MaryBeth Gangemi: Environment, ‘natural movement,’ and breathing

Movers Mindset
Movers Mindset
MaryBeth Gangemi: Environment, 'natural movement,' and breathing

MaryBeth Gangemi’s experience as a social worker has had a profound affect on how she approaches her movement practice and working with clients. She shares her own movement journey, from city to country side. MaryBeth discusses the importance of environment, breathing, and play on our ability to move well and ‘naturally.’ She unpacks her thoughts on the connections between social work and movement, as well as creating spaces accessible to all.

MaryBeth Gangemi is a breath, strength, and natural movement coach, in addition to being a wife and mother. She has certifications in many different areas, including MovNat, Kettlebells, Original Strength, and Buteyko Breathing Method. MaryBeth owns and runs Kairos Strong, where she teaches students to develop quality movement to support all areas of their life.

Highlight [0:00]

Introduction [0:56]

  • MaryBeth Gangemi, breathwork, strength, and natural movement coach at Kairos Strong
  • Certified Oxygen Advantage, Butyko breathing, MovNat and kettlebell instructor
  • More information at

Movement space [2:13]

  • Moving from urban areas (Boston, Atlanta) to the country
  • Prioritizing space, nature, and movement
  • Feeling like you can breathe

Breathing [7:09]

  • Starting with clients where they’re at; very individual to their needs
  • MaryBeth’s journey into breathing, realizing she couldn’t belly breathe
  • Struggling with aquatic elements, wanting to learn more
  • Breathing exercise: laying on belly to breathe
  • Importance of breathing, learning ease, noticing improvements
  • Control Pause or BOLT Score (Body Oxygen level test)

Movement practices[21:40]

  • Kettlebells: Versatile, at home, tactile sensation
  • Requirements of weight shifting, open vs closed chain
  • Different ways of moving, learning: dancing
  • Balancing tension with looseness, relaxation

Sleep project [28:21]

  • Thoughts on sleep and breathing
  • What good sleep looks like, feels like, how it affects you
  • Missing piece of how to share her work, spread the project

Podcasting [30:51]

  • Technology intimidation, experience of the space
  • Movement people and podcasts, moving to think

Crawling [34:22]

  • Multi-use, strength, mobility, stability
  • Journey to loving crawling, getting past self judgement
  • Learning to flow and play, finding challenges
  • Helping clients approach crawling

Natural Movement [39:29]

  • What it means to her; how she defines ‘natural’
  • Noticing your surroundings, mindfulness
  • Meditation styles and breathing, finding what works for you
  • Playing with breathing to help you learn to control it
  • Parasympathetic vs Sympathetic nervous systems
  • Connection between breathing and stress/recovery
  • Starting and finding movement practices throughout your life

Giving advice [49:35]

  • Respecting others intuition, trusting them
  • Guiding by asking questions, aiding reflections
  • Aiming to help, share info, but testing out and trusting people to know themselves
  • Finding what’s sustainable, finding balance

Social work to movement [55:25]

  • Natural progression from social work to coaching
  • Seeing human development, growth, play in different scenarios
  • Creating games, play to help with daily life things
  • Learning from observing how different therapies work
  • Play as the common thread

Sensory experiences [1:01:23]

  • Walking through mud, how it effects people
  • Sensory experiences are important throughout life
  • Creating invitations and opportunities for play to help people learn to play again
  • Finding or creating opportunities, whatever your environment
  • Spending time outside

Brachiation [1:11:17]

  • Monkey bars as an access point, how people played as kids
  • How to introduce brachiation to adults, how many modalities go into it
  • Tension and breathing along with swinging
  • Modifying your environment to support, texture variations
  • Climbing trees, different techniques
  • Finding different places and ways to climb

Body positive attitude [1:24:17]

  • Motivations for why people move
  • Different bodies move different ways, but all can move
  • Creating spaces where ALL bodies can train (an age, ability, etc)
  • Beauty of learning from people who aren’t like you, diverse backgrounds

3 words [1:29:00]

  • Hope, practice, restorative

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