You can sum so many adjectives to Ido Portal, a teacher, a guru, a poet, a warrior, a movement artist…a mover.
Like Dalai Lama, Ido Portal defines himself as a human before any role he plays…He seems to be very aware of what is going on around him (all the time!). He had a really calm energy when we met at Triller Crossfit, after a long photo-shooting session, he was open to give me some time.
When I heard Ido was coming to Vienna I wanted to meet him right away, we were picking him up at the airport, but I had to attend my Strength Coach program by the Intelligent Strength Institute of Physical Education that weekend. I was quite sad and I asked to have a chat with him before he would flight back to Berlin. Well, my wish should have been pretty strong because the universe opened the possibility to hang around him for a whole afternoon…
I, myself have been practicing Ido Portal’s Method, so I wanted to meet actually Ido Portal: The Human…so, as we sat down we started a very personal & vivid conversation.
We approached LIFESTYLES: Education, Nutrition, Genes, Awareness & Process were key subjects.
His Mission: Movement Education
IDO: Lack of education: Money is not the issue, the time is not the issue, education it is where it starts and then all the required elements: whether is financial, whether is time management, lifestyle choices, pains, aches, injuries…all of this would be resolved.
“First of all we must start with education”
We need to know our body: “I live in a body, I need take care of my body, the body is designed for physical action, MOVEMENT”. That what it was made to do, evolved to do and when I don’t address that in a regular basis in daily life I will pay a price. A price of happiness, a price of health and eventually I will pay an ultimate price.
The HEART of it, is education, the heart of it is presenting people with philosophy and present people with a concept. They can put tittles and they can put later on methods and tools to start to address the problem.
It’s not about offering someone a quick fix, it is about offering someone to a quick fix to attract his interest towards the real method.
So, per example the SQUAT CHALLENGE, and the HANGING CHALLENGE where I give people basically a very quick concept, most of them don’t even know what it is about. But, they sense there is something there, and once I catch the hand and from there I catch the arm and I catch the body and their interests comes. We have around 30,000 people involved with it actively, posting pictures, squatting every day, something that for example in Latinoamerica, in Mexico is very common to see. In Brasil is very common to see. You can see people squatting on the street waiting, even smoking, doing things that are not related to health. But using that basic human function. And by doing that daily they get their knees better, they get their digestive tracks a bit of stimulation, blood vessel, everything gets basically adapted, and get stimulated to grow for movement. And once they start to doing that you catch them, then you can research deeper and maybe you need to give them another quick fix and pull them a bit more and more.
“Each person has a different key”
One person can be about weight loss, because is what he knows, it is what he is educated about, he doesn’t care about movement but he cares about looking a bit better, another person would be interested in been stronger and another person would have to wait until he gets his first heart attack before he can actually do something about it. So actually would have to see the death threat before he takes action…THAT’S THE EDUCATION PROCESS.
As hard it is or as easy it can be, because you can appreciate what you have when you are young and you are mobile, and you are moving and you have a healthy body or you can loose it and then you will pray for all gods in existence to receive 10 percent of what you had. Unfortunate, right now as a culture there is two scenarios that each one has to experience and unfold, make a choice there.
“Nutrition is a very personal thing”
AF: Tell us about nutrition…
IDO: I view it as a very contextual thing, the needs vary, or the scenario, the person, the stress levels, things that are happening in your life, for example people who work a day grabs carbs, to eat more carbs and more sugars, when they are stressed, sugar can be very relaxing, very calming for some people. Our nervous system is smarter than us, it is programmed to perform certain tasks, it is programmed to protect and preserve and reproduce our genes, it is not always this correlate with us, it’s not about us, it is about the GENES. So a lot of your cravings, a lot of your needs come from the genes, who want to survive, but you sometimes suffer the results, it is a love-hate relation. There is conflict an yeah…there is another need for EDUCATION, SELF-EDUCATION, SELF KNOWLEDGE thing, not necessary learning all the concepts but been in tune in what you feel, one man’s is poison, other person’s medicine.
Self-experimentation, maybe working with someone, like you had a very fortunate to have your partner, as a supporting force, and someone you can ask and you can discuss with. It is important to have this people in your life. And I’ve been this person for many people and had these people in my life. So, I know that it is extremely important. It is just basically creating a process.
note: if you are still curious Ido’s personal nutrition. You can read one of his post here
It starts with the awareness. The awareness of what am I eating, the awareness of what I need to eat. Sometimes you have to fight the urges, sometimes you don’t have to fight the urges, you have to go with the urges so, that’s where I start.
When you are very in tune with it, you can start to recognize patterns in the chaos, in nutrition is very similar, you eat a carrot and you recognize certain sensations, in the beginning you don’t even notice it, you just hammer food in, and there is not in tune sensitivity.
“This tune sensitivity is also part on my MOVEMENT PRACTICE.”
For example, when you lift heavy and you get stronger and stronger, you loose something as well, something that people don’t realize. You loose a lot of sensitivity, you loose a lot of fine motor control, so there is a need of a certain BALANCE there. Desensitizing and sensitizing. Qualities, been in tune and providing quality sources according to those needs but also been resilient, anti-fragile and been able to sustain. Food is not optimal always, its very complex subject that’s why I don’t give simple answers because I am not a believer in subscriptions, protocols.
“I believe in EDUCATION, in AWARENESS, I believe in a PROCESS”
I believe in education, in awareness, I believe in a process. Sorry to disappoint you in this regard if it wasn’t what you had expected.
AF: I actually want to know based in what you said, how do you select and choose what you eat.
IDO: True, true, but actually what importance does it have, this is something that I get a lot, people come to me at the weekend workshop, they want to see me move, but what importance does it have?
People want to know how I train, people want to know what I eat, but I find this, it makes me into a guru, it makes me into a performer, it is not what I am, and it is not what I am to serve as a function, actually I am a teacher. And if I want to teach I have to disconnect myself from that sometimes, so I have to teach, sometimes, I have to show, I have to demonstrate.
In the other hand, for few years now I’ve avoiding been the performer only, so some of the people come to the workshop they will see me move a little bit of here and there but not much, and if they ask a personal questions sometimes I would say, actually what does it matter because it doesn’t reflect on me. It doesn’t serve you as a starting point. I can definitely sympathize with the curiosity, I can definitely see where it comes from, but I also want people to come out with something out of it, out of the experience, out of the conversation, interview, workshop, even if it is only a philosophical point of view.
It might open a door to a huge world of possibilities and knowledge, but have to follow after it, you have to MAKE A DECISION to go after it. Sometimes is confusing, like you said, I don’t know how to string it together, I need A, B, C. actually you only need A, not A, B, C and from A you only need B and from B you only need C.
So actually the most important thing is where is the next point, and this is a good education, bringing a person to the next point and from there reveling to the next point. It is a REACTIONARY HABIT vs. a PLANNING HABIT. What it is happing to me now and how I react to it, how do I move to the next level, to the next point.
AF: I agree with what you say, I believe the power of the mind & love plays a very important role, talking nutrition for example, to keep the energy level, I believe as humans we have to take responsibility to make choices to sustain your health in life. Either is food, body, mind, soul, even money. Belief plays a strong role in this choices.
IDO: Yes, I definitely agree, and I agree with your point. You are right about the love, and you are right about the resistance, if you feel a negative resistance, even the healthiest food might not serve you well, I agreed with you. Because if you believe in it that’s all it matters. You are already right. If you believe in that concept, you are already right. So if I twist your…you already know that the mind is stronger as you said. You would produce a reality… negative at the end.
“if you believe in it that’s all it matters. You are already right. If you believe in that concept, you are already right.”
CONCEPT OF SELF-CENTRED
AF: I’ve trouble with doing for myself, I learned back in my birth country you shouldn’t take care of yourself that much, not physically. First financial security, then social status, and then, maybe then, you look into your physical body.
IDO: My mother is very much like that, my grandmother raised her like that, but if you don’t devote for yourself, it becomes more selfish because it starts to be bitter, you start to be not be a good force for the people around you. Actually, it has a great power to be HAPPY, helps your environment to be happier, to be fulfilled then you can really take reserves for the people around you, you have reserves, when you feel not so complete you end up sometimes more selfish it can flip on you.
“if you don’t devote for yourself, it becomes more selfish because it starts to be bitter, you start to be not be a good force for the people around you.”
AF: Fav places to visit/ vacation
IDO: The concept of vacation doesn’t exist in my life so much, I’ve been on the road for 4-5 years, all over the place and all continents basically beside Artica, traveling, teaching, teaching most on the weekends, also I have time for myself, I’m moving a lot every day.
There are places where I keep coming back to and I love them, one of them is Thailand, I’ve been there many times, I like the tai people, I lived there for a while and I worked there… There are other places, love Australia, I keep coming there, I have good friends in Russia, I haven’t seen them in a while, I’ve been there few times, I love some areas, beautiful areas in Russia, on and on but I really a citizen of the planet in many ways. For me it is all one thing.
To be an excellent human…a mover….requires a mix of soul, heart, mind & body education process. Ido Portal has that. I am grateful that he has opened the door of possibilities for those that are busy or distracted in a traditional life and for those of us that are in the process to live again in a more healthy movy way.
Pics and videos source: Ido Portal homepage