Nicole and Jack, Jack and Nicole, these two spirited individuals have created something truly unique, a class they’re calling Primal Burn, which draws on both of their eclectic histories, a class with no rules, encompassing absolutely everything they’ve collectively absorbed in their bodies thus far, from Dance to European Football, from Bodybuilding to Tai Chi, from Yoga to Gymnastics, from Bodyweight to All-The-Weights, from Up-Tall to Sprawled-All-Over-The-Ground.
There’s a ‘movement culture’, and its guru, Ido Portal, has taken his credo to the street. The effect is something primal, and just like it’s become fashionable to eat ‘paleo’, it’s also become fashionable, and also extremely congruent with a healthy body, to move like our distant ancestors.
Just look at our body mechanics.
We’re made to hang, roll on the ground, articulate our spine like a Mexican wave. Yet most of us spend all of our time, hunched over, neck forward, wrists limp and dangling over a keyboard—just as I’m doing now, and … wait a sec … there we go … ahhh … that feels much better (I just did a tuck and roll to a spinal wave twist rotation—something I learned in Primal Burn).
Nicole detests the label ‘movement’. She employs a slight cringe when people use it in her presence. ‘Think about it: movement as a term is so expansive it becomes boring in how little it actually conveys,’ she says. ‘Everyone does movement. You move to the tram, the dulcet tones of Stevie Wonder, the toilet. Movement doesn’t need a term. It’s like breathing.’
Jack’s main gripe is with the shoes, how if one wants to ‘move’ like Ido, one also feels an oppressive need to conform to the same footwear. But I don’t know what he’s talking about because I look really original in them.
This is Nicole and Jack. They’re a difficult duo.
And while describing the class is impossible, the actual class doesn’t have to be—though it can be.
Let me give you an example.
Nicole likes to humiliate me in front of people, so knowing my weaknesses, basically everything she was asking us to do in the class, she pointed me out and taught me how to regress the movement, a lizard (notoriously difficult—think about bringing your chest to the ground and sweeping your arms and legs in grand opposing arcs), stripping it back so I could actually begin to make progress. Prior to that I was just floundering about, thinking how much I hated Ido Portal. Afterwards, after Nicole’s gentle guidance, I had, I admit, the self-aggrandising thought that I was actually, probably, the next Ido Portal or someone even better—just try and silence the swooping of my adventurous lizard wings.
Nicole got me to this feeling.
Before the class I was a lizard-virgin, afterwards, I’d mastered a piece of a very complex movement, the most basic part, but still, I’d made progress. And I think this was the most important thing I took from the class: it doesn’t matter where you’re at, there’s always an entry point, something new to put in your body.
Primal Burn is a one-size-fits-all event.
At the end of the class, when everyone was smiling and shiny-faced with their own sweat and a little bit of their partner’s, Nicole went around the circle and asked us what we’d taken from the class.
Remember Aristotle, the Greek philosopher? He said, ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ Sitting cross-legged in the yoga room, mood lighting, lime-green forest wallpaper, and listening to the answers of the people around me, Aristotle’s famous declaration became clear.
The class experience had been something very different for everyone. For some it was a physical challenge (we didn’t really stop moving), some a mental challenge (we learned so many new things), and for some, it was an emotional challenge (someone was crying what looked and sounded like tears of joy). To reduce it to one thing, or one statement, would strip Primal Burn of its essence.
But … on pressing Nicole just one last time, when she appeared at her wits’ end, she conceded, more to shut me up than anything, ‘The class is about body awareness and body control. Now go away, Lizard-Man!’
Whether you’re sick and tired of lifting a barbell up and down a million times a week, or weeping of boredom on the elliptical as the millionth rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond starts up on the big TV, or maybe you’re just feeling a little to the left of your body, then Primal Burn will realign you.
Jack’s class is 6:30pm Mondays and Nicole’s class is 9am Saturdays. Book here now.