Episode #416: Katy Bowman is a biomechanist and bestselling author of 9 books, including Move Your DNA, Grow Wild, and her latest coming out in May, Rethink Your Position. Named one of Maria Shriver’s “Architects of Change,” Katy Bowman is changing the way we move and think about our need for movement. Find out more at NutritiousMovement.com.
Balanced Bites Podcast #416 with Katy Bowman
Welcome to the new Balanced Bites Podcast! I’m your host, Liz, a nutritional therapy practitioner and best selling author bringing you candid, up-front, myth-busting and thought-provoking conversations about food, fitness, and life. Remember: The information in this podcast should not be considered personal, individual, or medical advice.
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Hi friends about today’s episode. I am talking to bestselling author, speaker, and leader of the movement movement, bio mechanistic, Katy Bowman. And I’ve actually talked to her several times before I’ve interviewed her for the balanced bites podcast. I followed Katie for years and for the entirety of that span of time, she continues to change the way I think about my need.
For movement. I feel like discovering Katy stuff was a huge shift for me. And it has continued to provide insight. As I moved through my little timeline of life, as I call it in this interview. Everything that I have learned from Katy has been so simple yet. So transformational. So if you don’t already know Katy, I’ll tell you a little bit more about her. Katie Bowman teaches movement globally, and she’s written nine previous books on the importance of a diverse movement diet, including.
Move your DNA, dynamic aging and grow wild. And in this latest book, which we talk about a little bit today, I mean, I have this toxic habit of talking more. To the people that wrote the books and learning about them than actually talking about the content and the substance of the book. But that’s, you know, I look at things I like to know the person that I’m supporting and the person whose book that I’m reading, just as much as anything else. So.
I think it’s probably okay. But this latest book is rethink your position and it is a much needed guide to how our bodies move and why we need to move more. And the intentional steps anyone can take to feel and move and even think better. One part at a time, we all know that we need to move more, but when you really get granular about it, it is so empowering, understanding the parts and how they work together and how.
You can treat them as components of a whole, of this holistic being that we are. Okay. So another cool thing about Katy is she was actually named one of Maria Shriver’s architects of change, which is so cool. I feel like I’m touching greatness. I’m greatness adjacent with this, and she’s also worked with companies like Patagonia and Nike and Google as well.
And a bunch of other nonprofits and other communities sharing her message, her move more message. Her movement education company that you might’ve heard of is nutritious movement. And she’s the host of the move, your DNA podcast. So for this book, this new book that I talk with Katy about today, rethink your position, which you can buy via the description on this podcast or at Amazon, firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a deep dive into movement, but it’s also segmented in a really interesting and accessible way.
That actually reminded me a little bit of the way I wrote my book, which was two separate things into these component parts. So in my book, I did carbohydrate protein, fat nutrients. And if you don’t know my book, by the way, it’s called eat the yolks. It has really good if I do say so myself. So those were the chapters and the way Katie divided up.
Her book is like head and neck and shoulders, arms, hands. Spine, pelvic floor, hips, ankles and feet. I think that’s all of them. And this is what really helped me in getting granular about the subject matter. And of course at the same time, Katy’s also inspiring these larger conversations around the most interesting topics.
And in particular, I love how she’s serving up something so profoundly different from what much of the wellness world is talking about it’s related, but it’s also a total paradigm shift. So there’s no cat litter in a Gatorade commercial, right? You’ll know what I mean by that soon. I had to throw it in there.
All right onto the interview.
Liz: Oh my gosh, it’s been so long since
Katy: I’ve talked to you. I know. Like a whole lifetime
Liz: ago. I feel like the last time we talked this. Years and years ago. And I remember, I think I was pregnant [00:04:00] and you were telling me a story, some story about you were eating tuna and there was parsley in it.
Yes. And you managed to regurgitate all the parsley because you were helping me through some, like eating anatomic. Yes. That while I was pregnant.
Katy: Well, that was so weird because, , with my first child, my pregnancy, I was, , nauseous. Most of the time for the entire thing. But specifically it was vegetables.
I couldn’t eat vegetables. I, I ate, I mean, I found the one thing that I could eat and it was, uh, a tri-tip sandwich. Um, and I could eat that every day. But I mean, my body was so sensitive to taking in anything green that the time that you were talking about is, I ate a, a bowl of like, I had bought tuna salad from a grocery store.
I remember that. Like no bread or anything, just tuna. Cuz I could do really high doses of protein and it had parsley in it, which was off my radar. And [00:05:00] then like an hour and a half later here, I had to vomit again, which was totally my life for this nine month period. And I vomited up. A, a parcel of parsley that had been contained by, uh, by a, the wrapping of it was, was, um, I’m such a science geek.
It looked like bubbles. It, it looked like I had had created a bubble net. I just think of that cuz I used to work a lot with, um, uh, whales, uh, humpback whales and like bubble netting. Like I, that’s what I remember thinking like it’s a bubble net.
Like my body head found a way to contain it and then kick it back out cuz it was not, it was not getting to my child. And, and it’s really interesting that child has, um, very, very high specific meat needs. Um, well, totally loves greens though. It like, loves greens, so doesn’t have a vegetable, [00:06:00] um, aversion at all, in fact is one of their favorite foods.
But, um, he, he also just needs a tremendous amount of, of meat.
Liz: That’s fascinating. So you regurgitated the parsley en caul. It was,
Katy: it was, and I had never, I didn’t, I never heard of that as being a thing. Yeah. Like, you know, that’s not in any, in any baby book, but that’s how sensitive, that’s how sensitive I was.
But I also was thinking like, wow, like the body does things that we don’t even really know about yet. You know, like it, like I would love to hear if anyone else had, had an ex an experience like that. And it was like with for fruit too. It was crazy. What I couldn’t eat.
Liz: That is wild. And the kid, the kid can eat parsley and everything.
Katy: Yeah. He has no, he has no, um, problems with any of that, but, He’s a fiery one. You know, like I, I, I think this is where it sort of bleeds over into why we choose the, um, the foods that we do beyond just the dietary nutrients. That there are more, um, [00:07:00] characteristics to food and the way food, uh, fuels us energetically, if that makes sense.
Mm-hmm. Like emotionally when I need to be more fiery of a person, when I need to be a sadder person. Like the, that we are attracted to food for other things. And I think that his, it had a lot more to do with, um, acid and heat. Not acid and literal sense, but, but just, um, fiery this, like, I couldn’t take any more, no raw vegetables, nothing that came with like, a lot of oomph or watermelon.
Watermelon. I would immediately within like 15 minutes vomit up. This is so gross for everyone listening, but they’re, they’re all food nerds and body nerds, right? Oh, we love it. Yeah, that’s right. Like vomiting up not only watermelon, but like, Acid where I got burn, like burning on the way out of my mouth.
Like I’d never vomited up acid before. Oh, the things we do, the
Liz: things we do, this is such a good start, such a we’re just like, we’re rolling. Welcome everyone. Welcome. I [00:08:00] brought it up so it’s my fault, but I just,
Katy: one of the things,
Liz: oh my God, this just shows how many brain cells I have just trampled upon since I’ve had children, cuz I didn’t even get that. And that type of thing used to be my favorite thing. Just
Katy: like, we’re like salmon, you know, I always say like, we’re like salmon. Take my kids. We have salmon, uh, where we are. Like, see the mo, you know, the, the.
Salmon will spawn and then they’ll die, and then their nutrients feed the next generation. I’m like, we’re like salmon only. We’re like, our death is stretched out over like, I’m giving up cells to nourish you, um, over a longer period of time. And I’m fine with that because when you put it in that context, like, and this is the way that it goes, yes,
Liz: it’s fine, fine.
It’s these little, little mysteries of exist, not mysteries. I mean, we can, we can deconstruct them, but these little. Curiosities of existence. And on that note, I was thinking the other day, and here’s just taking this in a totally nother terrible direction, this will be the [00:09:00] worst interview you’ve ever done.
But I was thinking the other day like, well, I really have kind of outlived my usefulness. Like it weren’t for the modern, and I’m gonna bring this around to your work because we could make the argument, I would never make this argument, but in past times.
But here I go, here I go, making the argument. Anyway, in past times, I might be toast in like five to 10 years. I’m almost 40 years old like the, once you have, you know, surpassed your, not surpassed, but past your reproductive capacity, you may be less useful to the community or the group of the tribe or whatever it is. This is just a terrible analogy.
Katy: Well, I, and I would say that actually what they have, what, what has been found in anthropological uh, studies of just, uh, groups of people that really, grandparents like.
I think that that is probably, that, that understanding probably has, like, that your usefulness is done has more to do with the fact that we live, um, in small unit families, but [00:10:00] no, uh, children that have. Proximal grandparents and older parents do better. So you are, I’m 47 and I can say probably with a little bit of bias that like your useful, your usefulness is not done.
And also our usefulness isn’t only relate to children. Right. Like, like we’re useful in, in other, in even well doesn’t necessarily have to be our children. I think we are actually all useful relative to children. They just do not have to be our own. Yeah. Right. Like we’ve really started to parse off into like people with kids and people without kids.
We are all allo parenting the next generation of children. So even if you don’t have children in your home, which definitely uses up brain cells like Kleenex come out of a box, you know, like I think, uh, like the people, even without children, and I will have a phase where my children are not in my household, but I will still be a person with those skills and can contribute in this other way to.
Humanity. We’d have to not. [00:11:00] Children are just humans being risen. Right? So like we are all contributing to humanity long form. You know, you don’t get out of it because you’re 40. No, I reject that.
Liz: So, reject that. I reject that. I’m canceling that perspective. That perspective is canceled. Well, I love that.
And there’s so many, every time I go through your work, I’m just, and by the way, can I throw out there that I was actually quoted in one of your books. I think it’s really important that everybody has diastasis recti. That’s right. Oh my gosh. , so for this book, for Rethink Your position, , this is like your ninth book, right? .
Katy: I don’t even like to count anymore. It’s like, like whatever. You’ve written another book that’s so
Liz: many. I, I wrote one book and I thought, I feel like I’ve said everything that I needed to say.
Mm-hmm. So I would love to know, I mean, I wanna, I wanna dive into the book a little bit more, but I also wanna know. How does the material keep, like seeing by so many books in different ways?
Katy: Yes. Yeah. Well, I’m a writer and I think a lot of people write a book, but they maybe don’t necessarily identify as a writer.
Like you get that book [00:12:00] out becau, but I am a writer, like, and, and I’m. Larger than I am a writer, more, more volume than I am a writer. I am a, um, a talker. I process thoughts through words, spoken out loud in conversation, but I’ve been able to get what I can get out of a conversation through writing and editing and clarifying like, oh, this is not, this is how this will be received here.
I have to reedit so my books are conversational. Like they’re even tend to be written sort of in a conversational form. It’s not literature, folks listening, but it’s the way that I would talk to my sister. It’s the way that I would talk to my grandmother, my grandfather, and my parents, and, and my children and my friends, and someone that I meet, uh, on the bus.
Right? It’s like, it’s a conversational way of presenting information that assumes that we won’t have a ton of time to do a deep dive. [00:13:00] So when you’re dealing with something as complex as human movement over the timeline of humanity and going forward, you have to have a lot of books that keep having a, a gentle conversation, an accessible conversation.
One that we can process in these busy times where information is coming at us so that if you choose to, to go long form or deeper dive, you can do so in a series of books versus when you find a like one, you can’t put everything into a single book. There’s no way. And if you really were to pack it with ideas, it couldn’t have examples.
And if it was packed with examples, it couldn’t be that complex in presenting ideas. So it’s really just this idea is very large human movement is sort of the access of human culture. Um, and so, [00:14:00] It just is going to take a lot of books for me to be complete. So that’s, that’s why. And then, um, yeah, again, I don’t make very many social media reels cuz I don’t have that skill.
Um, there’s a lot of other ways of getting out things. Like, it’s not easy for me to turn out podcasts. It seems to be easier, easier for me to write. And so that’s why it looks like I have a large body of work in book form, but everyone’s got a large body of work. My also other large body of work is laundry, right?
Like, it’s what I spent, it’s what I spend my time doing. So it’s just books for me. I’m a book person.
Liz: Now, this might seem far afield of what we’re supposed to talk about today, but I actually had a couple of people who knew I was going to talk to you, who Oh. All separately wanted me to ask you the, the same sort of style of questions.
So I’m gonna ask it. Okay. Do you get this volume? These are like my writer friends, right? Mm-hmm. Like I would consider myself a writer, as in that is the skill that I have that I love most to impart on the world, yet I’ve [00:15:00] only managed to do one. Yeah. But how have you done that? Is it a personality thing?
Is it a, what is it? I mean, you’re the JK Rowling of alignment. It’s like we’ve got the Harry Potter series and then we’ve got accessory series. Fantastic. Beast. Somewhere to find
Katy: them. That’s right. Is she writing all those, those other ones or those Actually, I don’t know by other people.
Hmm. She might be like the, the, the name on the front. But, um, how am I able, well, I work, I write, I read quickly, and I write quickly. So that’s a, and I’ve always been in that way. So there’s an element of speed. Um, I mean, I, I am very fiery as a person too. Like I don’t really have downtime. I don’t really. Uh, I don’t really do much else, so, so my life might look lopsided in other ways.
Um, but I think it’s, it, I think it is, and it might also have something to do with how much I move because I feel like [00:16:00] most of my writing is done on the move and because what I’m writing about is non-fiction, right? Like, I’m not having to be particularly creative. So for people who write and have to synthesize something from nothing, I don’t know, that seems totally overwhelming and challenging for me.
Um, and I, yeah, I think it’s because what I wanna say occurs to me, like I’m not really even creating it, it just occurs to me and I’m like, oh, I should put that in a text format. And so I choose to, um, not have long talks as much as have long rights. You know, so I think it’s just that, I think it’s maybe just how I particularly, uh, choose to set up how I spend my, my time when I’m thinking along those lines.
Um, it’s just efficient, it’s efficient for me. Like, I would not sit down to write, like I never sit down and to write [00:17:00] it is more like I’m out doing something and like, oh, that’s a really great example. And then I think of these two other, three other examples that I’ve maybe had along the way. Glimmers, um, author Pam Houston thinks of ’em that way.
And then I just go, oh, I’m gonna write a piece that puts these seemingly three unrelated things together. They’re at different depths of an idea and then done. Um, so it’s not, again, per, I don’t wanna say it’s not creative, but I just mean it’s, it’s just real life. It’s just observances, you know, more than anything else.
So part personality and then just part the way I’ve just chosen to, the way it occurs to me to do it. I don’t know how else to do it.
Liz: Generative, like it just feels like there’s a Mm, mm-hmm. Generative energy. Yeah. In, in you. And I’m so grateful for it because you do, you weave things together that are seemingly maybe different or that seem unrelated to someone like me, and you are able to weave those together.
So however you do it, you just keep
Katy: on doing it. Okay. And thanks everyone for asking the question.
Liz: Speaking of how you create things [00:18:00] and , where we put our attention, one of the things that I wanted to tackle with you, and we might as well just jump right into it, is something that is very different to the way many other people with large sphere of influence in the wellness world tackle these same topics.
And what I have noted about you and your work is that there is generally very little no mention actually of how the body. Looks, I mean, other than you’re looking at somebody and you’re seeing, orientation of parts. But I’m also curious if it has been difficult to form a community or if people were super open to this idea in wellness that it is not about aesthetics and it is about function.
Katy: Yeah. I don’t, I don’t even think it was particularly conscious. Again, it’s just I am fairly mechanistic, right? Like that’s my point of view. Like that’s what I’m teaching is this is how movement works. So it’s not like I’ve had to necessarily convert [00:19:00] from. Uh, aesthetics, like le uh, like movement through an aesthetics view.
It’s really more movement through a, a functional, a mechanistic view, because it’s very tricky when you go like, because movement and aesthetics don’t necessarily overlap for me in this way. And I think a big part of what I’m doing is that, that over integrion between aesthetics and movement is ironically why more people don’t uptake movement.
And so a large part of my work, I would say is writing. Here’s why. It’s, that’s not very effective and I don’t really, I’m not really getting into the emotional side of things unless psychological of like, It doesn’t feel good in this way. It’s more like, it’s not even particularly relevant. Like it’s, it’s not even particularly relevant.
And we can see [00:20:00] sort of in the emergence of movement science where, where those two ideas converged. Um, but there’s so much known about movement now. It’s just, um, you’re sort of behind the times in, in the, in the set. Like, you know, to, to think about it in this way is to not appreciate the large body of understanding, um, how movement works in the body, right?
It, it, it has little to do with aesthetics. Now that being said, there’s this other part about form, but when we talk about form the alignment or the orientation of parts, it’s also, um, trying to be. More judgment free or, or you’re ha when you’re trying to assess position, you have to be able to discern when you’re in the position and when you’re not in the position, what you don’t have to do is assign a judgment, good or bad about, about being in a particular position.
And so I try to really, through words, through [00:21:00] concepts, help people see those things different. Differently. Like if you were to draw an angle on a sheet of paper and it’s 57 degrees, it’s just 57 degrees, we gotta get to the point where we can see 57 degrees or 78 degrees. And right now we’re tending to see good or bad, right or wrong.
And it’s like if we can get more, just look at the OB object, look at things more objectively and not have to assign. Uh, an emotion to it, um, or a feeling about it. When we can get to that place, it makes getting into the angles that suit us better in the, in the way that you, we each define better. I can do more things with my body that I wanted to do, or it feels better for me.
Or, um, I can use movement of my body to clear my mind or feel, feel better in other nonphysical ways. Like when we can define what those are for us, which [00:22:00] is what, uh, rethink your position is really about getting, you know, getting to the ability to see, get, getting to the place where you can see yourself more objectively and figure out what it is that you want to do with your body.
Then you can use this tool kit of movement to get yourself there.
Liz: I think I started first reading your, your work. Oh gosh. Maybe. 10
Katy: years ago. Is that a reason? Probably more than that. More than that. Because I have a 12 year old now, my, it was a 12 year old, so I feel it was probably more like 13 years ago.
Liz: Yeah. Yeah. I think you’re about right. But what’s interesting is, so 13 years ago, I would’ve been 26, 27, and I feel like there was some kind of inflection point where I was aware of this information and I was taking it in. It was interesting. It was an entirely, it was a paradigm shift if I were to let it be a paradigm shift.
But there was sort of an inflection point, I think, in the last couple of years, and I think it was probably just that very conventional, [00:23:00] you know, Tra traditional feeling of like, okay, I’m almost 40. What do I really want the rest of my life to look like? Mm-hmm. Because there’s that time when you don’t worry about it, cuz you don’t have to worry about it.
And you know, that’s have to worry about it in quotes. But when you’re, you know, up until you’re 12 or 13, you’re moving pretty naturally. You know, things are, you know, lubricated, you’re moving through the world and you know, taking on these positions. And then you get a little bit older and then you just don’t care because you don’t think you have to.
And then you get to a certain point in your timeline and you’re like, you see your, maybe your parents getting a little bit older and not moving so well throughout life and you realize what extraordinary meaning movement has to the wellbeing of, of a person. And I’ve hit that inflection point. So it’s like I am devouring your work again for the second time.
With a lens that I didn’t have before. Mm-hmm. I loved it before, but I, like, I get it now. I really, it’s
Katy: more [00:24:00] relevant now. Yes. Yeah. So much more relevant. That’s, and that’s a challenging thing is to, is to, um, is to frame the urgency of movement when you’re not at that space. So I don’t really spend a lot of time trying to convert people to move more, plead with people to move more.
It’s more like, here’s how it works. You’re gonna pick it up. Um, people come to it when they do have an injury. They come to it when they had something unexpected happen with their body. You know, like ideally we would all live a, you know, a perfect timeline. You know, where, where lo like losses of form, losses of function of our body.
Is on this like very linear process that you can look up the age that you are and there is a, there’s a general flow, but, but, um, we talk so much about nature, but like nature is not benign. You know, cultures aren’t benign. The injuries and disease and accidents are a real [00:25:00] thing that we have to deal with.
And we are sort of like, we’re not only aging averse, we’re certainly death averse. And then there’s, then there’s also, we’re quite aging averse and now we’re sort of like in any sort of harm, right? Like the more I can keep myself separated from anything that might alter this expectation of this very linear journey in which traumatic losses don’t occur, you know, around us, I think is.
Is becoming a problem, right? So I just like to really say like, we are going to have losses that we can’t ex, that we can’t expect. And you don’t have to become sort of a doomsday. These things will happen, but it’s more like you wanna always, um, maximize what you have, you know, so you maximize what you have because these things are inevitable.
Like they’re inevitable. Um, they’re part of life, they are [00:26:00] part of living, they are part of society, they are part of biology. So the more you can just, um, be familiar with your physicality, the more you can, um, like you’ll, you’ll be resilient, right? It’s about resiliency, it’s about physical resiliency, and that’s another way that movement is not always necessarily talked about.
It’s so. It’s optimization, but that word tends to be co-opted. And the idea of performance sake, you know, or aesthetic sake, and it’s more just about general resiliency for everyday life. No matter your age or stage, things happen and, and we don’t tend to be grateful or proactive, we tend to be reactive.
And so it’s just about, hey, there’s this other thing that you could be doing with your body that is not only about resiliency in the future. It also makes a lot of things better right now. Like, and that’s my, that’s my upsell, right? It’s like some of us are really future oriented and some of us are more like, [00:27:00] I can’t do that because I’m trying to meet my needs right now.
I try to present a version of movement that simultaneously meets [your needs] and makes your life better right now. So it’s never a trade-off … there is no trade-off. It’s only benefits. Benefits across the board now, and in the future.
Liz: I’ve seen, I mean, I’ve seen that it’s so many places in this, in this journey, and I wanna, I wanna call out something that you just said.
You made a distinction that I was trying to make in my own mind, but I couldn’t put words to it. The fact that oftentimes these concepts are sort of used, the, the concept of, did you say optimization is often looked at through a lens?
Katy: Sure, sure. It’s it, you know, optimization is the word, and I use it all the time.
Like, you’re trying to, you’re trying to optimize, but optimize has become a Gatorade commercial, right? Yes. Like, it’s about, you know, it’s, it’s gotta look to it and no one picks bending over, not hurting your back in their Gatorade commercial, you know what I mean? Like, it so like, it’s part, it’s marketing [00:28:00] and I think
it’s like, it’s like flashy colors, you know? It’s like the things that we can’t look away from as the animals that we are. But when it comes to like deeply being satisfied by something, there’s, there’s other elements that. Less, I think of it as more juvenile, you know, like, or maybe juvenile isn’t the right word.
Less superficial. Like less just on the surface. Because it takes more time, right? It takes more time to experience loss before you realize that’s what she was talking about, you know? And, and, and there’s no way to really save anyone from doing that. But, and I, and it’s been my own journey myself, right?
Like when my body is hurt or injured, it is only then that I’m just like, oh, I sh I need to be more grateful for my body. When it feels good, I need to remember to take the time to do the things that when my body doesn’t feel good, I’m so reminded of, of [00:29:00] the choices that I have made over the last month or year for whatever reason.
So it’s just about arming people with more information. I don’t think that people really know that they have that much control over how their body feels and works. That’s what the book is about. Yeah. It’s like you have so much more, uh, Control. You have many more. You have so many more switches in your body that you could be toggling if you even knew that they were, were there.
And so it’s just adding more language around that so people can pick it up if they so, uh, deem it worthy. Something’s been the practice of movement.
Liz: The practice of movement, the practice that’s been on my mind a lot recently and the people I really love to interview are the people who are sort of laying plain or making very clear that one has more agency than one may think.
Mm-hmm. We have more control, we have more agency, we have more capacity to make change than we might think. And bringing it back around to what you said about resiliency, I love that cuz what, what more could we want, I mean, for ourselves as we age, as we, you know, trott along our little timeline. And what more could we want for our kids and just what more could we want in general, and this very much resonated with me what you just said about this idea of function.
Well, what I was thinking was we have this concept of functional fitness. Mm-hmm. But it tends to, as you were just saying, have an aesthetic. It tends to be filtered through a performance lens. It’s the Gatorade, the Gatorade of, of functional movement or, or whatever it was that you were just saying. But I like that because I was trying to figure out exactly how to articulate and the intro to this, which I will record separately.
The difference between what you are talking about and what so much of the wellness world is talking about. Which is great. It’s great that we talk about functional fitness. It’s great that we can sort of draw those comparisons, that we’re not just beating ourselves down on a treadmill for the sake of, you know, getting skinnier or burning calories that we’re actually thinking.
Picking up in what my old coach used to say, coach Michael Rutherford. He used to say, I want you, I don’t care how you look now, I care that in 40 years you can pick up a bag of cat litter and put it on the shelf without hurting yourself. And that was so not sexy to me when I was 20 years old. But I get it now.
It’s actually, it is kind of sexy
Katy: to me. Yeah. There’s no cat litter in a Gatorade commercial like, you know. And there’s a reason for it. Like we, I do think we society’s moving so fast, we’re having to pick and choose. So we go like, the flashiest easiest thing that you can relate to is what is, is what we have to, we have to make decisions like much more rapidly.
And like, I understand how it works, it’s just there are plenty of people in the slower choosier form. Um, just because there are Gatorade commercials, I would say there’s a lot of people who don’t drink Gatorade, but you can still resonate with the commercial where movement is something that just, it’s, it’s not that sexy.
I mean, I think that that’s probably what it is, is it’s not that sexy of a thing. I think it is. I [00:32:00] think it very much is, but not in, not in 15 seconds. Not in 30 seconds or not in 120 characters. It’s just not flashy. It’s so ubiquitous. It’s so practical. It’s not fitness, right?
If you’re trying to put anything in the fitness category, it’s already teeny tiny. It’s already teeny tiny. So like, it’s not to say that it’s not effective or valuable, it’s just a really small part of the picture. And we have sort of taken the teeny tiny fitness concept and blown it up to fill up the entire category of movement.
And you think you’re looking at movement and you’re looking at fitness and those are, they’re just wildly different, wildly different phenomenon. And so when you have a broader understanding of the spectrum of movement from the Gatorade commercial to the cat litter, you have a lot more opportunity to get the movement that you [00:33:00] have not only needed in your body, but that you actually want, and the ex physical experiences that you want or would consider if I asked you.
What would you like to be able to do with your body that you’re not right now? And I’m not talking about like lifting something that’s X number of pounds. I’m talking about an experience. Do you wanna stand on a mountaintop?
Do you wanna stand on a mountaintop with your 70 year old parent? Do you wanna row a boat? Do you want your four year old to be with you? Like, you know, like to really think about what is it that you would like to do in this go round that you have on this planet? You know, do do any of your want.
And, and fair enough, there might be some people who have, like, I have no physical desires. All of my desires are. Creating massive documents on a computer, which is obviously something that I like to do as well. [00:34:00] But, but, but when you ask yourself and give yourself sort of permission to envision what it would be, there might be something lingering there.
And when that comes up, now you can orient yourself around that, you know, you can, you can figure out, okay, this is physical, what would it take? And you sort of reverse engineer what you would do on a day-to-day basis. Um, yeah, I mean, that’s just my template to motivate people beyond fitness. Fitness is an extrinsic motivator, right?
It’s, we’ve been told we need to do it. It has very little, has very little relevance to our daily lives beyond the fact that it makes us better. And there’s a payoff, but it’s hard to, for, for people who are already doing fitness, they are likely those for whom self challenge physically was a natural.
Enjoyment in the same way people pick up music, people pick up. Languages. We have this sort of natural affinity, so the fitness world keeps getting smaller and smaller because [00:35:00] we’re talking to the same people and people who don’t have that don’t understand. So it’s like there’s a translation of movement.
We gotta broaden. Broaden who movement is for, which is for every body. Every body movement is for every body. When people
Liz: don’t realize that, and, and just as you’re saying, it’s, it’s like you’re making space for people, a space that people didn’t know existed. It’s like you’re pulling back a curtain and saying like, sure, this is for you.
Like you come on in. Yeah, absolutely. Well, you talked earlier about taking the time to do the things, and this is probably a good time to maybe give us an idea of what exactly the things.
I mean, you don’t have to give away everything, but as they would be outlined and rethink your position and, and the way you have them outlined is sort of by compartment or system.
Katy: Yeah. Well, so when you, when you identified what it is that you’d like to do with your body, like what are the things I I think of moving in sort of a couple different ca multiple categories, but in general there’s this like moving your [00:36:00] body more, there’s a lot of physical ac adaptations that come from moving your body more.
It does not ha it can be exercise can be a way that you move your body more, but it’s setting up your daily life to have more movement occur naturally within you getting other non-movement things done in your life. So, so while the book is organized by body part, because I thought that people. Would want to, would wanna approach it that way.
You know, it’s very rarely do we think of, here’s what I’d like to do with my whole body. That’s what I’m asking you to pick. But it’s usually body areas or body parts that aren’t feeling up to the job. Whether, and that end, that’s like the long way of saying parts hurt or parts aren’t, um, feel strong enough, or they have old injury, or you’ve had to rehab other things.
So once you have this idea like, I need to move generally throughout the day, that approach to movement is peppered through every single chapter. Like [00:37:00] in the arms chapter, it would be, Here’s how your arms might move more regularly through daily life because of the way you set up your home or that you set up your workspace.
You know, like that’s not a specific exercise to do with your body. That’s an exercise in observing your environment and making a modification in some way. Hip chapter might have something like, or the core chapter would have. Um, these parts probably need more movement than what you are getting right now, even if it is, even if you are getting exercise.
Doing something for an area 15 or 30 minutes a day when these parts have jobs to do, 24 hours a day is very small. So here’s this thing called active sitting. Active sitting is a, a way of, um, opting to sit differently or on something different than your big old cushy chair so that these parts stay active while you’re watching Netflix.
And here is what you could be [00:38:00] doing with your legs while you are, um, working on a computer or watching entertainment at night. And this would be a way of modifying your environment, the choi, the non-movement choices that you are making for more movement. But then the other part of it is a lot of our body parts need conditioning, whether, whether you are an exerciser or not.
So, Many people who are active, and again, this is like a callback to move your d n A, we’re talking about movement is yes, a whole body phenomenon, but it is simultaneously a part by part phenomenon. And many of us, even when we are active or exercise regularly have areas of our body that due to the mode of exercise that we prefer, our, our movement diet so to speak, are sedentary.
Like there’s parts of our body that aren’t being moved by our favorite modes of exercise. And in that case, [00:39:00] you would wanna have a better understanding of how to know which parts are active and which parts are sedentary. So in those sections of body part or body area is probably more accurate. Are these smaller exercises and tests, like how could you, how could you tell if your low back was active or your waist was moving when you were doing your favorite?
Yoga pose, like there are ways of understanding movement using the orientation of your parts, your alignment that help you see yourself more clearly. To see yourself as more as two states, I’m active or I’m inactive. Okay, one, I’m active, I’m in class, is all active. Well, some of you is active, some of you is not so active.
Some of you is overactive right now because your way of doing something keeps using the same parts over and over and over again. So that would be another way to approach an ideal. You do both, but you could also just pick and choose. You could also just not even read [00:40:00] it straight through and open to the chapter and just dive right into looking at the part of you that you’re most excited.
Liz: I do think that’s a really efficient way to, to plug in for a lot of people, particular me, me, and I do think you do have to kind of jump in and out where it’s like you’re looking at, you’ve said a phrase that you’ve used before, I think is movement in context. Mm-hmm. Or at the very least, you’ve talked about movement out of context.
Good idea. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. So kind of going back and forth between movement and context and then actually homing in on something that’s maybe talking to you a little bit so you can, you know, move through that and get out of it.
So in talking about rethink your position and how you created the book and how you, you set those chapters out, this might seem like an uneducated question, but obviously we’re always talking about pelvic floor. Everybody is always talking about pelvic floor and it’s in there, but for some reason in my mind, pelvic pelvics and pelvic floor feels [00:41:00] different from like head, head, shoulders, knees, and toes.
And maybe that’s just because I’m a woman. Why? And I’ve given birth in several different ways.
Katy: I don’t know. Yeah. You think it’s more like, you feel like it’s more integral, like you, you think it’s more or less than other parts? I don’t know. This is where, dunno, you get interviewed, Liz, you get interviewed.
Liz: This is where I’m ready. I’m ready. Yeah. I, I feel for some reason I’ve never thought of even though, and which makes me a very bad listener because I have been following you for many, many years. But something about the pelvic floor feels separate. And maybe that’s my problem. And I don’t know why, you know, I don’t think of my pelvic floor when I’m doing like my mobility exercises.
Mm-hmm. Or, or whatever. I imagine that you have probably the most nuanced and useful take on it out of anybody that’s talking about it now. So can we talk about the pelvic floor a little bit?
Katy: Yes. So one, I think you are educated and I think you are a good listener just to lay that out first. [00:42:00] You’re welcome. Um, and I think perhaps one of the reasons we hold this part as separate is that we are actually thinking of our pelvis as something greater than bones and muscles because of what we contain inside of it, right?
Yeah. Like I, you know, I think that’s probably why, you know, like look at, look at how much more we are in communication with the goings on in our pelvis compared to the goings on in our shoulder, right? Your shoulder isn’t leaking every 30 days for your entire life, right? Like, there’s something about this part that has requested more of your attention, more of your care, and so it just feels bigger than a set of parts and really, We reduce it for parts, for conversation.
But of course, everything in this integration is not only the parts, [00:43:00] but the processes that are occurring with these parts. And then the, the, the things of life that pop out the other side. I’m not talking about babies in this case, I’m talking about experiences that pop out from the pelvis. So probably we just hold it.
It’s too, too rich to be a part. And so that’s why it needs a whole separate book. And that is the way that I think about the pelvis. And I think I probably even say early on it’s like this is a part, but it’s so much, it’s so much bigger. And I like to talk about it in all of its complexity. However, I think.
A lot of times the importance of the parts get lost in that case. Right. When, when we’re like, you know, there’s a, there’s definitely a resistance to thinking about the body in a mechanistic point of view when we’re trying to get away from too small thinking. But the problem is, of course, we wanna swing the other [00:44:00] way and be like, none of the mechanics matter.
And it’s like, well, it’s both. It’s always both. When you discover something new, you need to integrate it. You don’t need to throw out the baby with the bath water, like you keep them both. So we have this very dynamic part of our body. That does all of these things, um, that works endlessly. You know, like I was just talking with Jill, you know, Jill is talking so much about the diaphragm and the diaphragm as being this part of our body that’s doing so many contractions, every breath that you’ve taken throughout your entire life, the pelvic floor oriented.
Similarly, it’s different of course, but it is also imagine, uh, imagine a diaphragm being a floor between your thoracic cavity and your abdominal cavity. Your pelvic floor is another bottom of a cavity, and it, and it is under load all of the time. It is working all of the time [00:45:00] and. We wouldn’t necessarily be aware of the work it’s doing because we know, can’t see.
I can, I can drink a glass of water and I can see the le the hinges of my arm doing movement. I can see my legs swinging when I walk. Pelvic floor is, it’s more out of sight, right? You’re not going to see it your entire life. You’re barely gonna see the levers of it. Most people will never see the levers.
Um, I encourage everyone to feel around for your levers, to make it more tangible as a structure in your mind, because despite how much we use it and how we consider it, uh, to be important, when we do consider it, we know very little about how it also works like an arm. And so, and there’s a lot of, in our pelvis, in the context of a highly sedentary culture, um, ends up.[00:46:00]
Having more challenges, right? I mean, not only are you sitting on it, it’s really the way that the pelvis works very much depends on locomotion, locomotion being up and ambulating or walking around is something that we don’t do very much. Even for those who are very fit, the volume in which you are feeding your pelvis, locomotion can be really small, you know?
And, and it is one of those structures as I really try to clarify in the book where that’s a primary nutrient for the pelvis, and I try to explain why. The way that it works as an elbow part of it is, you know, if you think of your, uh, picking up a glass, your bicep works to curl the glass towards your face, gravity pulls it the glass back down for you.
But if you wanna contr and if you wanna control it, of course you use your bicep to slow it down. But if you were on the moon and you wanted to set and there was no gravity, [00:47:00] Everyone gets to be an astronaut for 30 seconds. Um, when you put the glass down, you’d have to use your tricep to extend your arm back out.
Without gravity, your bicep would have to extend your arm back out. That’s the situation the pelvis is in where the sacrum resides between the pelvic floor, which pulls the sacrum one way and your glute or butt muscles, which pull it the other way. And so the sacrum lives is the puppet between the pelvic floor and the glutes.
In our society that doesn’t use the glutes very much. You sort of get pelvic floor dominance over the sacrum and the sacrum of CO is gonna be part of your lower back. If you ever heard your si joint, your sacral iliac joint, right, that’s part of your pelvis or your spine. There’s a whole entire essay in the book.
Is it the pelvis? Is it the spine? Yes, it’s both. And so it’s just that, it’s just saying we. Don’t even really think of things working that [00:48:00] way to, to influence the choices. We are not even really sure w we’re we’re making so many choices with our body that we didn’t even know we were making. That’s the first basic paragraph of the book, is like, you are making so many choices with your body that you didn’t even know you were making.
By the time that you’re done reading this book, you will be aware of all the op of a lot more options that are available and ch choose differently if you’d like. You know, like that’s the point. And the pelvis is a is a big one. If things aren’t happening in the pelvis correctly, consider all of the parts that influence how it’s working for you or not working for you.
And expand your strength, mobility, daily movement, activities of daily living in a way that feeds the pelvis, the movement that it needs. Hmm. Yes. You
Liz: nailed it. So I have you for a few more minutes and I, I wanna bring it back around to some of the concrete [00:49:00] stuff that’s in the book that really tackles being able to move your body better, doing everyday things.
Mm-hmm. There’s that big, you know, movement in context. The big, the big ideas, which are so amazing and so empowering. But so many of us also need that, like, you know, there’s that continuum between like treating and in treating and addressing a thing like tech neck, right? Mm-hmm. And then you’re on that continuum of like treating to whatever you wanna say, optimizing longevity of function, resiliency, like that overall just betterment and better ability to exist in the world comfortably.
But can we talk about some of the little things like maybe we start with, with tech neck, like how we can actually address something like that so people have something really tangible?
Katy: Well, I mean, that’s a, that’s a big choice that we’re making all the time, is we are so mindless with how we use our body that when you pick up your tech.
We default, we all seem to default into the same position, which is, do I have to really describe it for anyone? Does anyone not know what it’s [00:50:00] like? Just go open your eyes and look around at any space, and you’re going to see spines rounded over, heads pointed towards the ground. This has become, again, such a ubiquitous position, but as I point out, your technology works in other positions.
This is just the mindless position. It’s not like put your head down and that will. Complete the circuit, you know, so that will activate your will load. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s like, sorry, Instagram won’t work. Please drop your chin, another centimeter or two. Like, that’s, that’s not what’s happening. So, so you have options.
You wanna look at your tech, fine. You can do it in a way that’s better for you. So here’s your first exercise, head ramping. It is the first exercise in the book. And it also says, and guess what? You’re reading this book right now and you probably look like you’re holding a device. Here is another way to read this book in a way that’s better for you.
So like, try to start you out right away with [00:51:00] seeing this massive choice that you’re making with a very, with a part that affects so many other parts that are right up there in the top injured parts, right? Your cervical spine, the bones of your spine. The way your head feels on a daily base, like is all right there in position.
And here’s a, here’s another one for you to play with. Um, so yeah, so tech neck is just like, that’s the head ramp move. There’s, there’s a couple essays on it too because then there’s another essay that talks about swallowing. You might not have known that you’re swallowing muscles are affected by this position.
And here’s how you, especially if you’re in a group, like a, another thing as people get older, which really often means having mindless position longer. So it’s more sort of cemented into your body. It’s not like an inevitable collapse of your body, it’s just doing the same thing for a longer period of time.
This is why [00:52:00] choking tends to start to become a larger problem when you’re down the road. So you are reading my work in your twenties, finding it more relevant in your forties. People reading it now in their forties. I’m 47, right? So close to 50 will find it even more relevant by the time they get to 60 and 70 because we have a hard time putting our feet into other people’s shoes, let alone our own shoes in the future, right?
It’s hard to imagine things outside of yourself. So the more experiences, the more people you talk with, and the more you study something you realize like, oh, these are the problems that are coming up. And look, they still relate to things that would make my life better when I was 20 and 30 and 40. So, Tech Neck is one of ’em.
It’s gonna be a, it’ll be interesting to see the first, um, group of sixties and 70 year olds who have been on tech for multiple decades. That’s never happened before. Yeah. We would normally see Tech Neck. It was called something else. It wasn’t called Tech Neck. It was called like Dower [00:53:00] Hore. That that was, that was what we called the posture of people in their seventies and eighties who had lost a lot of strength and mobility of the spine.
What happens when you step into it on purpose in your twenties and thirties? There are tangible changes to your skeleton, to your spinal discs, and we won’t know what that looks like cuz these are the digital natives, right? This is the first group that’s ever gonna have. Yeah, you can have me on the podcast in 30 years from now.
It’s gonna be awesome.
Liz: Book it I’ll episode, episode 3,556.
Katy: Exactly. But we’ll be doing it from space so it won’t
Liz: matter. I was gonna say, everybody in space have has massive triceps. It’s, that’s right. Very
Katy: interesting and very long necks, right? There’s no compression. So maybe this is totally Mott because we’re all gonna live in space.
It doesn’t matter anyway. But in case that goes wrong, plan B, head ramp.
Liz: Oh man. I wanna share a quick, uh, personal anecdote with you, and it’s still sort of in process, so it might be something I have to update. But I [00:54:00] was really, really excited about the swallowing thing because Yeah, I’m gonna speak in very general terms. Someone, it was just, the timing of this is just wild, but someone.
Very close to me, who I love very much is having a swallowing thing. Mm-hmm. And we have not been able to figure it out. Been to multiple specialists, nothing is wrong. And all I can think now is like, where this fits into the overall biomechanics of life and why now it’s starting to affect the swallow.
Mm-hmm. And ruling everything else out. All I can think about is how these components, everything that you lay out, is going to impact that. And it’s just, it’s, it’s just giving me so much hope. So I’m just so thankful for that.
Katy: Well, and you can probably hear my voice, like my voice. I’m dealing with something sort of similar, you know, and as I’m getting, as I’ve been.
Things have been more stressful for the last few years. As everyone knows, as I’ve [00:55:00] done more work, as I take time away from the body care that I know I should be doing and have, can see some of the constriction of myself, I was just talking with Jill Miller about body by breath and she was like, yes, you’re gonna wanna do the rollout specifically for the upper her.
She talks about three breathing containers and so it’s just sort of the same thing. It’s like there’s nothing wrong often eliminates position soft tissue. And so for me it doesn’t mean that this has to be what it is. There can be other things, but it’s a thing. Position really affects the way things work.
And I, you know, try to show in, in the book, right, there’s a, a stacked head and there’s a forward head and you can see the trachea. Change orientation. Like now food has to go down and around a bend. It matters. It is not nothing, but it is also very hard to make [00:56:00] position a tangible thing, right? Like position and forces are invisible.
Uh, position is invisible, but the effects of position, which are force, alteration of forces are invisible. It’s not easy to take a picture and send it to someone else to scan to see what’s in the way. And so we need to be able to scan ourselves, so to speak, and know how parts are influenced by position.
And that’s what rethink your position is all about. Here are some really common positions that modern life is creating in our bodies, and here are some very simple ways to adjust those positions, ideally to improve the function and then therefore help you get more of the experiences that you want.
Liz: Well, I’m so thrilled that you continue to write.
You are such, you are such a gift and I’m so grateful for everything that you’ve done. You have impacted my life immeasurably and the life of my [00:57:00] family, my parents, these, these wonderful grandparents that you talked about at the beginning, who we want. Mm-hmm. To extend their longevity of function for as long as we can.
So I’m so thankful that you’ve written this book. Is there anything else you would like folks to know about it before they run out and buy it?
Katy: No. They can walk to buy it and then walk and, and then Good thing I didn’t say drive. Yeah. Yeah. Ex you can drive to buy it. Just park farther away, you know, get yourself in, do whatever.
Do whatever you need to do. But if you could do one thing for me, for yourself, for everything, everyone, we’re all connected is just move more, move your body more
Liz: and read all. Read all of the books and audiobook and walk, right? Yeah. There’s
Katy: a lot of ’em on audio books. This one won’t be on audiobook, but there’s a lot of audio books so you can be out moving around.
Liz: Thank you
Katy: so much, Katie. Yeah. Thanks for having me again. See you in 30 years. See you in 30
Liz: years. See you on the moon.
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