Katy and Dani recorded a live-audience podcast at the historic Boulder Bookstore and share thoughts on their whirlwind day of food, fun, family and friends. We wish you could’ve been there with us, but this is the next best thing.
DANI: It’s the Katy Says podcast, where movement geek, Dani Hemmat – that’s me! – joins biomechanist Katy Bowman, author of Move Your DNA, for discussions on body mechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience.
DANI: How’s it going? Wazzup?
KATY: Wuzzup? Wuzzup? It’s good! I just taught class. I just taught class at the Nutritious Movement Center Northwest, and there’s nothing I like better than teaching movement while actually moving.
DANI: You are such a great teacher, too. Such a good instructor.
KATY: You know what? It’s really what I do best. You know, our podcasts are great, writing books is fine, but I think that I probably could teach all of these important concepts if people just came to class. You would just go, “Oh, I get it! I can feel it!”
DANI: Well, like you said, the best way to learn about movement is moving.
KATY: Moving. Yeah.
DANI: I’m so excited to get hands on more classes.
KATY: Yeah, it’s coming up. It’s coming up where we are going to make all of our classes from the center virtual so people can just come to class with me two times a week.
DANI: Oh, my goodness.
KATY: I know.
DANI: I just heard this collective, “eeeeeeek!” across the Internet. Everybody’s excited.
KATY: Hopefully it wasn’t breaks.
DANI: So we’re just going to talk briefly about our little adventure this weekend.
DANI: Katy came to Boulder to do a one-store book tour.
KATY: It sounds so small when you say that. It’s like – I don’t really go on –
DANI: It’s bits and pieces, and I was lucky that she came to beautiful Boulder, Colorado. We were at the Boulder Bookstore, which is this incredible, gorgeous, old wood walled bookstore that’s what, about 60 or 70 years old. What did you think of that, did you like it?
KATY: I love bookstores. I love books. I mean, if you don’t know me now – hi, I’m Katy and I’m a huge book nerd. I read a ton. It was so funny; the lady, when she was done, was like, you guys are clearly – you guys each want to get a book at my staff discount? Go ahead.
KATY: Total geeked out, wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling old books. No – you know, I’ve done some book tours through chain bookstores. I’m not going to name any, but when you go into them, it’s like, they’re half book/half gift shop now.
DANI: Toy store, yeah.
KATY: Toy store. I don’t even take my kids in there – my kids have never even been to a toy store, but I bring them to a book store and they think it’s a toy store, and they’re like, what, did you bring me any toys back from the book store? And I was like, this bookstore didn’t any toys, it only had books! So it was gorgeous. It was awesome. They were fantastic.
DANI: Yeah, really, really nice place in a beautiful part of Boulder. What we did there, instead of doing a regular kind of talk, we thought it would be fun to record a regular podcast, which you are going to hear now. It starts off a little slowly just because, you know, I’m always fumbling with the tech. I’m a real wizard – you can count on that. There’s no grand introduction, but that’s why we’re here right now, is to give you that.
KATY: And also, I just wanted to say – so normally, when I do a book signing or a book talk, I do a presentation, you know, for 20 minutes, and then maybe take 15 minutes of Q&A, but we thought we would just take Q&A. So we got some questions, but all of the questions were extremely – they were technical and personal to people, and what we were able to discern, I think, and you can hear us through the evolution of the presentation itself – is, I always assume that if you came all the way to Boulder, I mean, some people drove from far away to see us, I just always assume that people are well-versed in the materials outside of the podcast. So I record the podcast as a supplement, really, to the books I’ve written. Because I always think, like, surely everyone’s read Move Your DNA and then they’re using the podcast to work through the material, but that is not the case.
KATY: And that’s why it’s so great to engage with the public and why I still like to do public events and answer the phone for Nutritious Movement. Don’t call just because you think I’ll answer the phone, but I still do that sometimes because it gives me, like, I am just in a tiny bubble of I’m well versed in everything I’ve created, and I assume that everyone is well versed, too. But you say people ask questions all the time and then you’re going, did you – there’s a blog, you don’t even know there’s a blog.
DANI: So that just became so apparent this weekend that there are – and if you’re listening right now, which, you are, because you hear my voice – but there are so many resources that cost nothing on NutritiousMovement.com. Just the blog posts alone are –
KATY: 10 years of blog posts.
DANI: Because you can type in a body part, so if you really want to talk about that personal and specific thing, you could type it in and see what comes up, because Katy has just written about almost everything. And I think, when I get questions for the podcast, many people simply listen to the podcast, which is awesome, because we love you and this is why we do it. It’s another free resource for you. But I think if you ever want to go a little bit deeper – even maybe before you think about asking a question, just say, what’s available to me right now? Because that was something that was really hit home for me, was that there’s so much out there for you that you may not even know about.
KATY: Yeah, and then – I certainly understand that the free resources are appealing, and are, I think, under-used in general because it’s overwhelming. I took a phone call the other day and the man was like, “There are so many things on this website, I can’t believe it,” and I was like, “Neither can I, sir.” Neither can I. But at the same time, you know, you can go to your library and request these books, because I think if you’ve been working like this gentleman that I was speaking with, he’s thinking that because there’s so many things that I’m really just saying the same thing over and over and over again, and I was like, none of it is really repeated. To me, my body of work is like, a body. There are no duplicate parts. One thing is the lung, one thing is the tissue, and they have common threads and there are common threads of understanding about how the body of material works that is helpful, but every single thing is unique. And if you’re struggling trying to make sense or find where to start, I recommend Move Your DNA as really great place to start with the overall reading and then the movement multivitamin as a way to just get yourself moving, without even having to take more time. Just give me 18 little exercises that I can do every day so that I can be more nutritious. So I just wanted to say that, because I had no idea how the podcast was the sole resource for most people.
KATY: And it’s like a supplement. To me, it’s a supplement.
DANI: Well, that’s what I thought it always was, but it was good and eye opening for us to find that out.
KATY: Oh, and I love it.
DANI: You’re going to listen to it now – uncut – maybe some of it should have been cut, but we did our best and we had a blast, and we had a nicely packed house. So go ahead and listen to the show.
KATY: Away we go! Woo hoo!
DANI: Tonight, instead of the regular, like, I’m going to talk about this book or whatever, we thought it would be good – and let me know if you can’t hear me. Wave your hand if you can’t hear us. We thought it would be fun to take your questions and answer them, podcast-style. And this is going to go into a future podcast, so y’all are going to be famous pretty soon because you’re going to be in this podcast. Who listens to the podcast here? Wow, that’s great.
KATY: Is there anyone who has never read a book or listened to a podcast? And that’s okay, it just helps me know when we’re answering questions. It’s not like you have to go or anything like that. I just want to make sure I know who I’m speaking to.
DANI: And if you think of a question and you know, just kind of like, wave your card, and walk it up here and I’ll grab it from you. It’s not too late to ask questions, but I think we have a pretty good amount of them.
KATY: Can I say something before we get started?
KATY: I just want to say hi. Hi. Thanks for coming out, I appreciate it. I just took a look at some of the questions, and one of the things I noticed right off the bat is that some of the questions really are technical about specific peoples’ issues. A lot of them are like, ‘how can I fix my X?’ or ‘what’s up with my Y?’ and so I will do my best to answer those types of questions, but what I’m probably going to spend a lot of time doing is reframing those types of questions into the context that I’ve put forth, that maybe you haven’t had a chance to access, and where would that answer be found, or how would I think about this issue? Because I think that’s ultimately what’s going to be most helpful, so just so you know.
DANI: And that actually helps me, usually, figure out the answer. When she reframes something like that, the answer is right there for me.
DANI: Okay, and I guess, should we just start?
DANI: I was thinking like, questions, like, what did you have for breakfast this morning? No? Nobody wanted to know. Okay. We had pupusas.
KATY: And watermelon juice.
DANI: And watermelon juice.
KATY: At the farmer’s market.
DANI: At the farmer’s market. It was really nice.
KATY: It was great.
DANI: Thank you. Okay.
KATY: Award winning podcast.
DANI: Award winning. Okay, so here’s a question: we’re just going to get right into it; we’re cutting to the deep. What if I’ve had an old-style C-section and lots of adhesions? If I’m skipping anything it’s because I can’t read your writing. So does that mean, like, are you afraid to maybe do some movement because it, you might be afraid of loosening up those adhesions or tearing something else?
KATY: Sometimes questions seem like a question and then they’re not really answerable questions. Like, “what if?” What if? So, like, what would be the thing that you are concerned about if you had adhesions?
DANI: Yeah, is it about being able to move?
KATY: So I guess I will have to frame – I’ll fill in the question, like, is there something I can do about it?
DANI: That would be good – is there anything that can be done with old style adhesions? You know those old style adhesions. If you get the newer adhesions, it’s way better for everybody! So next time you go to the doctor, ask for those. Yeah, so is it about, what can I do if I have these scars? Or how can I move with these scars? And I’ve experienced that – I’ve had two Caesarian sections. I have the old style adhesions.
KATY: And how has it affected your movement?
DANI: it has made me move more. At first it made me move less because I was very afraid to move. Now I do all sorts of things like, you know, rolling on the softball like in the DR video that you have, and I think reaching more? I was always afraid to reach because they said, “Don’t reach!”
KATY: This is what has just occurred to me about questions like this that might be helpful. We are a sedentary culture – extremely sedentary. Probably more sedentary than you realize. I mean, you’re sitting right now, so maybe you realize it a little bit. So there’s this general idea of okay, there’s sedentary, and then there’s people that exercise, so maybe you put yourself in the exercise category, but if I actually charted out how much time you spend moving per day it would be a very small portion of the day. If you mapped out how much of your body – how many of your body parts are moving per day – it would be extremely small. I’m in the middle of working on a book of essays and I’m trying to explain how we don’t even chew our food any more, right? We have blenders, and we have all of these automated other people and other places breaking down our foodstuffs for us, because we don’t even use this jaw anymore at the capacity that we would if someone else was not breaking our food down for us – or some machine, or some fuel, or something. So I think what happens is, when we hear this idea that we should maybe move more, the current state of our body as we understand it, which may be – maybe you understand your body in terms of, here’s a set of skills that I can currently accomplish. Or perhaps, here is a list of surgeries or injuries or wounds that are on my list of things that I’ve experienced. You are called, maybe, to move more, but you feel limited, that we can only move within our current abilities or within our current structure. And so I think that a lot of questions like, what about me? I’m going to assume that the person asking this has maybe heard a call to move more. Like, you should be considering doing X or Y or sitting on the floor instead of your couch or whatever.
DANI: Yeah, they just want to.
KATY: But they’re like, but I have a body that I don’t think can move – I’m afraid of moving it. What happens when I start to move it? And I think that a lot of that has to do with our habit of just not moving. You know, and this – I would move, but I have these physical constraints, because we can see the physical constraints better than we can see the cultural ones, perhaps. So maybe the person will come up – like, if you really had a specific question about doing this, and X or Y, and you want to write that down specifically, but I would say that no matter what you have: whatever is on your list of how you set – like, I have these skills, I have this condition, whatever – that you think about all the things that you can do that maybe wouldn’t affect particular X or area Y so that you don’t feel paralyzed to not move at all, lest you move in this one scary area. That you go, you know what? I gotta table this body part or this movement for a while, but I’m going to acknowledge the 87% of other movements that I can hit. But at the same time, if you’re approaching it from maybe more of a nutritious movement perspective where you’re going okay, I now get that there’s cellularly sedentary areas of my body – like, if you have an adhesion that area is sedentary. It’s part of your body that’s not moving because it’s stuck to another part of the body. The whole thing is moving as a clump, but if you were to look at the motion within that tissue, that tissue wouldn’t be moving – in which case, if you’re like, I get the whole, “move more” thing and I just really want to make this area more mobile, then I would say the same thing I would say for any body part, that you could start moving it gently. You start making a list, if you can, of all of the non-exercise movements. Starting with the exercise movements is easy.
DANI: And here’s what a genius I am.
KATY: Oh, I’m sorry, go ahead.
DANI: Is I – it just occurred to me, this is possibly about healing diastasis recti, and what if I have adhesions and I can do that. But you address all the safety stuff in the book, correct?
KATY: It’d be the same thing. I mean, I wouldn’t wait until adhesions go away to go, well, adhesions are going to limit my ability to restore my core – that you just start – if, when you read Diastasis Recti or any book, you’ll find that – diastasis recti, for those of you who don’t know, is an unnatural distancing between the right and left half of the rectus abdominus muscles. So someone might want to start working on it, but they might be like, but I have adhesions in my uterus, so I wouldn’t feel, or – in the cutting into the tissue to get to the uterus, so I feel like the solution eludes me, because I have this other issue. And I would say – and the same thing that I say in the book, which is that you just do what you can do, and through that, the state of your whole body tissue starts to change, and you will find yourself being able to do more and more.
DANI: And I think any improvement on that, I mean, if this was a midline cut, I’m deciphering the writing – there’s still things that – you still can always get closer to putting that distance to more of a natural distance. And I can speak from experience; I don’t have that kind of surgery, but I have a lot of adhesions that I was scared to do stuff with, and because of this work, you know, I was able to heal my diastasis, so it’s always just little bits and pieces, little things at a time. And any what-ifs that are in the way I’ve found in my own practice with this work is that the what-ifs aren’t that big of a deal. I just do the work and the what-ifs just take care of themselves.
KATY: Well, and I think also – no matter what your issue is; I saw another question about osteoporosis or you know, my toe, or whatever. You’re – the whole, yes, your toe might be doing something and your uterus might be doing something else and your eyes might be doing something differently, but what those individual parts are doing is a response to what all of your body is doing all of the time. So the solution to your toe or your uterus adhesions or your eyes or whatever often isn’t eye exercises or uterus exercises or toe exercises. That’s a – that’s a non-holistic view; it’s a way that we’ve had to reduce things to kind of understand them.
DANI: It’s kind of piecemeal. It’s taking it all apart.
KATY: It just doesn’t acknowledge that – I mean, everything’s connected, and I shouldn’t put air quotes around it because it’s true, but it’s just that – we say that, we toss it off, like, “everything’s connected, man.” But we don’t actually appreciate that it is directly connected, and that you can really approach any part of your body through all of the other parts. So if you are feeling uncomfortable about a certain part of your body, maybe don’t start there. Start elsewhere where you’re more comfortable, and then slowly swirl around to where you wanted to end up anyway.
DANI: That’s a good plan. I saw a question in here, and somebody was thinking the same thing that I was thinking today – I was talking to Katy in the car, because I had her alone in the car, which was –
KATY: Trapped! Trapped!
DANI: So I could just say, what about my eye? And what about my uterus? Forget all these other people, me, me me, me! And I – and somebody asked a very similar question, and at first I didn’t like the answer she gave me for just a second, but then I did. At first I was just like, that’s not the answer!
KATY: That’s never happened to me before, ever.
DANI: Everything goes down smooth with Katy, right? And I was talking about how I love my family so much and I love this work, and I love moving so much. It’s changed my life – I mean, I’ve said this. This could be my tagline. It’s a lame tagline, but it’s mine: I move better at 45 than I did at 25 because of this work, and that’s how I came to meet her, and she saved my life. Now I want to help other people feel better, including the people that I live with, so I was just like, I just wish I could get everybody to sit on the floor all the time, and I wish this and that! And we need to do a podcast so we can teach everybody how to do this! And her answer, which at first, I was like, Stupid Katy, and then I listened and she answered my question for me. When I asked you, how can I do this? What can I do? Let’s have a podcast.
KATY: Let’s have a podcast of how to motivate babies, and how to motivate toddlers, and how to motivate teenagers.
DANI: Because she has little kids, right? You kind of just say, “we’re walking, let’s go!” and they go. But when people are older, they’re like, “well, I don’t want to do this.” Or “I don’t want to sit that way.” And of course, everything we’re trying to get people to change their habits is meant with a good heart, but it can be really aggravating for the person with the good heart because –
KATY: Because people aren’t doing what you want them to do, sure.
DANI: And you gave me this answer, do you remember what you said?
DANI: Well, does anybody else have a question? No –
KATY: Do you remember?
DANI: I remember what she said. She said, this is the part I didn’t like, but it makes sense: it’s not your job. You are free, you may go. It’s not your job. As much as you love somebody and you want them to do this, we’re all different people and we’re all going to do our own thing. And whether it’s your husband or your kids or your parents, you know, your mom’s complaining about her bunions and you’re like, “I totally can help you with those!” and she doesn’t want to give up whatever? It’s not your job.
KATY: That was a question there.
DANI: What was this question? Can I read it?
KATY: Sure. Why are you asking me?
DANI: Well, I don’t know. How do I convince my husband to change his movement habits now in his 30s so that he is healthier later in life? And I looked at that and I was like, “Oh my gosh! We were just talking about families.”
KATY: Well, one, it’s not your job. But two, it’s a bigger – there’s a really great documentary right now called “I AM.” If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend watching it. But it’s essentially, you know, it’s so easy to look out and go, what’s the problem with the world? And we can list off the problems with the world, but we ourselves never really make the list. Right? I am the problem. I am my own – I am contributing in my own particular way, and there’s so much work to do just on yourself, that you could just focus on that, and maybe the – your partner, or the person – I mean, it’s one thing if you find it aggravating if it’s your partner. When you start to be aggravated by how everyone else walking on the street is behaving, then I think what I was saying more is that perhaps being aggravated is really more the thing that you could work to deal with. Like, to be aggravated by someone else’s footwear seems like maybe not the best way to spend your short time here. Like, you know what I mean? You’re like, feeling really good but you’re actually not feeling good. You’ve stopped feeling good; you are now aggravated by how everyone else is behaving and that is not a joy maker. And it’s also cutting into your own time of thinking what you could be doing for yourself, and thus – for me, the way I’m framing it right now is to stop outsourcing your own responsibility. If you’re worrying about someone else, who is taking responsibility for you during that time you’re thinking about someone else? I don’t know. I’m not a philosopher; I’m not a marriage counselor – clearly. But that’s the way that I’ve been able to – everyone’s like, you must be so aggravated all the time by how everyone else behaves. And I am like, I am the opposite of –
DANI: You are like the least aggravated person.
KATY: I said I don’t care today, but it’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that all I can do is work to improve myself and to reclaim what I’ve been doing and I notice that my attention to other people and what they’re doing – specifically my negative feelings about how other people have chosen to behave is a waste. For me.
DANI: Well, it was extremely freeing. I was feeling like the Buddha next to the other Buddha in the car.
KATY: Or you could just get rid of your couch when no one is looking.
DANI: Yes. Okay.
DANI: Noted. And noted. All right.
KATY: Are we more boring in person than you thought? I feel like, this is weird for us – we would never just start – it’s more like a dialogue, so we’re feeling a little awkward. Like, we would never just stand here and answer…does anyone want to yell anything out right now? Because that would be more our speed.
Man’s Voice: What’d you have for lunch?
KATY: Oh, come on.
DANI: It was good.
KATY: It was delicious, whatever it was.
DANI: It was delicious, yeah.
KATY: Nothin? Yes.
Woman’s Voice: So for someone – like, I’m brand new to this. This is the first time I’ve even heard about this –
KATY: Just this minute, right now?
Woman’s Voice 1: Well, five minutes ago.
KATY: Ok, ok, but I – okay, got it.
Woman’s Voice 1: So what about the couch?
KATY: Let me – let me go back to the beginning.
DANI: I’m sorry – this stuff, just this – right now?
KATY: Five minutes ago.
DANI: We must be really boring to you!
Woman’s Voice 1: – No, I’m curious. I’m not getting it.
KATY: Okay, so I wrote a book called Move Your DNA.
Woman’s Voice 2: It’s a great book!
KATY: Thank you. So what was Move Your DNA – and I have lots of books, like a nauseating amount of books, when I walk out I’m like, I am actually embarrassed. But if you read them all, in order, what you will see is an evolution of an idea. If you look at everything I’ve done over the past 10 years, it’s been an evolution of an idea. I started – I’m a biomechanist. Hi, I’m Katy. Nice to meet you. So a biomechanist is someone who has a filter of mechanics, which is like Newtonian physics, continuum mechanics. It’s things like pressure, gravity, tension, like those types of measures. And how they influence how the body works. So when you first start in biomechanics, you learn things like, this muscle controls this joint, you know, and if you’ve ever – have you ever taken an exercise class? What type of exercise class have you taken?
Woman’s Voice 1: Pilates.
KATY: Okay, so you take Pilates. So you were – maybe you were pretty well versed, then, in form. This idea that when you do an exercise, you don’t want to do it that way, you want to do it this way, because when you do it this way, it achieves a particular outcome, and if you don’t do it that way you could get hurt – or you won’t receive the benefit of it. So that’s where biomechanists start is in joint kinematics. The idea that when you do something, there’s a shape or a form or a geometry that when you do it that way results in a particular way. You go to a personal trainer and they say, oh, no, don’t grip this way, grip that way, because the one head of your bicep won’t respond if you – whatever. So I did all of that through college, and then when I went back to graduate school I started studying like, what happens when – is your whole body ever really moving? I mean, we call it a body, but what is it really? It’s trillions of cells all smashed together, and that in itself – you’re just a casing of a bunch of different bodies. And that we now know about the protective benefits of movement. If you haven’t heard, exercise and movement is good for you. They keep finding it as a protective against particular diseases, whether it’s osteoarthritis of the knee or certain cancers, depression, whatever. They’ll always say, have you been exercising? And if you haven’t been exercising, if you’re not moving, the risk of you having these issues is more. And why is that? That was the question I was most interested in trying to figure out, really, when I was in school because then you have the research that’s like, well, there’s a bunch of people who are exercising, and they still get it. And it’s like, ok, well, what was it about one type of exercise vs. another exercise, and to just cut to the chase, essentially, movement works on your body in the same way that nutrition works in your body. You are eating some food, but the food – you’re not only eating for energy; you’re eating for nutrients. You’re eating for vitamins and minerals, it’s not just for calories. But it took 500 years for people to find out that they couldn’t just eat whatever they wanted. They weren’t only eating for kcals or calories or for energy, because there were people who were getting plenty of food but they were getting certain diseases, and it was by studying those diseases and the diet that went alongside those diseases that nutrients were found. We use these terms like nutrients and vitamins but we don’t really consider where they came from. How did they figure out what Vitamin C was? Well, everyone knows: sailors, right? So they boil it down to sailors and scurvy, kind of setting aside that it was 400 years of back and forth to find out the compound of ascorbic acid or vitamin C. 400 years of not pretty bashing between the scientists at the time – very similar to current comment sections on the internet is how it reads. But when you take vitamin C in, the reason vitamin C is a benefit, the reason it is a nutrient, is it’s a chemical compound that affects the way your cells behave when you eat it. And in the absence of it, diseases will arise. In absence of everything – vitamin D, calcium, whatever. You can name the nutrient and there’s going to be – the reason it’s a nutrient is because in the absence of it, some disease is created, right? We think of it as medicine – oh, I’m going to take vitamin C so I don’t have X, but it’s really the opposite. The absence of vitamin D results in this symptom – vitamin D isn’t a medicine, it’s a nutrient. What sets those two things apart? So in that same way, movement – when you’re moving, your cells are deformed in a particular way that affects the way that they behave. That physical deformation of a cell elicits a chemical reaction within the cell in the same way that eating a nutrient elicits a chemical reaction within the cell. So in that way, movement – you can think of movement and dietary nutrients similarly. They’re both inputs that affect the way the body behaves. So that’s what I’ve spent a really long time working on. So then from there, bless you – what are the movements, then, that are protective? Because we have – so let me just take a side jump for a second. So I said at the beginning that we’re a sedentary culture and that term sedentary to most people means non-exerciser. But what it really means is the bulk of your – like if I put a device on you to measure how much you would move a day, it would be almost zero. Not just one, that means whole body movement. You could be a regular exerciser, but I could find a spot on you – on everybody – that if I put a movement measurer within your cells that even the most avid exercisers would have sedentary spots, meaning whole body movement doesn’t translate into cellular movement. Cellular movement depends on many things, but mostly the adaptation to lots of movement and lots of different types of movement, so when we do move we tend to move in this very narrow range in things that we call modes of exercise: running, walking, Piltaes, yoga, cycling. We could probably come together and create a comprehensive list of what most people are doing for exercise, and likewise I could come up with the comprehensive list of body parts that in this exercising population have never moved their entire life. Jawbones being one of them – breastfeeding – so in Move Your DNA I’m like, we don’t think of breastfeeding as an exercise. Yet if you don’t get breastfeeding, and for a particular amount of time, the way that the cells are moved during that phase sets the shape of your jaw, so that when you’re teeth come out, your teeth don’t fit inside your jaw, because you’ve missed this period of training that in nature would have absolutely occurred. You would not have made it had you not had this particular phase of movement. So we’re really kind of calling on two things: this idea of mechanotransduction which is the process by which you squish a cell, and put in the nutrients – I feel like I’m talking too much, am I talking too much to you? You’re just my friendly face right now so I’m talking to you. She’s like, I’m never going to a book signing again! And then the other part of it would be, what are the movements that we are missing because we are not good representation of humans? We are what is called WEIRD humans – western, educated, industrialized, what’s R? Rich, democratic. And everyone’s like, “I’m not rich!” and it’s like, if you spend any time in any other country you will find that you are wealthy. So most of the data on health is done on WEIRDos. So we’re trying to solve a problem without really recognizing that we are, by all measures, almost entirely still. And it’s not a state in which the body flourishes. The end. All right.
Woman’s Voice 3: Can we take a movement break?
KATY: Yes, let’s take a movement break. Get out of your chairs for a second. Movement break!
KATY: Okay, that’s enough movement! Calm yourselves down! Did you have a question?
Woman’s Voice 4: I had a question.
KATY: Want to come up here and ask it?
Woman’s Voice 4: Sure.
KATY: What’s your name?
Woman’s Voice 4: Christina.
KATY: Christina. Nice to meet you.
Christina: So I bought your book at the end of this pregnancy with twins.
KATY: Which one?
Christina: Well, three of them. I have four of your books. Diastasis Recti is the one I’m talking about.
DANI: Are these all yours?
Christina: I have five children, yes.
KATY: High five, right here.
Christina: I’ve been working on the program for a few months, and I was doing well, but my question is: how do you know when you’re ready to progress to the next step? I kind of went a little too fast and I’ve widened my diastasis in the last week.
KATY: Yeah, what did you do in the last week?
Christina: I started doing yoga again, and I also started doing the monkey bars forward instead of sideways, which I’d been like – because I used to, you know, before this pregnancy I was yoga-ing every day and monkey bar-ing all the time, and I was like, I want to get back to that thing, and trying to be like, no, but are you really ready? And I don’t know how to gauge when my body’s ready for those bigger loads.
KATY: All right, so it doesn’t matter – this could be applied to – she’s speaking specifically to diastasis recti, but it could be I’m trying to transition to minimal footwear, right here, without a heel, flexible sole.
DANI: I noticed the whole gaggle of them with their minimal footwear.
KATY: Yes, very cute. So she’s saying, like, how do I – well, it’s interesting. It’s bringing up two things for me. So one is often this type of question, which is, how do I fix myself so that I can go back to what I was doing before? So there’s two things – so with diastasis, it’s a little bit different because the twin factor was part of a scenario that you’re not likely – unless you want to – experience again. I’m not going to project my…on you. But you just don’t know. You don’t know! So a lot of people are like, I hurt myself doing X, what are the exercises I can do so that I can get back to doing X? Keeping in mind that X was part of the lifestyle that brought about whatever you’re experiencing. However, that all being said, usually if you’re doing X within the context of lots of other movements. X is not going to make the same type of injuries it would were you only doing X. So that’s a big piece. I feel like I’m speaking in algebra code, but I just mean – whatever is in your mind, just fill in the blank with it. So it’s just kind of what you’re doing; you noticed that when you switched to something and like, the physiological rules really ten percent change at a time. So you did two things; you went back to doing yoga how many hours that week?
Christina: I did it twice a week.
KATY: But you just added that in this last week.
Christina: Yeah. Maybe a week and a half.
KATY: You added what, two hours of a different type of movement?
Christina: It was probably 4 times of a 35 or 40 minute.
KATY: So 4, 35 minute extra sessions to your frame.
DANI: It’s totally algebra at this point.
KATY: It is. You’re going to have to do the math. And then you also decided to take on – it’s like, you think it’s like, I’m just going to use the monkey bars in a different way, not thinking that I’m going to call on all new strengths of my body. It’s a brand new skill. Every shape in your body – your strengths don’t actually parlay very well into other movements. A strength in one particular thing doesn’t necessarily serve you in another thing. Even though you’re on the monkey bars the entire time, one skill is completely different. So you just, you added more than 10%. If you were to calculate how many minutes you’re doing specifically for like corrective exercise.
KATY: Yeah, yeah – right. Because of this, but force, like with movement, there’s the change in shape and then there’s the force. So what I would consider your exercise time is the larger forces that you’re putting in. so you put in a whole bunch of new forces and then your structure was like, we couldn’t support any of those movements. So you just – you’re essentially experimenting with yourself, so you go, okay, well, what if I just – everyone’s negotiating their life. I imagine that 35 minutes of yoga 4 times a week is a wonderful balance to 5 kids. Right? So I don’t want to tell you –
Christina – Well, if it’s going to just hurt me more then –
KATY: Right, well, then it’s not affecting your mental health positivity if you’re stressed about an issue later on. So maybe start with 3 10-minute practices. You already are holding this space for – you’ve already amazingly carved out that time. I would just maybe, since you have that time, do half or 1/3 of the higher force thing and then put more correctives in that time that you already have. But you’re already watching yourself; there’s no other way to know – because for me to know would be –
Christina: You’re going to have to overstep your boundaries in order to realize you’ve overstepped them.
KATY: Well, you don’t have to overstep your bounds. You could also choose to increase it in small amounts. That would be – think about it, a couple or a few minutes at a time, 5 or 8 minutes at a time.
Christina: That’s one of the things, though, in the book – you talk about hanging still. If you haven’t done hanging and going sideways and then forward –
KATY: But what you’re watching for is things like your ribs – you’re looking for, can you keep your ribs down while you’re doing it? Are you straining? Are you grunting to get up? Those are the alignment points for you really to be watching. As soon as you can’t maintain your form, then the benefit of the exercise that you’re doing is eluding you and you’re creating the same forces that put you there. And that can go for running injury, it can go for anything.
Christina: Thank you.
KATY: You’re welcome.
DANI: I swear this isn’t a plant, but I can answer this question. The guy in the really cool Hawaiian shirt asked this because it’s a beautiful shirt. Is there a local practitioner who can do this work? That’s one. [laughter] That’s me! Actually, there’s one sitting right next to you, too, the gal in the black. Yep. And there’s a lot more of them coming, because she has a couple year program where people study – a nice, robust program, but my cards are out on the podium, so.
KATY: Can we address shin splints, not for a runner? Okay, so I guess my 2-minute shin splints would be this: shin splints is when this muscle on the front of your shin is ripping away from the bone. It’s painful. A lot of people tape the front of the shin back towards the bone so that every step you take isn’t pulling it away, but it’s like – so one of the reasons – I’m going to use this as a plug for minimal footwear – one of the reasons we wear minimal footwear is, if you have something underneath your heel all the time, over time you adapt by adjusting your structure to have a slight point in your foot all of the time, but it’s very hard to walk with a point in your foot all of the time. Your foot has to clear the ground. This means that those who are adapted to a point in their foot have to do extra work on the front of their shin to get their foot to swing through clearly. So when you do that enough, you overdevelop or you put so much tension on the front of the shin that over time, it’s like we have this idea that the body can endlessly adapt to whatever we do – if you do it enough, the muscle gets strong enough, but there’s a physiological range for your tissues, and when you exceed that, the tissue just pulls away from the bone. Like, people have torn their ACLs or tear their Achilles tendon. When the tension gets to great that finally it starts separating – so what was the question?
DANI: Can you address them, not for a runner?
KATY: So running could be the thing that gives you lots of plantar flexion. Running is certainly a natural movement, but running done in the context of sitting in chairs the rest of the time and wearing positive heeled shoes and being sedentary for the rest of your life, where you’re not squatting, you’re not doing anything to undo or balance out or input in a different shape, then you start to slowly – has anyone ever seen the Triplets of Bellville? The cartoon Triplets of Bellville? It’s a hand-drawn cartoon, and the guy’s a cyclist. He looks like the shape that you assume when you do your thing, whatever your thing is it slowly becomes your shape. You are extremely – I used to say malleable, but malleable isn’t the best word, because you have the ability to add and remove mass from your frame. So malleable really means that you’re taking a fixed amount of mass and reshaping it. But that’s not even what you can do. You can do one thing better: not only can you do that, but to get a different shape you can add mass, or take away mass from your body. So you are not a permanent structure, but because we are sedentary people, we look like exactly the shape of a physical body that does what it does, whether it’s sitting or sitting and running, or sitting and cycling, or running and cycling, or walking 40 miles a day. And the shape to the body is how anthropologists – physical anthropologists – and people who are studying this thing called mechanotransduction realize that your entire structure is really set by the loads that you’re doing. We can tell by looking at your skeleton whether you’re right handed or left handed. We can tell who – if we look at ancient populations, who were paddlers as their primary way of getting around. Who were people who moved across the water, who walked long distances, if they lived in hills. Your body is your autobiography. You’re writing it right now. Whatever you’re doing right now – look at your hands, how you’re holding your hands and the way you’re holding your head – all of those things are habitual to you. I know, everyone’s going to be like, awkward! For the rest of the time. But – so when you decide, should you decide – I’m going to start moving differently, you have to honor the fact that wanting to move differently with the body that’s adapted to this whole thing. So there’s a transition phase of slowly eeking a new shape out of your body in order to be able to do the new thing. It’s not just jumping into – hey! I want to – oh, I was going to use a letter again, a variable. I want to be – I want to do this particular task – and this physiological rule of you want your structure to slowly come along with you. Because the human is so excellent at adaptation and efficiency that sometimes it’s – if you do your new thing that you’re going to do, like – we define ourselves, as – I’m trying to think of a label. You could say, like, I’m a runner. And I keep using running only because it’s easy. You could say, “I’m a runner,” but that’s different than saying, “I’m a mother.” When you’re a mother, you’re a mother 24 hours a day by definition. When you’re a runner, that’s something that you did what, an hour? Two hours? It’s not really – we define ourselves by what we do a teeny tiny bit, it’s like, I’m a kind person, but you’ll find yourself having unkind moments. So we define ourselves by these tiny behaviors and then just assume that the structure is matching the infrequency of behavior. But what you really are is a sitter. We’re all sitters. No one defines themselves that way, though – you would say you’re a runner, right?
KATY: No, it’s not. I know. Nothing I say is cool or liked, frankly.
DANI: I mean, it’s not like, yeah, I’m a sitter.
KATY: Yeah, yeah. I’m a sitter, too. We’re in this together, but it’s more that I find that words are really important to understand – understanding definitions and how we use language to understand things, and understand ourselves. I think we start being better defined, so I’m just like, I’m all about the math.
DANI: And I keep playing detective, too – like, you did something today that has had me thinking all day. Again, see, we were alone for like 8 hours, and [makes explosion sound.]
DANI: We were getting breakfast, our lovely things we had for breakfast. And we were at the farmer’s market, and we both went and got separate things and then there’s the tables in the middle –
KATY: And I’m like, I have to walk around this table!
DANI: And I’m looking for a table and Katy’s just standing there and then she goes, “there’s grass over there.” So we go and sit in the grass, and I’m like, this is awesome, I never do this. And then we were driving around Chautauqua, because for some reason there’s no parking today, and she goes, “Lookit!” and there’s this beautiful – that big lawn there, right? With the base and there’s some picnic tables? And nobody’s sitting on the grass, but every table –
KATY: Jam packed at the table.
DANI: It was like, I never even would have thought about that. So I think that kind of detective work, and it’s back to the I AM – where it’s everybody else’s problem, it’s not me – that kind of detective work and that kind of awareness and paying attention helps you with your own movement, and finding out maybe where you have movement deficiencies. Because you don’t think about it – even like, tonight, you came in and sat in a chair because that is what you do, right?
KATY: Not you guys. Not you over there.
DANI: But that’s been helpful to me is to help think outside that – I’m not going to say box.
KATY: The tank.
DANI: The tank.
KATY: Which is a thing from the book, if you’re like, what tank?
DANI: It’s a really good book. But that has helped me a lot – and those little things, like I consider myself kind of a movement geek and someone who is always trying to –
KATY: You’re an exercise geek.
DANI: Well –
KATY: I mean, you’re becoming a movement geek, but I meant like, that we would define ourselves as movement – I mean, I hear all the time, I am a movement nerd or whatever but they wouldn’t move all the way to the ground. You know what I mean? Like, they only see movement in terms of movements that you’ve been given permission to do. I think a lot of this has to do with movement being counterculture now, so there’s chairs there, and if you’re going to be weird – you’re not weird – but if you don’t sit in the chair you don’t want to be the one person in these shoes in the airport.
Woman’s Voice: I think a lot of us thought that we had to sit in the chairs.
KATY: Well, I – right! Like, what’s going to happen to you if you didn’t sit in the chair? You’re going to get in trouble! I know, but that’s the thing – it’s this – I do it all the time.
DANI: It’s the grass and the picnic table, and so we all go – it’s just what we think. That’s totally cool, but I was just suggesting –
KATY: I don’t think it’s what we think, I think it’s what we fear.
DANI: Maybe, but it’s something – when you start looking at it, you just start finding it everywhere. The outsourcing of your movement, and all the things that you can do to move that you don’t even think about. It’s really not a huge undertaking, it’s just life.
KATY: Yeah, sure. I mean, I don’t even know how to add on to that.
DANI: I have to bring this cane right now and grab us –
KATY: Are we done?
Woman’s Voice: we actually have time for one final question.
DANI: It so better be good.
Woman’s Voice: But after that question’s done, if you’re interested in getting a book signed, we ask that you don’t just all run forward in a mad dash.
DANI: We need to move this equipment.
Woman’s Voice: But rather stand up, step up, step back and we’re going to go through this, past science fiction, and line up right here.
DANI: So even though we just told you that you don’t have to do what people tell you to do, you totally have to do what she just told you to do. But after that, think outside the tank! Oh, yes – afterward, thank you. That’s why she’s the smarty pants. We’re having a little get together at Shine – you know where Shine is on 13th and Pearl St.? We have the lounge over there, we have a nice opportunity to sit and, I know, everyone’s dying to ask me stuff, and I will be there and you can ask me the stuff. Oh, and Katy’s coming, too.
KATY: All right, one more question – you want to read it from the card?
Woman’s Voice: In terms of the whole seating thing, do you ever have a say in how you set up talks?
KATY: Do I have a say in how I set up talks?
DANI: Actually, I did, so you know, when I set this up, I said, I betcha a lot of the people won’t want to sit, and so have some chairs and some – but just, you know.
KATY: The world’s not ready to, you know what I mean? You can request it, you can ask and put it out there –
DANI: But that’s okay. Actually, I went to an optometrist appointment or something and they had these horrible chairs, and I just couldn’t bear to sit there while my kid was getting their eyes checked, and so I sat on the floor, and you would not believe how weird I looked. Like, this homeless person sitting on the floor- but you just have to make that decision and say, no thanks, or – you know, sitting is not horrible, but there’s just other ways to do it. I’m always learning new ways. New ways to move. If you guys want us to get this equipment out of the way, we can do whatever.
KATY: Okay, thank you.
DANI: All right, that was it – that was the Q&A and then we had a great book signing, but we would love to thank some people.
KATY: But first we have to tell people what we did afterward.
DANI: Oh, my gosh. I wish everybody could have been there. If you weren’t there, boy, I wish you could have been there. And if you were there, thanks for coming – we had, well first of all, Katy signed a ton of books.
KATY: Well, here’s the thing – let me give you the background.
DANI: They were the nicest people.
KATY: No, I love it. But here’s what a book signing feels like, from my perspective. I get up, I speak, people are asking questions, people are shy to ask questions. I do my best to download – I imagine people come from different states before driving 8 hours to come. And they’re very rarely longer than 90 minutes. The time that people spend in line, it’s more like a couple hours, but as far as the talk is short – 45 minutes to maybe an hour, and then you sign, sign, sign books and people wait in line to get to talk to you for 90 seconds to a few minutes, and I like to have a conversation with every single person, so everyone who stood in line, thank you so much for giving everyone the space to have a conversation. But that’s it. And I’ve always felt like, man, these people come from so far, have come out, have gotten babysitters – and they just – it’s inadequate. I always feel like I’m letting everyone down because I can never really connect with all of the people that I want to. I’m really trying to keep my connection with readers to be more equal so it’s not like people know a ton about me and I know nothing about everyone else. That’s just not okay with me; it’s not an authentic relationship. So we thought that we would throw an after-party for our book signing. So Dani, why don’t you tell them – Dani did a ton of work, and who helped you?
DANI: Oh, gosh, I did so little work compared to Pamela, who is a long time Katy fan and reader, and just a wonderful friend.
KATY: And super lovely. Yeah, super lovely.
DANI: Oh, my gosh. I adore her. She found us this place in a town that was completely booked and it was a perfect Katy spot – I mean, everybody loved it. It was a restaurant called Shine, and we were in the beautiful lounge, and I had the best plate of ravioli – I mean, the best plate of almost anything in my life. It was fantastic. We got to talk with so many people. So many people came to the after party.
KATY: And we just ate together. We were just sitting around a dining table – how many hours were we there? A couple hours?
DANI: We were there a couple hours.
KATY: Yeah, I had a stinging nettle elixir. I mean, come on.
DANI: They make these potions there that are infused with all this stuff. And it was remarkable – great food, great atmosphere, and great service. Really great people, and thanks to everyone who came and spend time with us, because I got to know so many of your listeners.
KATY: Great people. Our listeners.
DANI: Our listeners. It was really great. Thanks to Pamela and thanks to Shine for having an excellent restaurant for the after party. And thanks to Boulder bookstore, and especially Teresa – she really did great intro for us and understood that we were giant book geeks and let us smell the books and all that stuff. Thanks, Teresa.
KATY: We each left with new books.
DANI: Yeah, we did.
KATY: And also what I was going to say, is that we signed a bunch of extra books – I mean, I must have signed 30 more books, so if you are in the Boulder area.
DANI: Of all your books.
KATY: Of all my books. I didn’t even take a picture of the display – they had –
DANI: I did.
KATY: Oh, you did!
DANI: Well, I took a picture of you signing the books, which I’ll post in the notes, but there was tons.
KATY: There was, when we walked up, all of the books were out and I was like, wow, I have written an obnoxious amount of books. Like, they were just all there laughing at me, like, it’s for my 6th grade class.
DANI: No, it was great. And thanks to Pamela again for finding and doing all your footwork and finding the place for us.
KATY: Did you say footwork?
KATY: I think we’re going to have to change this show to Katy Says, Dani Puns.
DANI: Yeah, in fact, it was adorable – one listener came up to me afterward and she was like, I was a little disappointed, because I thought this would be more punny. And I just felt like, oh my gosh, I’ve gotta go home and work harder on this! But I just like when it flows naturally and just sometimes it comes, and sometimes it goes. But we also have to thank Jeff –
KATY: Your husband. Your whole family was amazing. So let me just say, I travel for work. I’m a gig – I call myself a gig mom with a shout-out to Gabby Reese who has coined that term of I don’t go to work every day, but often my work is done within the context of my home, and I can pop out and in and I really made a conscious effort to be able to work without leaving my family. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. Sometimes I have to go to New York, sometimes I have to go to L.A., sometimes I have to go to Boulder, and when I do, it usually involves me leaving my family at the last minute, right? So like, I plan down to like, I’m going to have breakfast, take my walk and have breakfast, and then drop them at school and I’m going to go start the 4 hour trek from the amazing place that I live to get to an airport, you know, and then I fly and then I land and I’m trying to be away from my family for such a short period of time that everything becomes ridiculously compressed. It’s not really relaxing –it’s physiologically taxing, I don’t really feel well doing it. But you and your family went out of your way to make this probably the best I’ve ever felt
KATY: On a traveling trip. So let me just say what I did – I did that whole thing like I just said, I walk on the ferry, I get to the airplane, land at midnight, Dani picked me up at 8 in the morning, I got about a half hour of yoga download that I have – that I just really love just for the meditative, it really calms me and it de-travels and yes, I had to sit on the floor of the hotel, but whatever, for those of you who know what’s in hotel floors.
DANI: It’s not good there.
KATY: And then you picked me up and she took me to – first of all, Boulder. Can we say thank you to Boulder, Colorado?
DANI: For existing.
KATY: Exactly. So you took me to the farmer’s market where I was able to have the most gorgeous meal of my life – and she even, when I was like, you know, my point is, when I go to a new place to eat something that I can’t get normally – that’s my normal rule. Get the house specialty. Get the thing that the town is known for. Well, where I live there is there are no – I mean, there’s a few restaurants, but we have no ethnic restaurants. We’re only just a couple – there’s no Indian food, there’s no nothing. So everything, I was like, I want everything – Dani was even sacrificing whatever she wanted so I could have two things and we could share them. So thanks for taking that one for the team.
DANI: Oh, I do what I can.
KATY: Yeah, I mean, you’re so generous. And so I had two, essentially two amazing meals. We got to sit outside, it was sunny, we sat outside in the park and soaked up the sun, which is also one of my favorite things to do. She and her amazing family – her children are the warmest, most personable – but like, clever and engaged with adults. They were amazing. And your husband was the same.
DANI: He’s pretty good with adults, too.
KATY: Your husband is so clever.
DANI: Yeah, he’s a great guy.
KATY: Yeah, he was great. And they took me on this amazing hike called the Chewcawahcabat – what?
DANI: The Chewbacca. It’s the Chautauqua. It’s like Boulder; everybody’s gotta do the Chautauqua.
KATY: Yeah, we did the Chautauqua, and again, it was a couple hours of just sunshine and fresh air, textured terrain.
DANI: Laughing and talking, climbing.
KATY: Oh my goodness – and then we went out to lunch to this grocery store that like, is super sustainable, had clean food, amazing lunch.
DANI: Yeah, Lucky’s Market Café.
KATY: Yeah. And then I thought we were going to go home for a nap, but we didn’t, and we had to go home for a quick shower – oh, and then in the farmer’s market I got like fresh asparagus and we got fresh rhubarb, and it was just – I felt like I was at home. And then, to top it all off, she wakes me up in the morning and we got to go on a walk before I have to fly home.
DANI: Oh, and you made us breakfast – you made us a fantastic rhubarb quiche, which we’re now all completely, helplessly, hopelessly hooked on.
KATY: I know. I think I’ve made it 5 times this week. I’m looking at it right now. The kids now make it.
DANI: It was tons of fun.
KATY: So thank you, and Jeff, and just – Boulder. The world. And for everyone who listens, we are very fortunate, we completely understand it, and we just want to say thank you.
DANI: Yes, thank you all so much. All right.
KATY: All right. So much gratitude. Let’s move on. Just kidding! Thanks to everyone who came, and hopefully – I know everyone’s like, when are you going to come to this town? And it’s like, some time, in the future, may I be close to your town.
DANI: Yes, and be prepared to sacrifice what you want for breakfast for Katy.
KATY: All right, thanks everybody.
DANI: Thanks for listening. For more information, books, online classes, etc., you know you can find Katy Bowman and her work at NutritiousMovement.com, and you can learn more about me, Dani Hemmat, movement warrior and what – hostess with the mostest? I don’t know.
KATY: Totes. Totally.
DANI: at MoveYourBodyBetter.com. Bye!
We hope you find the general information on biomechanics, movement, and alignment informative and helpful, but it is not intended to replace medical advice, and shouldn’t be used as such.
SHOW NOTES: Links to Katy & Dani’s Fun Day!