Nature – Movement Matters – Podcast Episode #89

In which Katy Bowman tells Stephanie Domet that it’s only natural that movement and nature should be intrinsically bound.


02:45 – Katy getting ready for Spring! (Jump to section)

06:49 – What was Movement Matters going to be about? (Jump to section)

09:12 –  What exactly are natural movements anyway?  (Jump to section)

19:45 –  Humans do it. (Jump to section)

24:53 – How does a city girl do this Movement Matters thing anyway?  (Jump to section)

26:45 – Developing your Movement Matters Palate. (Jump to section)

33:48 – Feet, Thistles, and Katy’s husband. (Jump to section)

36:30 – Let’s Move – City Girl style! (Jump to section)

38:34 – Where’s Katy in New Zealand (Jump to section)




Movement Matters book

Katy in at Ancestral Health Symposium in New Zealand

Movement Matters Retreat – Permaculture Retreat in New Zealand

Move Your DNA Movement Workshop in New Zealand

Book Signing in New Zealand


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Access all previous podcasts via your podcast provider of choice (Stitcher, iTunes, Libsyn, or Soundcloud).



STEPHANIE: Hey there. Welcome to the Katy Says podcast. This is the ninth in a series of special episodes we call Between the Lines: where Katy Bowman and Stephanie Domet explore the deeper messages in, and connections between Katy’s books.


KATY: I am Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Move Your DNA.


STEPHANIE: And I am Stephanie Domet, a chronically curious writer and radio journalist. So, Katy, you’re in our hemisphere…


KATY: Right.


STEPHANIE:  in North America where you and I both are. We’re at the beginning of Autumn now, but you are soon to head to New Zealand and will arrive into Spring. What’s exciting to you about getting a second spring this year and what will you miss experiencing of Autumn.


KATY: I’m glad you asked me in that order.  I have jam-packed fall as much as I could into the little bit of time that I am here. A lot of pumpkin. I have roasted a lot of pumpkin. I harvested all my winter squash and I dried the measly sub-par ears of corn that I was able to grow. So it’s that. It is, you know what, I can feel my body slowing down. At the end of summer, I always look forward to the cooler winter. The way of walking through fall, there’s certain fall hikes that we take. So I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss the fact that I’m on a natural rhythm that’s going to get abruptly switched back over to ramping back up. And so my biggest concern, I mean obviously I’m thrilled about the trip, but my biggest concern is … last year instead of a Christmas tree, we got goji berry vines.




KATY: And we brought them into the house. I know.  We wanted to get something that we could replant that was kind of different and fun to decorate and that’s what we did. But when we brought it into the house they were already dormant. They had already gone dormant for the winter.




KATY: So my brother in law who is a, I don’t know what he is, just an expert in all plant things, he said “you’re gonna have to transition it back. Because it’s already dormant and when you bring it into your house and it’s sitting in this warm home, it’s going to think it’s spring and it’s going to start sending energy and it might even start budding.”  Which one of them did towards the end. He said, “you can’t just put it back outside.  You have to transition it back in stages so that it senses that winter has come back on.” Because it doesn’t have really a duration meter. It doesn’t have a clock inside of it. It has a thermostat.





KATY: So it’s responding to the temperature signals.  So I am like that. People are like that. We all have so many signals that are in tune with the biorhythm, and obviously, they’re adaptable and changeable. We travel between seasons probably all the time. But because I’m very aware of how my body works and when my body works and where I am in the natural cycle of things, I’m interested to see what my version of rebudding is.  Meaning like I’ve already transitioned in some things. I’m going to basically be, I’m going to have to pull up sources of energy that I’ve already let go and that plant that rebudded…




KATY: … didn’t fruit. Because it had taken that energy and displaced it to pushing off leaves that fell off that had to then grow again.  So that, it didn’t have it. So it’s gonna mess me up for the year. In some capacity, there’s going to be a pull of energy. And I have the luxury of offsetting it maybe with food or whatever, but I also think it’s more than just an energetic balance. I’m going to abruptly transition and who knows all the parts of my body that have come and gone to deal with seasons and I’ve never done this before. So that is both what I’m looking forward to doing and what I am reticent about it. In a nutshell. So that’s what’s on my mind: documenting it, observing it and documenting it and then also being it. You know, all three separate activities.




KATY: So basically it’s like a…


STEPHANIE:  I will look forward to hearing about the other side for sure.


KATY: What was my fruit loss?  It’s like, “oh, I would have…”  So basically I’m gonna lose a book. I feel like basically I’m not gonna be able to do a book. I might be a sub-par parent for six months. Who knows.  I don’t know.  I’ll muster.


STEPHANIE:  You operate at a pretty high level. You could probably take it down by about 50% and no one would really notice.


KATY: I could probably lose a few fruits?


STEPHANIE: Yeah, I think so.  Still come up ok.


KATY: Then I feel good about it.


STEPHANIE:  There you go.


KATY: Thanks for the reframe.


STEPHANIE:  Yeah, no problem. I can always be counted on for that.  But it’s interesting, of course, that the thing that we would talk about in the context of this is about the natural world. That’s where we always seem to get to in our conversations. And for the next couple of episodes of this podcast we’ll be talking about Movement Matters – Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology, and the Nature of Movements … of Movement rather.  And, of course, one of the key aspects of this book is nature. And so I thought we ought to spend an entire episode really digging into why nature matters so much to what you’re putting forward in this book.  Okay?


KATY: Okay.


STEPHANIE:  So, Katy, when you began working on Movement Matters did you have an idea of the intrinsic role that nature would play in the development and articulation of the ideas that you were planning to write about?


KATY: Oh.  No.  No. That was a discovery. Like I did not sit down … I mean I wrote Move Your DNA which is about natural movements which had a certain amount of nature-y things in it.  But I mean I don’t really feel particularly qualified to write about nature.  It’s not like…nature, ironically. Ironically I say ironically because science is supposed to be really the pursuit of understanding nature. So when you have a training in a science that reduces nature as the context, that was the biggest revelation for me through writing this book. It’s ok, “oh, yes, of course!”  I’m even working with quote “natural laws” but the examples that you’re dealing with are outside of that, what we’ve given the word nature to. So no, it was a surprise how much of this book ended up being about quote “nature.”



STEPHANIE: What did you think it was going to be about?


KATY: That old question!  Well, I don’t know because remember it was a set… you’ve written.  You understand how these things rattle around.




KATY: And they spin around.  I thought that the book was going to be … the book was just a series of essays that I had already written explaining really that scale matters.  You know, I think the, we’ve talked about this before, where it was originally a series of blog posts, kind of like Alignment Matters.


STEPHANIE:  Right. It was supposed to be the bookend piece.


KATY: Yeah. But those articles in particular were really about like, “Hey, we’re kind of looking at a narrow point of view when we’re looking at this.”  I had written, I had done a dissection of an orange and dissected it because the pictures were amazing.  But really like showed, here’s a whole orange But when you take this off well here’s a whole orange.  But you take off these pieces, but this orange slice is made up of these pieces. Because it just keeps getting smaller and smaller so I had to do a lot of explaining about scale and how things change when you’re looking at a single piece of them versus something more integrated.  That’s what those blog posts were about. And as I said before I didn’t particularly see a theme other than, “hey, models get more complex”.  But I hadn’t really tied it to movement yet. So I didn’t even really know that movement matters. I mean Movement Matters, the name, they come after. You name a book at the end.  You don’t even…




KATY:  …you don’t think of a title and be like I’m gonna write a book about this. You’re just writing.  It’s a very…now I realize oh, this is art.  Like this is a, you don’t know what the tapestry is going to end up looking like and so I thought I was gonna write a book. I knew it was gonna be about movement. And I thought it was going to be about understanding that the scale of movement mattered when considering it. But that was about it.  I didn’t realize the role that nature would play in the book.



STEPHANIE:  So how did that happen, I guess. How did you come to understand that, for you at least, in what you wanted to articulate, nature seems inextricably bound with movement?


KATY: Yeah, you know what, talking about multi-tasking, I’m thinking as I’m listening to you. Because I’m still thinking of your last question. So I think the way, you know I talk about natural movement so the conversation goes:  “What do you do?”  “Oh, I kind of think about and write about and teach natural movement.” “Well, what’s natural movement?”  And the quick answer is, “Oh natural movements are all those movements we would do were we still living in nature.”  And most people, like sprinting, walking long distances, crawling, or climbing, or walking on varied surfaces, like that’s kind of like the nutshell of it.  But there was an article, and so this is kind of the evolution of this idea. You know I synthesize pieces that are sometimes really far apart in time for me. But that piece that I held from two years ago when combined with something new, synthesizes and then I’m able to leap forward pretty quickly. Because maybe it was an open-ended question or whatever. So I remember reading an article that Erwan Le Corre wrote. I don’t even remember what it was about. Erwan Le Corre started MovNat. And it was about talking about fitness that didn’t look like your same kind of rigid fitness, you know, that he was, his retreats he was teaching crawling. And then there was this picture of this whole group of people. I think they were crawling uphill. And it looked like they were going crawling for a mile. Like they were doing this thing. The part that stuck out to me was this comment of someone saying, “That’s great but that’s not, like, we don’t need to crawl anymore. We’ve already changed, we’re upright now. There’s no reason to go back and practice quadruped or less evolved forms of us movement.”




KATY: That was the sentiment of the comment. I have stopped reading comments since then.  Just kidding. But you know you just kind of pick up things. And for some reason, I’m a firm believer that as you read through things in the world the parts that you need to know your very wise brain pulls them out for you. It just sets them there like a banner.




KATY: So I just have lots of those that are just floating around. But then maybe, oh gosh, maybe like three years later is when I found out about conflict minerals.  




KATY:  Do you know what conflict minerals are?


STEPHANIE:  Mm-hmm.  They’re the things that are in our smart phones and devices and things with batteries…


KATY: Yes.


STEPHANIE:  And wars are fought over them in places far away.


KATY: Yes. I read a small article on conflict… I was sitting in a Whole Foods to use the bathroom, I remember, we came in, we rushed in and it was sitting there folded up. It was a USA Today. I feel like I have to disclaimer. It was a USA today and the article was folded open to this tiny thing on conflict minerals. And I had never heard of it.  And as I’m reading through it, the fact that these wars in these places were waged, like that’s how it was presented. These wars are waged over these minerals that in some locations have become basic essentials for every household member. And yet they’re these things that, kind of like a blood diamond. Essentially like a blood diamond but it’s a mineral.


STEPHANIE:  Exactly. Yeah.


KATY: So they’re likening it to that. And I was like, “What? No way.” I couldn’t believe that it would be in this… to me this kind of thing should be front lines. I was very naive at the time. I was like, “Well why wouldn’t this be on the headline.” Surely everyone’s not gonna want to be participating in this. So I did a little bit more research into it and found that, yes, the wars and these situations were horrible but inside of that circle were the fact that the labor of the people actually having to get them were essentially crawling…




KATY: …the bulk of the day and mining by hand and digging around in forced, you know, often slave conditions. Children, 6 years old, and so, you know, that had one, of course, affect on me personally but was unrelated to my job teaching natural movement. But then the more I thought about those two things side by side, or the more my brain worked on them or however this whole things works, was like, “Ok, the fact that we’re not crawling is not because our bodies don’t need it anymore or don’t need it anymore because there are human beings right now who are actually crawling, you know, hours a day for these things that we all need. For the necessities.” So I think I just started to work on it from that going, “ok, yes, these are moves.” They’re not the sexy hunter-gatherer moves because those are often presented as run, jump, sprint. You know, they’re clean.  They’re not the gatherer moves. So the gatherer moves, I think, with Move Your DNA, I was like all those run, jump, sprint things that are what we are trying to call the full spectrum of natural movements are really on the back of squatting, birthing, pounding, mashing, nursing, you know, like all these less sexy or certainly less fitness-y.  But the base of those is huge. So I just realized, no, there are humans all over right now, doing these so-called extinct movements but the group of them who have perceived them as extinct are the people who have outsourced them.




KATY:  Who, you know, so it all started to come in. And then I started thinking about food and then I started thinking about, ok, yeah. These are all moves that I myself would have to for my survival if someone else wasn’t doing them. And then I understood nature in the, then the nature thing started to come in because you’re just starting to think what are the other elements. You know it’s hard to model things like natural movement because you can’t perceive all of the movement that’s required. But you know in this book I added temperature.




KATY: And breastfeeding and things that I had alluded to in Move Your DNA but really tried to flesh out here to say here’s why talking… chewing, you know, like now we’re at.. those are even less sexy than the other ones. They seem – they’re so taken for granted. So that’s how that kind of came to be. So nature, gosh then it was like human nature and then it was what is nature. Because if you’re writing and you’re using a word I learned in second grade you should look it up. So what is nature – when I was trying to clarify some things in biology. Talked to a lot of different people and was surprised just to hear the … or people who hold the same level of education within a field … how wildly varying their ideas were. And just to go “Wow, this thing is way more malleable than I thought.” You know again, it was just being naive to the idea that we have lots of boxes around things. You know we’re like a box of this means this definition.  A box that means that definition. But everything’s like pretty malleable. And so that’s kind of a long way around nature. But that’s… nature was the overall theme. Nature was the stopping point. I was like, ok, this is what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how are humans in nature. What is nature?  And then in getting that point, I feel like that then became a huge portion of the book if not the main thread or the main theme if you will.Certainly.


STEPHANIE:  Mm-hmm.  It’s absolutely the underpinning. And I’m interested in where we ended up because definitely you write about everything is nature. We are part of nature. But you also do sort of have to make that distinction in the book that humans, especially in the west, are largely living outside what we tend to think of as nature.


KATY: Yeah.


STEPHANIE:  And we have to make that distinction, I guess, in order to really dig into the ideas that you’re digging into.


KATY: Well, I mean I was doing an interview and someone had said, that’s where I kind of first tuned into like well everything is nature. I mean, like how, like you have to define nature by something and so I think a lot of times nature is defined  – it’s like, some people define nature as green spaces. If there are trees it’s nature-y.




KATY: Or if there is a lake, it’s nature. It’s like how it looks.


STEPHANIE:  Yeah. Right.


KATY: And then some people define nature by the fact that it’s been broken down and reassembled makes it less nature-y. Right? If it’s intact with how the earth produced it without intervention, it’s nature. And if it’s been broken down and reassembled, it’s not nature.


STEPHANIE:  Right. A cultivated garden.


KATY: Right or like a house is not nature, even though it’s made out of things from nature.




KATY: But if we’re talking about a beaver’s dam… I was actually in an interview that never got released because I’m sure that the agenda that they were interviewing me for was not served by this “well but then again.” Like as people know when they’re listening, I process verbally is Q&A is my number one way of processing. So thank you for everyone who has ever asked a question. I just spat out in the middle of a very… I really don’t want to say what the source was.  And I was like but by that definition, a beaver dam is not nature.  And then because it’s things that are broken down, chewed down, taken down and put up into something new. A new structure that the earth did not spring forth from the earth.





KATY: So we consider a certain amount of process to be natural and at the end when I actually went to look up the definitions it’s simply that humans do it.  




KATY: Humans do it – not natural. If they are creating or breaking down. And then I was like well that’s not, from a mathematics … in biology that could be fine. But from a mathematical perspective, it’s way too loose.




KATY: So then I started to go well ok, well that’s … but we would consider birthing a natural process. I had to figure out what the actual breakdown was. Because obviously that humans do it does not make it natural or unnatural.  And then I started to go, well, obviously everything’s scalable and we’ve talked about this before.  So if you, you know, hunt a deer…




KATY: … and process the deer and the movement nourishes you in processing it. The food – you can subsist, your family is nourished by it and you take that hide and you process it into shoes that cover your feet. Those shoes are technology. Right?




KATY: It’s the same thing as a beaver dam. And I think there’s a scale at which a lot of people would say, “Well that’s natural, right there.”  The thing that happened right there that’s nature. That’s closer to what a beaver does making a dam than you know building a hotel in Cancun.  Or, let’s just keep it easy. Or make a pair of shoes…


STEPHANIE:  Me going to the mall and buying a pair of shoes.


KATY:  Yes. Or like even to say the manufacturing standpoint of the shoe. So like, eventually, the way I could make sense of it with my brain that has to make sure that it’s not squishy. Like there’s got to be some boundaries around definitions for mathematics for my sake to be able to assign something to a category, it was about the amount of wake. Of destruction. How many things were displaced because of it.  You know?  And my definition might change over time but right now that’s how I’m really thinking about it. It’s like, you walking around outside and getting the deer and getting the thing… it’s different than, you know, an entire factory that’s harvesting. And that’s not even, like we could scale it down to a single pair of shoes.




KATY: You would see maybe that the displacement of the earth took place in 17 different places and involved 13 extra people. Like where this scale of agitation is a lot larger.




KATY: There was a direct exchange between the few living things and the footprint. So that’s when I started talking about – we have to kind of understand footprints.  The footprints of that, of that shoe, ironically, is smaller than the footprint of the other shoe. So it has to do more with the rate and then everyone wants to assign, usually, a good/bad. And I try to say I don’t know if there are any good or bads.  Because this might be the nature of humans, to create and create and create. I’ve seen kids in Lego. I can see that. If you give them things – you can break things down into a regular shape, they can create new things. So it’s kind of hard to talk about what’s natural or not natural. This is obviously natural.  But what happens… so I had to start talking about it as a response and sustainability. It’s like ok, well we can say that this is all natural that’s happening. Now we can talk that if it’s all natural that must mean it’s all good and the way that we use the term. So then how do we make choices?  Because obviously there’s something that we’re after and in some cases, it could be your personal well being that is a scaleable for you. In other cases, it could be the fact that other people are involved that would influence you that you to want to scale it. Or maybe it’s the ecosystem that you’d want to minimize – the impact of what you’re fashioning or what you’re requiring being fashioned.  And so that’s what I had to do in Movement Matters to be able to talk about movement still as something that a human needs. Whether or not they’re doing it themselves or someone else is doing it on their behalf, they require movement to survive.




KATY: Like that, it is part of their anatomy, if you will. It’s part of my anatomy.


STEPHANIE:  Somebody somewhere has got to move for you.  Or you’ve got to move.


KATY: Yeah. Or you’ve got to move and sometimes other people move you.  I mean there are certainly those situations and we all have phases within our life where other people moving us is part of our ecosystem and part of theirs.




KATY: So that is, so it’s just, it got really big really fast.  It went from calf stretch to nature. You know, it’s like wow. That’s why it’s been my most challenging book because I scaled it up pretty quickly.




KATY: Because there wasn’t really miniature books to write in between I don’t think.


STEPHANIE:  No. You needed to kind of go all into it.



KATY: Sure.


STEPHANIE: Listen, here’s my thing, though, Katy. So I am a city girl. Like through and through.  I don’t like camping. I’m even picky about the kinds of cabins that I will stay in. I don’t like things that are gooey or creepy crawly. I don’t want them touching me. And my main experience with wild animals is a seagull trying to take a sandwich out of my hands at Center Island, an amusement park I used to go to. And now figuring out how to keep raccoons out of my compost bins. So I read Movement Matters. I see the emphasis on time in nature. The nutrients that brings; both in the food you might forage out there but also the other nutrients like texture and community and plain old nature itself. And so I wonder, am I doing it wrong? Can I continue to have a mostly arm’s length relationship with what we think of as classic nature and still get what Movement Matters is trying to tell me.


KATY: Well, I think you can understand the ideas, certainly, in the book. If that’s what you mean by “get.” I think that you can get the ideas without actually having to be in nature. Is that what you meant by “get” though?


STEPHANIE:  I guess so but not really. More than that. Can I take it on? Or do I have to get over my slight nature aversion?


KATY:  Well, you know, it depends on what your goal is.  It depends on the print that you want to live by. So I mean the answer for everyone is it just depends on what we/you want. I’m trying to think, like, you know, you’re a nature girl through and through and I would wager.


STEPHANIE:  A city girl…


KATY: Sorry a city girl through and through because you’ve been a city girl through and through.


STEPHANIE:  Yes. Right.


KATY: You just have an intolerance to nature because you’ve had a lack of exposure to it. You’re not accustomed to those ways.





KATY: And I think what happens when you have long megadoses of that non-traditional nature or you’ve gone for a long time without it – I mean to me it all seems like … it’s like palate. If you’ve ever gone to another country you might have an aversion to that food and it’s like the tastes are using a different part of your body than normal. The textures… they’re using your body. So I keep trying to filter it everything through … our perceived aversions to whatever is often just adaptations. Your aversion might be to the fact that you don’t feel comfortable in it. You don’t feel good in it. And that’s all I offer are ways to help you develop the anatomy to be functional… f.u.n. fun and functional in nature.


STEPHANIE:  (laughs)


KATY: Fun – ctional.  But I don’t know… I mean the shorter answer is I don’t know if, I don’t know if you will need it.  Are you still laughing at the fun joke?


STEPHANIE:  I mean that was extraordinary and I appreciate it deeply.


KATY: So it’s not only that you’re not only capable but that you enjoy it. But at the same time, we have an aversion to discomfort right now.




KATY: That I don’t think is helping us right now. We really believe that we’re supposed to feel good or neutral all the time.




KATY:  That feeling badly or


STEPHANIE:  Being wet or cold…


KATY:  scratches or pain. You see it with kids all the time.  That we’re supposed to feel comfortable. It’s a very strange perception that this is something that is kind of like – that we’re owed to it.  Which is different than suffering.




KATY: But basic comfort. And that we shouldn’t have to put forth any real work to be able to get that.


STEPHANIE:  So there’s a kind of adaptation that I could seek.


KATY: I think so.


STEPHANIE:  I could be more comfortable or be less bothered by being uncomfortable.


KATY: Yeah but eventually


STEPHANIE:  Mosquitos are biting me and it’s a little cold and sticky.


KATY: Right and ironically I think with physical adaptation you actually become less bothered by those because their inputs are less to you.  You know it’s like you’re being inoculized by nature. Like that’s really the situation that we have. We no longer tolerate non-human interactions. We spend the bulk of our time stopping those interactions.




KATY: We don’t want to touch. I mean like the people… I get so many comments and they’re like, “Well what if I touch stinging nettle?”  Well, right now what that tells me is that your interactions with those plants is so little that you’re reactions are very high.




KATY: And then that opens up the next discussion. Are our reactions really high simply because we’ve missed copious low dose scenarios. And so that is, though, I could write, I think that over time, if I wanted to write endless books, which I don’t. I think people can scale this idea themselves.  Is what we might have is just … it’s like, “I don’t want to do a backflip.” My niece wants to do a backflip all day long. I see that and I have no interest in doing a backflip.




KATY: I think about all the mobilities of all these little parts. I don’t have any interest in it. It doesn’t fit into my life. So I can get that but I could, very easily, create a program to successfully get myself to be able to do that. I have a hundred percent confidence that that could happen. And then I could create a movement program to really get me to be able to accomplish almost any physical feat. Certainly, there are limits to my capacity. But I think that there is a ton that I could be doing that if I wanted to be doing that I could create the training program for to be able to do it. And I would have to completely readjust my life to be able to get the frequencies. So it wouldn’t be just a program, it would be a lifestyle overhaul to allow for the period of time necessary to train for it.  I could write, I’m just thinking of the questions, they’re like “I’m scared of XY and Z.”  And it’s like absolutely. And I believe that your fears and resistances are probably your deepest wisdom knowing that you’re not ready for that interaction because you couldn’t facilitate it with your body. So to create a so – it would have a thousand steps of how to be more comfortable in nature. And I think I could do it. I mean I think maybe in my next book maybe I’ll write a hundred ways. You know, I’m biased. I don’t have that particular aversion anymore. But I took myself through maybe hundreds of un-noticeable steps to me. Just being around other people who are comfortable. They make you more comfortable because they push you on your edge.  W.A.S. which is the Wilderness Adventure School, Doniga Markegard, we’re publishing her book, she went from teenager to carnivore tracker. I mean she gained skill. But I think the way that knowledge hounds, like me, maybe you, we’re used to thinking of learning is that you sit and read and facts are stuffed into your head and that’s how you know that you know it.


STEPHANIE:  Yeah. Right.


KATY: [00:32:20] Where knowledge that’s functioning in the universe is really more related to your ability to physically embody it.




KATY: Like that you can do it or do the thing. And so, our way of learning about nature is sitting in school and being shown pictures of all these things …


STEPHANIE:  Learning the latin names…


KATY: Yeah. Right? Like which is just a lesson in the mindset of the people who created them and how they viewed them. That’s more like an anthropology lesson and language lesson about humans than it is about the thing. That being said, you can see with the whole vitamin nature and the kids in nature movement that they’re really trying to say that you have to expose your children regularly to nature if you want them to have a relationship with it. Right? It’s like a language.  You have to have early exposure to be fluent in something later on. It’s all the same thing we understand. So it’d be just like, I would assume… did you get a lot of nature as a kid or no?




KATY: Yeah.


STEPHANIE:  I grew up in the suburbs with my nose in a book.


KATY:  Like me. Very similar to me. So maybe me, I had to write my process, “oh that’s what nature is”. You know because I just had a bunch of facts in my mind and no physical experience like moving my body on the thing. So I started with the feet. I started with the feet because of a biomechanical interest.





KATY: But over time it converted to “oh I know nature with my feet now. We’ve met. I’ve responded. I’m in a more successful relationship now.” Like I see thistle in the same way that I can view my husband. It’s something that has to be negotiated. I don’t always have the skills. But in digging in sometimes I’m able to learn something that makes that next interaction better. So that’s all I’m saying with Movement Matters is, your physical body has the capacity to improve in some way its relationship with the body and all of the other things that live around you that are alive and living and their life depends on your skills and your skills depend on their lives. You are in a relationship.  But you might not have noticed because someone else is digging through nature on your behalf. Someone else’s relationship, someone else has been communicating with the earth for you so that you can continue to sit in and not engage. That’s a very long answer to your question but I think you would find that while honoring your city girl and loving her and visiting her most of the time that you would probably would fall in love with your nature girl.




KATY: And you would find that your nature girl was getting more done on the list of the things that city girl was trying to do.


STEPHANIE:  Woah. That speaks right to my Virgo’s heart.


KATY: Why? What’s Virgo-y about that?


STEPHANIE:  Oh I like just to get things done.


KATY: Well that’s what stack your life is. I mean this is the ultimate experiment for you because it means that every minute that you’re doing the thing you’re crossing off eight things at a time because…


STEPHANIE:  Oh glorious…


KATY: …that’s what Movement Matters – I’m trying to show that this is… You want to save money? There you go.  You want to reduce your carbon footprint?  There you go. You want to serve social justice issues more?  Here you go. You just want to move more of your body? Here you go.  


STEPHANIE:  You want to be in your community more? It’s right there.


KATY: Exactly!  You want to help others? You need help?  Here you go. Like it was just kind of a way of saying in it’s natural… in its natural state, like that’s what permaculture is. Permaculture is going “hey, we broke this all down because we didn’t really know what was happening yet but through exposed periods of time to this way we found that actually putting back some of the natural systems was more efficient and gave us more diversity in the things that we wanted.” So this is like the movement permaculture movement.



All right. Well, I’m totally convinced by that. So give me a move that I can use to get my nature on, Katy.


KATY: Oh.  Go sit outside. No towel. No nothing on the ground. On something that you think is dirty. You can not do gooey. If you don’t feel gooey, you don’t have to do gooey. And if really truly the aversion is the dirt, then maybe put a towel down. Like this is how you scale the exercise. You scale the exercise by saying, “I just can’t do the gooey. But I’ll put a blanket down.”  And then you make it thinner so that the sticks and the things poke through you. And then you just look at it. Right? And then maybe you just peel back the blanket towards you so just your arm is on there. And then you kind of lean to the right or to the left. So now you’re basically doing what you did with yoga tune up balls or fascia release or rubbing texture in but you’re just letting the … the balls are just the tiny acorns that are underneath your tree. And you’re going “this is a relationship. And I can’t tolerate it right now. I don’t feel that I can yield into this information. I’m afraid of this information.” You just watch all that comes up. Let it go. And then you just do it again.  And then maybe you let your foot go out. The soles of our feet seem safer because they’re far away and that skin is obviously stronger. So someday we can do the foot callus show is really the butt callus show is really the knee callus show which is really that all of your skin could be stimulated to develop just a little bit more. So anyway, that’s your exercise.


STEPHANIE:  I will practice diligently. Thank you.


KATY: You’re welcome. Thank you.


STEPHANIE:  We will talk a lot more about Movement Matters coming up on Katy Says because there is so much to talk about with this book. And if you don’t have a copy or haven’t read it you can find one at, wherever fine books are sold, you can ask your library to order it in if that’s how you prefer to get them. You can find an ebook. You can find an audiobook.  Katy… New Zealand. You’re going there.



KATY: I know!


STEPHANIE:  Yeah. Doing a book signing and a Q&A at Time Out Bookstore in Auckland on December 9. And are there other places where people can find you between now and then?


KATY: I’m going to do another event in New Zealand also on the 9th in the day of the 9th. I’m going to teaching a 3-hour workshop.




KATY: Look on my, if you go to Go to our calendar. And then there’s a button that’s my live events, click on that and that will show you everything I’m doing. While I’m in New Zealand I believe there’s going to be one more, we have a potential movement permaculture retreat in progress.


STEPHANIE:  Awesome.


KATY: So I think that’s going to happen. And those will be again in December. Because that’s how long I’ll be in New Zealand. Isn’t that crazy?


STEPHANIE:  It’s so crazy.  And you’re gonna do a little bit of relaxing aren’t you, Katy?


KATY: Yes. I put everything kind of on the beginning and the end. I put everything in the beginning and the end and in the middle, I’m going to be working with some really cool people while I’m there and you know just engaging in the landscapes. Try to be in a relationship with New Zealand and her peoples. My family. And try to do some service while I’m there. So yeah. I’m excited about it. I’m excited about it all around. We’ll see… I don’t even care about what happens to the fruit when I come back. It’s gonna be great!


STEPHANIE:  I love it. Thank you so much, Katy.


KATY: Thanks, Steph.


STEPHANIE: I’m Stephanie Domet. Thanks for listening to Between the Lines on the Katy Says podcast.




VOICE OVER:  Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful.  But it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.


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