Supple Leopards Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of whether or not we can be supple leopards! And, yes I know that's not a picture of a leopard above. (Pretty sure it's a lynx). But, I like this picture, and just looking at it I can feel the liveliness and vitality of the young lynx moving through the grass.

Recently, a friend of mine got two kittens. He described how he just loved watching the two young cats move. It was fascinating, but perhaps more importantly for our discussion, he noticed how after he spent time with the kittens he felt like he moved more like a cat.

I think this is one of the keys to truly cultivating suppleness in our bodies: moving like animals that actually do. Let's just take house cats for instance, cats regularly jump four or five times their height and also land effortlessly from even greater heights. And, how do they accomplish these feats? By doing lots of heavy weight lifting? By doing lots of cat push-ups? By running around a track? No, they do it mostly by staying relaxed, resting a lot, and doing some light and simple stretching through out the day.

These are the kinds of lessons that can be unlocked by exploring animal movements. And this practice goes back hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Pictured above is the Daoyin Tu an ancient diagram from China that is over 2000 years old. It's a collection of therapeutic exercises for various health conditions, and the majority of the exercise are movements based off of animals.

These are exactly the kinds of exercises and movements that we will be exploring in Way of the Animals, and I believe they are the key to finding true suppleness and leading a vital, healthy life.

Here's a video demonstrating what I'm talking about:

One of the things you might notice in the video is that instead of isolated, separate body movement, the whole body moves as one unit. This is another key I've found in animal movement training, and is a key to the internal power of internal martial arts such as Bagua, Tai Chi, and Xing Yi.

Looking forward to sharing about this and more, starting next week in my class!

You can Register Here for the Class


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Jon Young  is a deep nature-people-self connection researcher, mentor, naturalist, wildlife tracker, author, workshop leader, consultant, sought after public speaker and storyteller. Jon has been mentored in deep nature connection by his own grandmothers, Tom Brown, Jr. and a host of elders and experts. As a leader in the field of nature-based community building over 30 years, Jon’s research into the impact and significance of nature on mentoring, human intelligence, spiritually, well-being and development has influenced tens of thousands of people worldwide.  Jon has authored and co-authored several seminal works on nature connection and connection mentoring, including What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007). Jon has appeared in numerous documentaries including The Animal Communicator (2012). In 2016, he received the Champion of Environmental Education Award for his innovative work, which has inspired positive developments in the field, and fostered the growth of the nature connection movement on a global level. Jon is a father of six children, and lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with his partner, Sarah


Sarah is a energywork practitioner, bodyworker, wildlife tracker, and interspecies communicator. She has studied wildlife tracking through Shikari Tracker Mentoring with Jon Young and Josh Lane, Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School, and Cybertracker Conservation. She is a graduate of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program and studied Interspecies Communication with Anna Breytenbach and Wynter Worsthorne. 


For over 19 years, Sarah has been practicing various healing modalities including Chakra-work, Craniosacral Therapy, Meridian Therapy, Qi Gong, Emotional Clearing, and Five Elements Herbalism. She currently offers Earth-based energywork sessions, and lives in the sandhill mountains near Santa Cruz, CA with her partner Jon.