Wellness Movement

Penny Olsen

Restorative Exercise Specialist
Movement Coach
Co-founder of Wellness Movement
About me
Much of my working life has been spent in the health and wellness setting. As a former Physiotherapist, Health Promoter at Public Health, Outdoor Instructor and Massage Therapist I have been lucky to work in a variety of interesting settings around the world - from hospitals and private practice to a resort in the Canary Islands and an outdoor education centre in Malaysia.

These roles have given me a unique insight to the finer details and larger issues relating to movement, pain, illness and injuries and the contribution of our lifestyles to these. We live in a time where there are so many preventable injuries and illnesses. I am especially interested in how our environments shape our bodies and influence our movement and health.

I am also passionate about plants, compost and permaculture and love being outside. I am always seeking out ways to bring more meaningful, productive movement into my life.

When I discovered a new type of movement education for health called Nutritious Movement, I was immediately drawn to its logic and enrolled in the US based certification which I studied over two years. It was the perfect evolution for my skills and interests and I am now one of just four registered Restorative Exercise Specialists in New Zealand. I'm excited to be introducing this new approach to everyday movement to Nelsonians - by way of group classes and one on one sessions.
About Restorative Exercise


There has never been a time in history where we have moved so little. The old adage 'move it or lose it' has never been so fitting.
Restorative exercise will show you that 'move more' is only half the message. Your body definitely needs to move more (including more variety, frequency and range) but also .... you need to move more of you.
There are parts of you that are hardly moving at all! Restorative Exercise brings awareness and new movement to these smaller, neglected, often nagging areas of your body so that you can move better to feel better.
I teach people how to identify and fill in some of their weak spots with corrective exercises so that they have stronger, more functional, bodies.
Learn more here
Seasonal classes and workshops
Decreasing muscle and joint pain, becoming stronger, improving flexibility, and feeling more agile can all be a positive spin-off from paying more attention to how you move.

Restorative Exercise classes focus on on the finer details of movement, taking your body through a set of simple and effective exercises that expose your movement habits and your alignment and show you how you can change these for a better outcome.

Movement classes and workshops are educational exercise sessions giving you tools to help integrate these concepts into your everyday movement and life.

Please contact me for current class options.
Move Better- Feel Better
(Whole-body Shoulders, chest and upper back)
Corrective exercise focused class utilising alignment points to bring new movement nutrition to under-moved areas of our body building flexibility and strength.

This is a whole-body class with a specific focus of the tissues of the shoulders, chest and upper back.

Casual attendance welcome.
For first time casual attendees the second class is free.

Great concessions available for the series of 6 classes.
Bookings preferred, drop-ins welcome

*Free 6-week online Alignment Essentials: Introductory Programme for background to this approach. Private link will be given on the first session for those that want it.
On The Move
This class is literally on the move! We will be walking for a bulk of the class (because we all need to walk more!) but will stop along the way to utilise movement opportunities that the terrain offers in the moment. A portion of the class will be doing some corrective exercises as well as learning about gait mechanics and other combined natural movements.

Park benches, hills, logs, rocks, trees, beach, textures, playgrounds- each week will be different. All activities are voluntary and scalable for every body.

Gait Basics series- is a series of classes focused specifically on the mechanics and exercises for walking well. This series is repeated each season. So if you missed a session last season- pick it up again next time around. Topics include walking alignment, using your butt, saving your knees, stairs, hills, shoes, feet and texture, upper body.

General Class- incorporates the skills we were introduced to in the Gait Basics series and includes various strengthening and stretching exercises, movement challenges and upper body exercises. An all-round walking and exercise class in the fresh air with useful movement tips to add extra movement nutrition to your life.

Prerequisite is the ability to walk 5 km ( about 1- 1/4 hours) and a sense of fun and adventure.

Depending on the time and day chosen- There is the possibility to finish with a cuppa or BYO breakfast. A great start to the day!

*Location changes each week. Book in here to find out process to confirm attendance and find out location. Carpooling options are possible if not starting at Wellness Movement.
Natural Moves -
Whole-body Core, pelvis and lower back
This class series follows on from the core, pelvis and lower back exercises from last season but is focused on exploring how to move beyond exercises and weave more diverse and dynamic natural human movements into the rest of the day.

No worries if you missed out on last season's classes as we will
layer the exercises into these more dynamic everyday movements.

We will explore the form of natural human movements like lifting, carrying, squatting, ground movements and more. We will work out which parts are more difficult for you, show you how to bolster these to meet you where your body is currently at and give you feedback where you could spend more time or attention with your exercises to reclaim your movement abilities.

The time you spend outside an exercise class has the most impact on your health. Come and explore how you can add more movement to non-exercise time with these natural moves.

If you feel uncertain whether this class is for you- please contact me and we can talk it through.

If you haven't attended any previous series or introductory classes before then you might like to join up for the *Free 6-week online Alignment Essentials: Introductory Programme for background to this approach. Private link will be given on the first session.

Alternatively you could book a private session to catch up on the alignment essentials and the reference system we use so you can be more mindful about working within your current parameters. This private session could be shared with others also.

Bookings preferred. Some of the class may take place outside utilising natural features nearby. This is weather dependent.
Register interest here

Move Your DNA Weekends
A Move Your DNA Weekend is a movement-packed 2-day workshop designed to give you the hands-on experience necessary to learn and practice the 30+ foundational corrective exercises taught in the book Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman.

These movement-filled weekends are dedicated to breaking down the exercises, learning bolstering techniques to tailor exercises to your current abilities, and answering your questions about the exercises in Move Your DNA.

Each day we will also take our movement exploration outside to focus on skills that maximize the movement-rich health benefits of walking in our natural environment.

The course includes a personal workbook with instructions and photos of each exercise. This 16-hour weekend is a perfect opportunity for those who can't attend studio classes or those who want an in-depth movement review to connect the dots in their alignment practice.
Next workshops:
Auckland 14-15 March 2020
Nelson 27 - 28 June 2020

*Please note: these links will take you to Nutritious Movement website. All prices in USD.

Early bird pricing until 60 days before event.

Find out more about Move your DNA weekends here
Main photo credit: Mike Wilson
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