Learning about Physical Literacy



Hi! My name is Cassidy! You may have seen me around the studio in the classroom but most of the time you can find me behind the front desk. When I’m not there I am at Mount Royal University completing a degree in Physical Literacy with a minor in Sport Business. I started my practicum at Wymbin in January of 2021 with the intention to share more (and learn more through experience) about the newfound term/concept: Physical Literacy.

Now, you might be wondering what Physical Literacy even is. Doesn’t literacy mean being able to read? How is that “Physical”?


Here’s my definition: Physical Literacy is the understanding of movement within our bodies at every stage of life to prevent injury and maintain optimal health.

The more technical definition (as defined by the International Physical Literacy Association):


The motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.”



Essentially, Physical Literacy is the understanding of fundamental movement and sport skills. Children start by learning to crawl, and then before you know it, they’re running around! But it all starts with getting used to performing simple movements like hip flexion and extension. Children gain confidence in their ability to complete the movement through practice and encouragement which gives them the motivation and confidence to take their first steps! Practice makes perfect, right? Absolutely! But what if we don’t practice or we over practice?


Here’s an example: I played lots of sports growing up. Soccer, dance, volleyball, curling, weightlifting, golf, and more. You’ll notice that most of these sports have a large focus on power, specifically in the lower body. This would probably explain why despite my athleticism, my ability to throw a ball is subpar, but would also explain why most of my injuries have to do with my lower body. While there are many factors that do play into them, a large part of this was due to overuse of the same muscles. Cut to: the reason I love yoga for Physical Literacy!


Yoga is one of the few activities that uses a wide variety of movement and muscles. This prevents any over strengthening or stretching of muscles in the body, which prevents injury! The mindful movement within yoga brings awareness to how our bodies move, and values honoring your body with where it’s at in that moment. Yoga can be therapeutic, strengthening, invigorating, calming, and more. While being physically literate means a variety in physical activities, I truly believe from my own research and experience that yoga is one of the best ways to promote physical literacy because of the variety within the activity itself. You definitely still need to practice your fundamental movement skills (trust me, I still can’t throw a ball very well despite my yoga practice) which is best to be done within physical activities, but yoga brings balance to the body that would help prevent injury while completing these movements. Especially if there are movements repeated often within the body.