Breath – with Julie Angel

Julie Angel describes her multifaceted approach to movement, breath–work, and life as ‘everything everywhere all at once,’ revealing a seamless blend of creativity, transformation, and minimalism in her practices.

I’m really lazy. I’m a high performance slacker. And so it has to be simple and minimalist in doing it. If there’s any practice where it’s like: You need to buy all of this equipment, and you need to do all of these things, and you need a membership… I’m just like, no no that’ll be a no. All of those things cause friction points for me, and I don’t do them. So I mean there’s a minimalism, a simplicity, a creativity, and an adaptability; which is why to other people it may seem very different that I I wear all these these hats which I’m equally multi-passionate about. But for me I’m like, same same. [ed: It’s all the same.]

~ Julie Angel, 2:50

Julie Angel and Craig dive into the worlds of movement, breath-work, and the emotional landscape of physical practice. Julie shares her holistic view on movement, emphasizing that everything she does—whether it’s filmmaking, practicing parkour, training others, or walking her dog—interconnects through common threads of exploration, transformation, curiosity, and creativity. The absence of division between her various interests, highlights the blending of her professional and personal pursuits that are driven by a consistent creative spark and a quest for simplicity and minimalism in practice.

Julie also introduces the transformative power of breath–work, recounting her journey from being intrigued by MovNat Aquatics courses to exploring the physiological and psychological impacts of breathing techniques. She discusses her discovery of dysfunctional breathing patterns and how addressing these can profoundly affect one’s health, well–being, and movement capabilities.

Julie’s exploration into breath–work is not just a personal quest but also an educational endeavor, as she aims to share this knowledge through her work, showcasing the significant, often under-appreciated role that breathing plays in enhancing movement, reducing anxiety, and improving overall life quality.


Exploring the interconnectedness of activities — how different aspects of life, from professional endeavors to personal hobbies, can intertwine and inform each other, creating a seamless blend of experiences.

The significance of creativity in movement — discussing how a creative element is vital for engagement and passion in practices like parkour and breath–work, emphasizing the role of creativity in sustaining interest and exploration.

Breath-work as a transformative tool — highlighting the journey into breath-work and its profound impact on mental and physical health, from enhancing movement capabilities to reducing anxiety and improving overall well-being.

The emotional aspect of movement — exploring movement not just as a physical activity but as an emotionally charged experience that can influence thoughts, actions, and overall life quality.

Simplicity and minimalism in practice — the importance of adopting a minimalist approach to practices, avoiding over-complication to maintain focus, enjoyment, and consistency in various activities.

The role of breath-work in functional movement — detailing how efficient breathing patterns can significantly enhance movement quality, recovery, and performance, underpinning the foundational role of breath-work in physical practices.

Addressing dysfunctional breathing patterns — uncovering the widespread issue of dysfunctional breathing and its implications, with strategies and insights into how correcting these patterns can lead to significant health and performance benefits.

The impact of mindset and perception on physical health — discussing research on the mind-body connection, emphasizing how one’s mindset and perceptions can tangibly affect physical health and aging.

Resources — Julie Angel’s website offers insights into her work with movement and breath–work, including courses and resources for those interested in exploring these areas further.

Julie Angel — Julie on LinkedIn.

The Mindful Body by Dr. Ellen Langer — A book discussing the power of the mind over the body, including the famous Counterclockwise study, which explores concepts of mindfulness and placebo effects on health and aging.

Environment, ‘natural movement,’ and breathing — Movers Mindset podcast episode with MaryBeth Gangemi. — Julie Thom, trauma informed movement & life coaching.

Built to Move by Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett — This book emphasizes the importance of movement and breathwork as foundational elements for health, detailing practical strategies for improving physical and mental well-being. — Oxygen Advantage program focused on improving health and performance through specialized breathing techniques that aim to optimize oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body. — Vic Verdier, a MovNat Aquatics instructor known for his deep cave and wreck diving records, Verdier’s teachings on breath–work highlight the importance of understanding respiratory chemistry for enhanced movement and health.

How to Keep Your Edge as You Get Older — Podcast episode with Vic Verdier, mentioned by Craig in this conversation. — MovNat is a physical education and fitness system based on natural human movement skills, aiming to improve strength, mobility, and the ability to perform practical tasks. — Wim Hof Method is a combination of cold therapy, breathing techniques, and commitment that has been claimed to contribute to physical and mental wellness.

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)

Constraints – with Julie Angel

Julie Angel describes herself as multi-passionate. She’s a filmmaker, author, podcaster, movement coach and breath-work expert. Julie joins Craig to share her insights on creativity and the transformative power of movement and breathing.

[…] you got to get out of your own way. And for me the sign of a really great conversation, or recording, is at the end of it I’m like— I always ask myself: Was that really good, or like, ‘meh’. And if it was really good, then it’s just like, ‘it was really good!’ Then if someone says, ‘what did you talk about?’ I’m not sure. I don’t know. I was just in it. […] My kind of deconstruction is how did I feel at the end of it. And that’s it.

~ Julie Angel, 20:40

Julie Angel, a filmmaker and parkour coach, describes the intricacies of her creative process and the challenges she faces in her work. She emphasizes the importance of feedback in creative pursuits, advocating for seeking critical perspectives from those who know and love her. This approach, she argues, is vital for maintaining objectivity and ensuring continuous growth in her craft.

Through the conversation, Julie reflects on the nature of creativity, highlighting the paradox of freedom in artistic expression. She recounts experiences where limitless options in filmmaking, contrary to expectations, proved to be daunting rather than liberating. This leads to a broader discussion about the necessity of constraints in fostering creativity, where she points out that limitations often spur innovation and novel approaches to storytelling and artistic expression.

Julie also explores the concept of flow state, particularly in the context of engaging dialogues and creative work. She describes this state as a measure of the quality of her interactions and creative output, where being deeply immersed in the process is a key indicator of success. Her insights extend to the realm of parkour coaching, where she draws parallels between physical movement and mental creativity. Julie underscores the transformative power of parkour, not just as a physical discipline, but as a medium for personal growth and self-expression.

She shares anecdotes and lessons from her coaching experiences, illustrating how parkour transcends physical boundaries and becomes a metaphor for overcoming life’s obstacles. This intertwining of physical and creative agility forms a central theme of the conversation, shedding light on Julie’s multifaceted perspective on life and art.


Creative Feedback — Julie Angel emphasizes the importance of seeking critical feedback from trusted individuals to maintain objectivity and foster growth in her creative endeavors.

Limitations in Creativity — She discusses how constraints can paradoxically enhance creativity, arguing that having too many options can be overwhelming and less productive for a creative mind.

Flow State in Conversations — Julie identifies the flow state as a key indicator of a successful conversation or recording, where being deeply immersed signifies quality and fulfillment.

Parkour as a Metaphor — Her experiences as a parkour coach reveal how the discipline serves not just as a physical activity but as a metaphor for overcoming life’s challenges, emphasizing personal growth and resilience.

Artistic Freedom versus Structure — She reflects on the challenges of having complete creative freedom, illustrating how structured limitations can actually spur more innovative and meaningful artistic work.

Interplay of Physical and Mental Agility — The conversation highlights the connection between physical movement in parkour and mental creativity, underscoring the parallel skills required in both realms.

Transformative Power of Movement — Julie delves into how movement, specifically through parkour, can be transformative, offering insights into its impact on personal development and self-expression.


  • — Julie’s website with various free resources, including a movement snacks guide and a crawling quadrupedal movement guide, along with her films, podcasts, and coaching information.
  • The Curious Midlife — Julie Angel’s podcast available as audio wherever you listen, and on YouTube with video.
  • Movement of 3 — Julie’s film made with three of her friends: “A film I made with my friends Annty Marais- parkour coach, mover, athlete; Fizz Hood – movement artist, stunt woman and parkour coach, & Shirley Darlington parkour coach with Parkour Generations. Women see. Women Do. Women Move.”
  • Breaking the Jump — Julie’s book about Parkour: “But more than a sport that most jaw-dropped onlookers can hardly comprehend, Parkour is an exploration of movement and a return to our body’s natural ability to run, jump, hang and move with fluidity.”
  • Ciné Parkour — “A cinematic and theoretical contribution to the understanding of the practice of parkour.”
  • British filmmaker Shane Meadows is mentioned in relation to his work and approach to filmmaking.
  • The 5 Obstructions is noted as a documentary featuring filmmaker Lars von Trier.

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)

Rediscovering movement

Play is a big part of our lives as children, but why do we lose our playfulness as we age? I talk a lot about the emotional and physical aspects of play, especially regarding Positive Ageing and aspects of Parkour. So many people feel like play is out of reach as they approach midlife, even though it’s an innate part of you.

~ Julie Angel from,

Angel doesn’t write often, but when she does it’s something nice like this. I just want to say that physical movement and play are inseparable—without the former, you’re not really doing the later.

Or, perhaps I just want to say two things; That first thing, and that Angel is the film–maker who created my favorite video to share when people ask me, “what is parkour?” Movement of Three.

Actually, I want to share three things: Those two things, and Julie if you’re reading: OMG the cannoli!


A terrible mistake

Suddenly, a decision I hadn’t even been aware I had made – giving up the thrill of movement for movement’s sake – seemed like a terrible mistake. I felt the same as if I had thrown out my entire music collection by accident.

~ Julie Angel from,

I completely agree with this sentiment. By the time I realized how much I had given up, it was far too late for me to recover what I had lost. These days everyone says complementary things about how much I’ve changed, or how well I’m doing. All I’m thinking is, “if only I hadn’t . . .”


Parkour as a technology of the self

(Part 60 of 72 in series, My Journey)

I’m working on a crazy idea as a side project. Totally unrelated, I’m reading Julie’s CinéParkour. I’m just reading along this evening, and I get to this paragraph. This is so apropos of my train of thought these past few weeks.


Traceurs are active subjects within dominant power relations who use parkour as a technology of the self; an active transformative tool, to create and understand themselves and move away from fixed notions of identity and behaviour. Through a process of critical thinking and self-awereness traceurs problemitise and set ethics by which they adhere to. Parkour becomes a ‘practice of libery’, where traceurs practice freedom as a lifestyle, based on inventions and styles, that create ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections, to reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle, away from the dominant notion of ‘bio-power’ and other dominant discourses.

~ Julie Angel, from CinéParkour, pg 152

‘technology of the self’
‘freedom as a lifestyle’
‘ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections’
‘reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle’


The inconvenient truth

The idea of what parkour can be and the current reality of what parkour is are not the same as far as who participates. The issue of gender can’t be ignored in parkour. You hear a lot based around the idea of ‘parkour is for everyone!’, well theoretically yes, but if all you really see is young guys then if you are not a ‘young guy’, it many not occur to you that it could also be for you. Parkour as an activity is not alone in this.

~ Julie Angel from,