and public health, said. “It’s a chance to de-stress and stretch my limits physically and mentally.”

Anderson Fitch, sophomore in biology, has been part of the K-State Movement community for a year. Fitch said he enjoyed the partner activities and the relationships that he’s developed through Movement.

“It has brought friends, countless fun times and a better understanding of what I can and can’t do,” Fitch said.

Practicing Movement is not only a unique and challenging form of exercise, but practitioners say the community environment is important.

“Those that attend are regular, helping create a group bond where we know that we are there for each other even outside of class,” Kucera said. “The encouragement we give each other helps us feel comfortable to stretch our limits and get out of our comfort zone.”

Movement classes are held at the Recreation Complex every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join, regardless of experience or age.