Originally recorded in March 2016, this is a live audience podcast recorded at the Nutritious Movement Center in Sequim, Washington. It is the third in a series of companion podcasts to the book “Movement Matters” by Katy Bowman.
*Trigger Warning: this episode contains a brief discussion about sexual assault at 41:30-41:55.*
KATY: Welcome to the Katy Says Podcast where Dani Hemmat and Katy Bowman (that's me) talk about movement, the tiny details, the larger issues and why movement matters. I'm Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Move Your DNA...
DANI: And I'm Dani Hemmat, a chronically curious movement teacher. And today's podcast is a little different. It's a little longer. We recorded it in March of 2016 at the Nutritious Movement Center in Washington state and ... we stayed on topic but it got a little heavy. So we decided to save it for later, which is now.
KATY: We are in the same room in this podcast recording similar to the Boulder bookstore Q&A. So that was the second time that we recorded together, but we hung onto this podcast. This podcast is about Movement Matters, but it was before Movement Matters was done. It was before Dani had read Movement Matters. We recorded it in front of a large group of people who are people who were training with me at the center so they had quite a big background in all of my other materials, you know, ten years worth of materials. They weren't strangers to alignment. They weren't strangers to natural movement. They had all read all of my other books. However, Movement Matters, as we said in the last episode is different, yes?
DANI: Very very different. Awesome and different.
KATY: Well, so everyone was stunned. Like we keep saying - I feel like we're really - people are gonna read this book and
DANI: I was stunned
KATY: But it's just different. I just got off a phone call with another, kind of, heavy person, you know, well-known person, and he's reading it right now and he was like, "Holy Cow!" So, it's just, he's like, "the perspective on this book is so big," he's like, "I never thought this big before about something so small like movement." And so, we understand that people ... I wanted to have a lot of pieces to help introduce, a lot of different podcasts, and maybe even blog posts too to help people work through this book. So this podcast is about movement ecology. So the book Movement Matters, the subtitle (I'm bending down to get a copy of the book because I can't remember the subtitle) "Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology and the Nature of Movement". So this podcast was on the movement ecology part.
DANI: Um hmm
DANI: Totally not what I thought we were gonna talk about...
KATY: What did you think?
DANI: I had no idea. I mean it was kind of a new term and I had sent you this thing which was referred to in the podcast - this little article on wolves in Yellowstone, so I totally thought, I don't know...
KATY: It's gonna be a cute children's podcast
DANI: I wasn't thinking big about something so small, right? I was just thinking like, "oh, we're just gonna kind of deal with this..." It was, I think, got bigger than I thought during the podcast. But we didn't want to get rid of it because it was important. It was just too far ahead of its time.
KATY: It was too far out of the book coming out, right? Because, I think what's gonna happen is, when you're done listening to this you're like, "Oh my goodness, I want more of this." And so we didn't want to release it four months before Movement Matters came out. So Movement Matters is almost out. This podcast comes out when? Mid-October?
DANI: This will be, yes, October 18.
KATY: Ok, so mid-October. The pub date for Movement Matters is November 30th.
KATY: It comes hot off the presses. So we have a big launch party, which you haven't been invited... which you have been invited to and you're not coming to and you're gonna be so sad when you realize who is coming.
DANI: Don't even tell me!
KATY: I'm not telling you. I'm not telling you and you're just gonna have to pretend.
DANI: Hey if I can fly out of hoobidy doobidy to come to it, you know I would!
KATY: I know. I know. So we have to have the book ready for November 4 pre-launch party in the Bay Area of California - Hello California! - so we will be shipping our pre-orders ... the publisher will be shipping the pre-orders mid-November. So that's
KATY: the earliest, you know, that it'll start hitting the market and then Amazon gets it a little bit later because it has to go, you know, as we talked before, there's more steps. So you can expect to get it more closer to December from Amazon, but, so it'll be out, you know, much more closely now that we've held on to this podcast. So we're gonna play the podcast for you but in a couple areas where it gets heavy, and we're introducing brand new ideas, we gonna eeeer stop, and then Dani and I will come back in and either clarify something that we didn't or soften, soften it a little bit, maybe put in a pun or two, you know, just to help you get through it.
DANI: Yeah, it's important to remember that our podcasts aren't scripted.
DANI: And so, that's why
KATY: Or polished!
DANI: Yeah, this is as polished as it's gonna get. But that's why some things need to be softened because you know the thought is there, it's just, we're not scripted.
KATY: We're authentic.
DANI: Totally authentic
KATY: It's the authentic reaction. When you have 40 people across from you sitting there with their mouth open you have to go, "Woah,
KATY: "I feel like I should have said that a different way." So, thanks for bearing with me.
DANI: And also, so just to interrupt there is some sensitive subject matters. Just you know, use your own judgment if you're listening to this around the wee ones, the wee children.
DANI: Totally up to you on that one.
DANI: We're gonna start? And Roll it?
KATY: Roll it.
[DANI: Hey there. I got a short trigger warning: We have a short discussion about sexual assault from 41:30 to 41:55.]
KATY: It's the Katy says podcast where right now – movement geek, Dani Hemmat, and I, biomechanist, Katy Bowman, author of Move Your DNA, are in the very same room.
DANI: The very same room.
KATY: To discuss body mechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience. How is that for mixing it up?
DANI: You mixed it up, finally – that’s good. It was getting a little rote. We are here at the Nutritious Movement center, and there are probably maybe 30 practitioners here, and people that are certifying to be practitioners. So they’re in the room with us, and we just told everyone you’re allowed to make noise, you’re allowed to ask questions –
KATY: This is our second live – This is our second live audience.
DANI: This is our second live – yep.
KATY: Our third live podcast will be where?
DANI: In Boulder, Colorado!
KATY: In Boulder in May.
DANI: On May 21st.
KATY: Get your tickets!
KATY: Get your tickets! You and you and you and you.
DANI: Yep. Question and answer, you know.
KATY: Yeah, it’s going to be fun.
DANI: Selfies, stuff like that.
KATY: Yeah, we’re just going to take pictures of ourselves the entire time. And here I am talking to a group…
DANI: I wrote a book. All right, so I think this is [laughter] this is also a special episode, not just because we have everybody here and we’re here in this amazing center that just –
KATY: In Washington
DANI: In Washington, that has all these movement possibilities and so many different ways. I’ve never walked on floating stairs before. If you want to walk on the floating stairs, then look up NutritiousMovement.com and look up the Center.
KATY: They’re connected to something, just FYI.
DANI: Yes. Yeah.
KATY: They’re just not overly connected.
DANI: They’re not overly – they don’t feel like they’re connected to anything. But look it up, because you can come here for retreats and classes, and it’s just – it’s so fun to finally be here.
KATY: Podcasts that are live.
DANI: Yes. So I think that this is also going to be a special episode because – although we talk about paradigm kind of shifts in the show or on the show a lot, and Katy brings a lot to our attention, we’re going to talk about something that I'm guessing is going to represent what is another paradigm shift.
KATY: Refinement. An idea refinement.
DANI: Refinement, I like that.
KATY: It’s a tangle, it’s another layer.
DANI: De-tangling. Untangling, right?
KATY: It’s another tangle untangled.
DANI: Yes. So about a month ago, I sent you this cool video about wolves in Yellowstone, and how they took the wolves out of Yellowstone park because they were afraid that they were killing too many elk, right?
DANI: And so they took them out, but then pretty soon there came to be too many elk eating all the grass, and then nobody was killing the rabbits because the wolves were gone, and everything fell out of balance. And I kind of – and when they reintroduced the wolves back, everything just came back into balance, and so I sent this to you, and told you, hey, I feel like this is what Nutritious Movement does to our bodies when we reintroduce it into our own body system. And you were like, that’s a funny coincidence, because I’m writing a book. I don’t know if you made that face.
VOICE: Did she say it like that?
DANI: I don’t know if she did. That was how I heard it.
KATY: I was from Georgia.
DANI: My, oh, my. No, she said it was a funny coincidence because you were writing a book about movement ecology, like essays or something. And first of all, I’m like, you told me you weren’t going to write any more books.
KATY: I know. Every time, I’m like –
DANI: And you haven’t answered me yet.
KATY: I know.
DANI: Okay, anyway, whatever. We’ll get to that later. But the next day I noticed that your Instagram description about your account profile listed you as a movement ecologist, and you had also posted something, which I’m going to read for everybody because it might sum up nicely, I think, what we’re going to talk about in this podcast episode.
KATY: What you hope we’re going to talk about in this episode.
DANI: I hope so. I’m winging it. Big time. Okay. So here –
KATY: That’s a pun, and you don’t even know it yet. That’s what so good about you, is you have made – you have made a pun from the future.
DANI: I might have brain damage.
KATY: This will all tie in later, but you have, in fact, punned from the future because your skill set transcends time.
DANI: And we had witnesses.
KATY: Oh, we did.
DANI: It’s not just you that appreciates my weird talent.
KATY: Because we don’t even have this example fleshed out here, and – wow. Oh my gosh.
DANI: That’s a gift. All right. So here is what you wrote in that Instagram post. And you had pictures of electronic car keys and a teabag, I believe, right? It said, “These items, an electronic car unlocker and a tea bag, are convenient. Realize that when you say or think ‘convenience,’ it’s another way of saying, ‘reduces movement.’ It is easy to see the movement imbalance of 1-hour exercising vs. 23 hours of not exercising. More subtle is seeing how your daily life is comprised of a lot of seemingly innocuous ways you’ve outsourced your body’s work. One of the reasons I focus just as much on non-exercise-y movements as I do on exercise type movements is that I feel that the 10,000 outsourcings a day during the 23 or 24 hours of your time hold the most potential for radical change. Be on the lookout for these things. To avoid the movements necessary to walk around to all the car doors, or just to avoid turning your wrist, or to avoid gathering your tea strainer and dump and clean the leaves in your dishwasher, even. You have accepted a handful of garbage plastic – future landfill – and a battery. I believe that natural movement discussions belong in ecological conferences and not only in fitness magazines,” Although, there was the little Good Housekeeping thing that had you swinging like monkeys from your house, so good for them for taking the leap and bringing it out into the open. “Sedentarism is very much linked to consumerism, materialism, and the destruction of the planet. If you’re not moving, someone is moving for you – either directly or indirectly, by making stuff to make not moving easier on you.
DANI: You were born into a sedentary culture, so 99.9% of your sedentary behaviors are flying under your radar.
KATY: Oh! The lights just went out.
DANI: I wish we had a device and I could clap and they would come on, so I didn’t have to move, man.
KATY: That is crazy. She just – they popped off just as she was done.
KATY: But now, they are on a timer but that timer was set 8 hours ago. Thank you. Um, wow, okay, well, that was like – mic drop!
DANI: That was awesome.
KATY: Yeah, that was kind of cool.
DANI: So, um, there’s so much to this, but maybe let’s just start kind of at the beginning – could you define –
KATY: Let’s start in the middle of it and work backwards.
DANI: Okay. That's really ... Define ecology for us. If you would.
KATY: Well, I guess the written definition – what I have written here is – it’s a – it is the branch of biology, so biology would be the umbrella science to ecology – it is a branch of biology that deals with the relationship of animals or organisms, I guess, to one another as well as to their physical surroundings.
KATY: So it’s more than just considering –
DANI: So what is movement ecology? Is that something that you’ve come up with, or that’s a thing, right? For any animal, like –
KATY: Well, so let’s say – so movement ecology is how an animal – in this case, I am talking about humans: human movement ecology –
KATY: As it relates to other people as well as other organisms and also the environment in which you’re doing the movement. It is not a term that I have coined. There is a journal of movement ecology.
KATY: So, for example, what you might see in movement ecology would be ... movement ecology – that perspective was used like, we’re in the Pacific west – Pacific Northwest right now. When they were taking down old growth forests, they were like, hey, you can’t take all the old growth forests because that’s where this particular owl lives, and they’re like, well, we’re going to leave a certain amount of trees in for the owls. And it’s like, well, it turns out that owls’ necessary movement is not just – you know, if you look at it one particular way, you could count the number of trees needed for like, we’ll just put one owl in every tree so if we leave, you know, 200 trees, that’s 200 owls –
DANI: They want enough.
KATY: But it turns out the spacing in between them is important.
KATY: Because that’s the distance that they have to fly over which to find food. And then, therefore, all the other trees are providing shelter and a habitat that brings food there for them to be able to eat, right? If you eat mice, and there’s no other trees that holds the soil, which reaps the grass, which has the bugs or other animals can eat, you begin to play with one particular animal when you change the environment. Like, everything is so interrelated.
KATY: So a movement ecologist would say it’s not only that they need X amount of trees; these trees need to be distanced at a certain amount from each other. You know, like that would be a movement ecologist, would be looking at how far does it fly? It doesn’t just, you know, walk out and go, okay, I’m going to go drop down here and get the thing – it needs to soar; it needs to have something else to land on at a certain, fixed distance. It’s not flying 1 foot to all the trees around it, so it’s about a frequency and distribution of movement, which is kind of from Move Your DNA.
DANI: Is that what shifted your thinking over, to like, what brought you here to this point? How are you all of a sudden having “movement ecologist” in your tag? What brought you there?
KATY: Well, I don’t think that it’s all of a sudden. It – it has become increasingly difficult to answer questions about movement, right? So it’s all about movement, as far as what I have to offer. So an example of movement ecology that is recent for me would be you know, we’ll talk about like we started with a basic alignment, like, what’s the best way to carry your baby so it doesn’t hurt your back? It’s like, okay, well, line up these points or whatever – boom – that’s easier. And then now there’s this other thing, though, of going, well, but it’s not only the position that you’re in, it’s the position that they’re in and that they should be varied. They should actually – how does being in a carrier differ from being in arms? Right? So you’re expanding your understanding of movement as it's distributed throughout the day. So then, it came to the people that understood, okay, like, I get it – I could not – I could stand better, be stronger myself, carry my own baby in a particular way for better movement for myself and my child to develop a more robust structure. But then the next question was – but, how do I do – how do I accomplish anything else? I’m supposed to stand here and hold my baby all day long?
KATY: It’s like, well, you are not supposed to be alone all day with your baby.
DANI: That’s right.
KATY: So that way of living, like, the way that we are – the distance that we are from other people –
DANI: The trees, yeah – the trees aren’t the right distance, yeah.
KATY: or whatever that there’s so much distance that it keeps natural movement from being able to occur. How does our social structure – which is a particular environment – how does that influence our natural movement? So a lot of answers to questions are like that, which is the – well, the answer is because it’s hard to drop natural movement into your urban setting. It’s hard to drop natural movement into a rural setting, where everyone’s in their own home. Where your food is still coming from the grocery store. So I think that I’ve been using ecology – I mean, there’s Facebook posts on it –
KATY: Where I have written going back 7 or 8 years – it’s just – biomechanics are one particular way of reducing problems to explain, you know, things like alignment and what’s happening to muscle tissues or whatnot. But if you’re then trying to understand, well, why do I need this corrective exercise and what would the natural discussions about natural movement – they need that context of how humans move as a species, not now, but as an animal. What is their actual, natural movement? How is it distributed? How does it relate to their environment? Vitamin texture, like I’ve been bringing in aspects of the environment – but this other piece is really how you’re supposed to be moving with other people. Or how you have been moving – how moving with other types of people, different ages, different speeds. Different skillsets. How that is just – it’s influencing your physical outcome, your shape, if you will, just as much as Vibrams.
DANI: Then this other part with stuff.
KATY: Well, okay.
DANI: It’s not just people – well, that is people.
KATY: so that’s – so I would say that – that was how I came to really just say, at this point the discussion at this level warrants an ecological approach.
KATY: Because that is – you know, if you’re talking about, like a biologist would be like, I’m going to study bears. And you go to a zoo and study a bear – that is one way of studying a bear. That is one type of bear behavior. But when you extrapolate or make conclusions from what you see a bear doing in the zoo, and you don’t acknowledge that it’s in a zoo, that it has a particular – like, if you’re not considering all these other pieces of it, then the data that you are collecting from that becomes less and less valid in a grander context. Or it’s only applicable when you’re talking about other animals in a zoo. It’s not really a good way of discerning biological processes.
KATY: Um – so let me go back to that 2nd question, though – where you’re going – so like, one of my motivations was, we can’t actually be very clear about what natural movement is and what human movement is if we’re not talking about humans, not through the filter of western European treadmills, shod – like, that is the one – that is the biomechanics – that’s the way biomechanics is done right now. So if you’re a biologist, for a long time, you’re looking at a problem in Yellowstone and you’re like, well, man, there are so many wolves, like, the hunters are upset. There’s not enough game, right? That’s – that was a consideration of, we need to figure out a way to have more game – more huntable game, you know. People need to eat – or – play – whatever.
DANI: They need to – yeah.
KATY: So then they killed all the wolves. That was the decision at the time, it’s like: problem solved! We’ll get rid of this species, but then, of course, when you don’t realize when something leaves – when something is there, you don’t really know what function it has until it goes away.
KATY: And then the wolves went away, and then this animal flourished, and then the grasses were all eaten down, and then the soil washed away –
KATY: And got in the rivers, and now the salmon has got too much silt, or whatever.
KATY: I’m just – I don’t know anything about any of those things I just talked about, but it’s kind of like –
DANI: It sounded really good.
KATY: I’ve got a kids’ book called The Wolves Back in Yellowstone that I read to my kids
DANI: Oh, cool.
KATY: So that is the height of my Yellowstone understanding. But um, and now here’s – we just came back from Yellowstone.
KATY: And I was with a small group, and you know, the wolves are highly political. So the hunters are just like, the wolves are ruining this and that. And it’s like, someone was like, well there’s no more hunting available because they’re killing all the deer and the moose and there’s nothing for us to get anymore. And I had asked, like, well, how much game was there before, when the wolves were here? And she was like, I don’t know, that was before my time. So I was just trying to refer back to like, is this a new problem, is this – but then someone else said that the wolves that they reintroduced were not the native wolves.
KATY: They reintroduced a Canadian wolf, which were 20% larger and eat more game, and they’re more aggressive. So then they multiplied, and you know, it’s kind of like – managing nature is like trying to rope the tiger.
DANI: Right. Nature my way. It would have been nice if they had just left the right wolves there.
KATY: Yeah. Yeah, but I mean, like, yeah, we all make decisions and that’s – yeah. But it was just kind of interesting. So that’s one perspective of movement ecology, is that if you’re trying to collect data, like basic – if you’re trying to understand basic mechanisms of humans, the ecologic movement of human movement specifically – ecology matters, because nothing is just operating in a vacuum beneath your skin. Like, your body’s not just working beneath its skin.
DANI: Mm-hmm. Okay.
KATY: The other part, though, that Instagram post is talking about is the more like sustainability. This idea that the way that you are moving – so there’s 2 levels to it –
KATY: In one way, the way that you are moving isn’t really very sustainable. Like, that’s I think a general theme in corrective exercise. You’re not moving this enough over here, you’re moving this too much over here so you’re going to have an overuse injury over here and an underuse injury here, and that this idea of sustainable movement is still considering it from the skin deep, that you yourself are able to accomplish all the things that you want to do by having a body that kind of all wears out at the same time. Right? That you’re not sacrificing tomorrow’s movements for today’s. That’s one level of sustainability.
DANI: And that’s what I thought you were talking about when you first mentioned this to me; I thought it was all in this system.
KATY: Yeah. And that’s what you mentioned; that’s what I think you meant when you sent me the Yellowstone thing. Like, Nutritious Movement is a way of, like, getting a more sustainable body. That’s one level. However, what you want to do is also part of the problem. What you want to do is just maybe not everyone gets to do what they want to do. That maybe what you want to do is encroaching on other people getting to do what they want to do. So it’s this broader idea of, I want to be able to go to the grocery store so I don’t have to grow my food, so I don’t have to mill this or whatever. So that I can do what I want to do – but that all took someone else, maybe in a less fortunate place than you are having to do what they didn’t want to do in order to not die. And it’s really –
KATY: It’s not something that’s fun to talk about – hide this phone right now.
DANI: Everybody feel free to laugh. Whatever...
KATY: It’s not really a pretty picture, it’s like, this is how I feel.
DANI: I’m glad you’re talking about it.
KATY: It’s like a comedian – have you seen – like, I went to go see Eddy Izzard, who I love – not funny anymore. But really, really, just like – just when he got on stage, it was like, stuff is going down, and I’m going to use my platform to talk about it.
KATY: So I feel like I might have, uh, jumped the funny, like the shark on this movement. It’s like, oh, movement is so fun, and climbing, and it’s a great workout. It’s like, I’m past that now. I am – I think I’m looking at it more like your choice to be sedentary is really on the back of someone else or something else. Everything that makes sedentarism possible is coming at the tax of someone or something else. Some other living structure, and many times another human being. Not that fun.
KATY: So that’s really what I mean by movement ecology and sustainability, meaning as a species of all the humans that are on the planet right now, and what’s interesting, I think, is our movement habits might – movement habits – so now I’m going to put how often you drive as a movement habit.
KATY: How often you shop at the grocery store as a movement habit. How many – like, buying a backpack. So like, movement ecology would be the fact that you’re going to have a backpack because it’s easier to carry your stuff on your midline – so you think. So, to me, a backpack is not an ecologically great decision because 1) it’s not really great for your body in the long term because you’re going to adapt a very narrow range of strength. 2) Where’d that backpack come from? Who is working, and what was knocked down or cut to be able to get the best gear that you have?
DANI: (nervous laughter)
KATY: Who moved or destroyed what so that you could have a walk where you didn’t have to put stuff in your arms? So – that’s what I mean by movement ecology. I feel like such a jerk right now, like, I can’t look at you guys right now,
DANI: That's ok
KATY: but that’s what – that’s really the point that I’m approaching at this time. So let’s just take something light for a second; let’s just take a break.
KATY: Ok, so I'm going to go ahead and interject here because, because this was a load of heavy, right? We're talking cultural, we're talking about cultural normalcies. Like things that are normal to our culture, meaning everyone who is listening and me and Dani, we're all in this together. This is kind of a way of behaving that was bequeathed to us a little bit. And it's a complicated issue. Right? So, in the book I'm kind of, I'm breaking down things into more steps and I'm kind of laying it out right now. It's complicated. We're talking about transitioning, right? We're talking about we're used to doing things in a particular way and we don't realize that there's other ways to do them because maybe we don't know anyone who does them in a different way. So, everything that I write, books, blogs, podcasts, any things on social media, they're really geared to address one tiny aspect of what is culturally normal behavior and to help you change it up a little bit. And I'm usually posting something that I, myself, have identified and tried. And so, for as heavy as all this is seeming there are pretty simple steps, ha ha, that you can start taking, that will reduce the weight or the magnitude ... we talked about this last time, Dani, right? That it almost felt almost impossible, like "Oh my gosh, there's so, so much immobility in my life that I'm realizing now that it almost feels paralyzing." So I want it to feel the opposite.
DANI: It can feel like there are no solutions. Like it's just too, too big. Insurmountable.
DANI: But I think you are a solution person.
DANI: It's one of your schticks.
KATY: Totally, so it's heavy but that does not imply that these issues are unsolvable. Although it does imply the amount of movement that is possible that we haven't been doing and you can start taking tiny steps immediately. This goes back to like you said a long time ago, the boat leaves, like every day. And I was like, the boat leaves ten thousand times a day. So, there's lots of opportunities here as you will see, especially the more that you read. You'll be like, "Oh, well I can actually start moving way more than I did before by only addressing small amounts of it." All right. So let's hop back in.
KATY: So this book of essays that are already almost all previously written – so this book – so I’ve canceled two things on Dani, just so you know. I was like, I can’t do that today. I’ve got all these deadlines; one of those was re-writing the first foot book. It was just going to be easy! I was just going to put a new cover on it, and it turned out I re-wrote almost, like, every other word. So that’s good news, and that’s in the can. And then the other one was organizing essays, because I have been writing about ecology for a long time; I just haven’t called it that.
DANI: Right. Well, now that makes sense how you explain it.
KATY: And that makes sense because you’re kind of going, okay, if you’re not walking, like, what – where do shoes come from? Where is it all coming from? So it’s a book of essays kind of walking us through movement science and the nature of movement and then walking – so the pun, can I tell you about the pun that you made?
DANI: Oh, winging it?
KATY: Yes. One of the ways that I think is easy to grasp movement ecology – it’s not all about a free ride. It’s also about – let’s go back to the fun part: the biomechanics part.
KATY: How does movement ecology tie into the biomechanics part? If you were to say, like, here’s how a bird flies, right? So let’s look at a goose.
KATY: Because we’re close to Canada! How many Canadians are in the audience right now? Yes, we have a lot of Canadians.
KATY: So we’re going to go with their national bird – is it your national bird?
DANI: Oh my god, I thought it was a loon or something.
VOICE: It’s just called a Canada goose.
[Garbled – voices speaking over each other. Laughter]
KATY: Okay, that’s clear.
DANI: She gets her information about Yellowstone from a kid’s book, so let’s go forward with this.
KATY: I’m not an actual biologist or ecologist. I’m just bowling for anything.
KATY: But I have read – I do read – this type of article right here. So this would be something I’d be interested in. So let’s talk about a goose; if you’re going to assess the biomechanics. So there are biomechanics journals about animal movement. We just don’t put humans in those journals. They have their own separate journal which is called, Movement. So you’re looking at how a goose flies, and it will say, like, it’s beating its wings like this, it can articulate its wings like this to fly – you’re trying to figure out how it flies, and then you write up, here’s how it flies. But you’re really only talking about a small phase of how it flies, because it’s going to fly differently as it takes off, and it’s going to fly differently as it lands, and what you’re really figuring out is how it flies in a certain set of conditions. So you can consider that whole thing: take off and landing and here’s how the hinges work, here’s the forces they have to absorb when they land, and etc.
KATY: From that, someone publishes, ‘natural movement for the Canadian goose,’ and then you’re a goose, and you’re like, awesome! And then you’re going to train for how to fly, and you start doing all the exercises and the things, and there’s a point at which my legs come up fast for the takeoff.
DANI: Am I winging?
KATY: Yeah, so you’re trying to master all the components and then do your life like that. But in movement ecology you would say, here’s the one thing that you didn’t realize is that geese don’t ever really fly by themselves. So how that goose flies is not how it actually flies with other birds – and it almost always flies with other birds.
KATY: The reason it flies with other birds is to be able to work less. That the front bird is working harder, and the back bird is working less, and it’s able to adjust how it flies based on what the front bird is doing. And that juveniles never take that front role, but they’re in the back so that they can always be training slowly until they get bigger and stronger and that they’re constantly shifting who is going fast. They’re all going the same rate. Who is working harder for that rate, and who gets to coast? And so that is just as much of how a bird flies – but that’s left off of the biomechanics, right? Like, that’s not the biomechanics of it.
DANI: Wow. Sure.
KATY: But of course it is; if you’re talking about force production. Force production over time, distribution – because you know, in Move your DNA, what I’m saying is that that’s important. It’s not only squats. It’s not only that you get 30 squats done in a day, it’s that they’re distributed appropriately,
KATY: that they take on multiple formations. And sometimes that you have something in your arms, that you’re barefoot. All these other components matter and that we’ve just reduced it – there’s no need to reduce it any longer. We’re like, we live in the age of information. I just don’t think that everything has to be put into 5 simple steps to –
KATY: You know, like, there’s no reason why we can’t talk about – for those people who are interested in learning about it, we don’t want to mistake what’s been kind of like packaged easily for a fitness magazine to stand in for how it actually works when you’re considering it more deeply.
KATY: So winging – that’s why I thought it was funny.
DANI: It is funny. Okay. So – I have a couple questions, but can we see if anybody else has any right now?
KATY: If you want to, sure.
DANI: Does anybody in the room have any questions about this? Wow. So you just – it’s like all digested?
VOICE: So if we’re talking back to the ecology and aspect of looking over here, we kind of rely on over there in the world, but to make it happen in our own community to kind of bring this – like the geese group, right? Like a mother that’s having to work less – is that where we’re kind of trying to go? Trying to develop community?
DANI: So you’re asking, like bring everything that we need in closer to home so we don’t have to rely on this far away production of people giving us our – is that what you’re asking?
VOICE: It’s like – we’re in a culture where we’re very individual and we’re very self-orientated and dispatched, and only if you go to the market might you meet people, or only if you create – you know, so how can we – or maybe I might be making myself – where would you like to bring that developing?
DANI: Well, it’s – it seems like that would be part of it, right? What I’m understanding is like, bring it – bring everything in closer so we’re not just working in an individual thing. Like she’s talking about, you’re not supposed to be carrying your baby all the time because you’re supposed to have the community, and I mean –
KATY: I think it’s more – I think it’s more like, I think 1) we kind of timed this to go along with Earth Day, right?
KATY: So this is going to come out kind of around Earth Day, when sustainability, consuming less, less fossil fuels – which is like, most people would say that they agree with all of those things –
KATY: It’s just – as long as it’s not at the expense of what I want to do. Like, the things that I need to do. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s also – as I pointed out in the Instagram post – it’s the things that you’re subconsciously doing, that you don’t realize. Like, I think that if someone went and bought Fair Trade, organic tea, that they would feel very good about buying that decision. They wouldn’t see the driving to the store –
KATY: And the tea bag as less movement because they’ve always had it. We’ve always had it. They weren’t there when China was trying to figure out how to get tea into London and figuring out that, like, no one’s going to do this amount of work. So if we put it into a bag so that no one has to mash and dump – like, they’re trying to make it simplified so that people could enjoy the benefit without doing the work for it. They were just reducing the amount of movement, but someone did that equal amount of movement in putting it in the bag for them, and then there was the trash that came with putting it in a wrapper, and then wrapping that box in plastic, and then driving it to the store. So the movement ends up being the cost, the expenditure ends up being greater; all you’re doing is saving the person who bought it the movement. Like, the movement is not spared from the planet. The movement is spared to the end user, and there are people who have the luxury of being the end-user more so than other people.
DANI: Right. And we’ve kind of separated that, even though we’re doing natural movement, we’ve separated what it means for everything else around us.
KATY: Well, and so the solution, though, is like, for me, if you’re listening to this – I really, truly believe that, you know, they say, “pull your own weight?”
KATY: Like, literally pulling your weight more often is like a first step to a healthier planet. It’s like the most supportive thing perhaps, that you can do for the ecosystem and for human rights.
DANI: Okay, that was a good pun.
KATY: Right? That's just you working yourself. Like, that’s not – it’s not even going in as far and deep as – like, just move more of yourself. And then the next step is, as you move more and others move more, then you will move together, because so many of these things that we're trying to do really require multiple people. So once you start doing it, you’ll be like, well, I need someone else to do this with me. And then you’ll start asking, or you meet up from there.
DANI: Ok. So, like, give me an example of – let’s just go further into that, of how can I think like a movement ecologist? What’s an example, or what can I use to think like a movement ecologist?
KATY: You don’t have to think like a movement ecologist. You can just start being a mover. Like, you know what I mean? It’s not really a call for more movement ecologist –
DANI: Okay, but wouldn’t it be better to have an understanding –
KATY: Oh, sure, sure. Sure. But um –
DANI: Like if I’m going to – okay – can you use a tea bag as an example?
DANI: How could I improve on that?
KATY: How could you improve on that? What would require more movement and less garbage?
DANI: Well, I guess I could grow a tea plant. I could dry my own tea.
KATY: You could buy loose tea. You could buy loose tea.
DANI: And a little tea strainer.
KATY: Okay, that’s pretty simple. The next thing is, you know, you could grow your own tea. Eventually it becomes more and more challenging to be able to do that.
KATY: Maybe you decide that you don’t actually require tea from another country; that it’s actually not a need as much as it is a want.
KATY: So then it’s that kind of step. I feel like, I don’t want to shatter lives or whatever by saying these types of things, but we have many, many things that are not, in fact, human needs that are just wants and preferences and pleasures that is for someone else a need that they do it. You know, so okay – here’s another one. Like, I don’t buy brand new cell phones. I will not buy a brand new cell phone, because it’s full of a particular mineral that comes from a particular place that has civil wars essentially funded by the countries that house the companies that profit from them. So getting a new cell phone just because it’s time for a free upgrade –
KATY: It’s like, but this – these – and so they’re called conflict minerals, and you can look it up, and every phone company now because the UN has to disclose where their minerals are coming from. So I just won’t do it, because I know that there’s people – that there are certain militants in particular areas that when they are there to protect that country’s state, it's like a commodity that only they have that they’re going to make money. The militants are there raping all the women that are there, and therefore those women are ostracized and have to leave their home because they got raped – I mean so it’s like, well, okay. So the next step for me would be, do I need a cell phone?
KATY: And it’s not a cell – it’s a – it’s like, like I bought, that was where I can go – everyone can go where they can go. It’s going to be a huge, long transition. Awareness, I think, is the first step.
KATY: But yeah, it’s – I think it’s – it’s just that. Food, obviously, growing a little bit of food.
DANI: Right. So I don’t have to think like a movement ecologist, but it’s good to think about movement like an ecologist. See the difference? It's like, just picking more things apart, because maybe I do need a cell phone for my business. Yeah, I mean sure, there’s justifications for all sorts of things – but what about trading movement? Like, maybe you can’t – maybe I grow tea. Right? And I spend my time growing tea and so you’re going to take my kids out for – trading –
KATY: Right, stuff we talked about on the community broadcast before.
DANI: Trading that kind of –
KATY: I think that developing a community is very much in line with becoming more
KATY: ecological in general. Like, that’s a way of sharing the work. But, you know, one post was really – just like - paying attention to when something is convenient, and then thinking about how is it convenient and what was the cost elsewhere for that convenience?
KATY: You know, like, the wood in my house. Like heat. Staying inside all day is made possible by fossil fuel or a tree that’s been cut down. You know what I mean?
DANI: Ok. I’m thinking now, like, let’s go back to Whole Body Barefoot and let’s talk about transitioning, because a lot of people listening to this might think, "oh man!" You know, and not want to, like, maybe –
KATY: They’re not listening anymore.
DANI: They don’t want to listen anymore! So let’s talk about –
KATY: LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA
DANI: Yeah. I think – can we talk about – eh, simpler
KATY: This is why I lost my funny, just in case anyone was wondering.
DANI: Let’s talk about simpler – simpler – simpler transitions. Or – not simpler. More digestible. I mean, everybody wants to start small, right? And nobody’s going to go right from high-heeled shoes to Vibrams, so –
KATY: Just walk instead of drive your car. Walk instead of drive your car.
DANI: Yeah, more of those, those are good.
KATY: Don’t buy a brand new car. Buy a used car. Buy used clothes. Don’t buy as many clothes.
DANI: Carry your baby instead of buy a stroller.
KATY: Don’t buy anything new. Like, we didn’t have any plastic anything and I was like, we didn’t do it for an arm-only experience, I was like, this is a huge hunk of plastic coming from where just so it’s easier for me to go to the zoo. You know what I mean?
KATY: It’s a very large humanistic picture.
KATY: All right. So I'm going to interject here. So don't buy anything new. Don't buy plastic. Ok. The reason I'm saying it this way is because there appears to be a lot of confusion. Like, "how can I possibly use less plastic?" you know? So, of course, a solution is, don't buy plastic. You know, is that a feasible solution? That's something separate. So then we start to look at things like, well, why do you need things like a stroller or other items that are plastic? And they you are starting to go back and looking back and it's like "well maybe it's because I don't have the arm strength to hold a child." So it's like, so now we're starting to see a relationship between our personal physical strength, you know, to execute basic biological things and our dependency on external devices. And so that's really my point for bringing it up. I don't have a problem with people, as I've said before, if you have a stroller or what not, but if someone's gonna ask a question like, "How can I use less plastic?" Then an answer is, "Don't buy the plastic thing." You know, that you, you do have the parts to hold your baby in your arms. And then we're gonna go back to the movement ecology which is, this is more in the book, it's like, "well, what about if I've got twins, or I already have a bunch of kids and I'm the only one at home watching them?" Ok, well now we have, now we understand, again, where the dependency on the device comes from. Why are we, why is there one person for multiple children. Where's the community? What's happened to our natural structures? And I'm not even talking about the natural within your own body structure, but what's happened to the way we structure our societies and our communities that an orthotic, like a stroller, is required. So, you know, as we're listening to this, it's easy for me to toss these off of my head, because I know that I don't have any judgement about them, but they're examples to help highlight why... to help people think like, "why do we need these technologies? Why didn't we need them before? Why do we need them now?" And so that's why this is in here.
DANI: Well said.
KATY: I mean walking more. What does walking more mean?
KATY: Yeah, and what other things? What could you do right now?
DANI: Yeah, that’s –
KATY: I mean, walking more – what does walking more mean? So many things, but essentially it means you are generating your own movement, you know? You’re fueling your movement, so sometimes if your movement is only for movement’s sake, it’s like putting gas in your car just to accomplish driving it. You didn’t get anything else done. Like, it’s not a very stack-your-life or permaculture type approach if you that big, post-workout meal you had was simply for to fuel your workout.
DANI: As opposed to walking to the post office, walking to the grocery store. Getting something done.
KATY: It’s not accomplishing anything else – think about your movement as a commodity. Your food as a commodity. Every – it’s just, I think it’s about seeing things for the amount – if you just thought about movement. If you could see everything in terms of the movement that it cost, somebody or some component of the planet, I think that people would – they wouldn’t be motivated to move more –
DANI: That’s just a big aw, shucks!
KATY: It’d be like, oh, I really see how this is necessary – not just for my physical structure, but for this larger system that you’re a part of. Like, they’ll say a body and that it’s a holistic approach, and if you think of your body as a whole – and your and my body together, and our family, and the community and the state and all the human – like, it’s all just – you can just take how you think about the body of being separate pieces, kind of a separatist approach, and then there’s a lot of people in the movement community who are like, "well, it turns out, you know, you’re not like – all of your parts are not moving to move you, they’re being moved by that movement and that every movement is really a whole body movement. You move your arm but it’s pulling on everything." Everything you do is pulling on every other person and living thing on this planet.
KATY: What is that called, tensegrity? Like, take tensegrity and put it in a bubble around the earth.
KATY: Ok, I'm gonna interject in here for the final time and there's nothing worse than reading a transcript or listening to yourself ramble.
KATY: When, when, like you're seeing a lot of the things that you're saying aren't actually complete thoughts. Which is why I love writing so much better than speaking about things, that I've written about. It's a lot easier for me to edit and clarify. This is what movement ecology is. What I was just rambling on. It's this idea that your bicep isn't only pulling on your arm. Your bicep is pulling on the world. What you're choosing to do with it or not doing it is displacing everything else and that this idea that everything's connected, seeming so radical when we're talking about within our own structure, it's everything in the universe. It's all connected. And the sooner, I think, we can embrace that idea, the faster we will be able to transition to people who move for a living. Final answer.
DANI: Ok. Let's take a movement break.
KATY: How about you do the movement break.
DANI: Ok, I'm gonna do the movement break today because I'm feeling pretty smart. And, how about stand up, or stop or stretch if you're walking and I want you to just stop and look around at maybe the room that you’re in or the gear that you’re wearing, whether it’s your backpack or whatever, and just assess and find one thing that maybe you could change about that situation. Like, if it’s something in your house that you don’t need to buy anymore that you could buy used – that you could do yourself –like maybe you don’t need the plastic, electric coffee grinder. Maybe you could get one of those really cool Burr ones, you know, something like that. So, just find one thing about your situation that you could change. And that, my friends, is your movement break.
KATY: And it’s super helpful.
DANI: It’s super helpful.
KATY: It’s like, super helpful. Like use your eyes – move your eyes. Don’t move your head, actually, just look around with your eyeballs. The car clicker, the car clicker was one. You don’t have to use the battery – even if you have it, you don’t have to keep using it. You can rotate – that’s a good movement break, another movement break rotate your lower arm. Practice locking and unlocking your car.
DANI: Or I’ve got a car that has a back-up camera. They make it so you don’t even have to turn – but I never use that, because I don’t want to lose the ability to turn and rotate to see where I’m going, so I never use it. But it’s all – it all means well. All those things mean well to make our life easier, but it’s not –
KATY: I don’t think that it’s about, like, it's not about good or bad or being – it’s simply we have found, I mean, there’s a strength certainly in creation and technology and building and thinking of clever ways of making things more convenient. But I think convenience, for a long time, has been framed as ‘you’ll just have more time.’
KATY: But I think you could equally, if not more often, frame it as less movement, which some people would be stoked on.
DANI: So if you’re – if I have it right, you’re saying more movement is a solution to more than just the state of our body.
KATY: Yeah, and not just more movement, but really replacing, like, doing things, putting movement back into and stop outsourcing it.
KATY: So it’s not to continue to outsource it, and then just fit more movement for movement's sake into your day. But specifically more movement to accomplish the tasks of living. If getting your tea was a task of living, you didn’t have to do very much to get it. So identify what those things are and then just be more a part of it. You know, if it’s an essential, then I think you’d be fine doing whatever it takes to get it. If it’s truly an essential.
KATY: It’s like dessert. Like, I used to think that dessert was an essential thing – until I stopped having it in my house. And then I have this rule, it’s like, well, if I am willing to get in the car and drive for it, I really want it. But most of the time I was like, meh. So it wasn’t worth my work to go do it.
KATY: So it’s just one of those things – like, start identifying what are the true needs and then you’ll move for it.
DANI: What you could weed out.
KATY: What would you move for? I would not actually – I’m so lazy I would not move for dessert.
DANI: Wow. I don’t know. Is that lazy or you're just – the dessert just wasn’t that much of a need for you?
KATY: Well, the thing is – it just wasn’t – it wasn’t a true need.
DANI: Well, there’s lots of ways to weed it out.
KATY: You will move for something that you really need.
DANI: And then you probably will have more time. I mean, it really – because some of those things that you don’t need –
KATY: Yeah, well. How much of your life, like, if someone else is busy moving for all those things,it's kind of like, like someone who has a butler – would you sit around all day while your butler and your maid do it – aren’t they just bored not doing anything? So then you start to fill it?
KATY: With the drama?
DANI: Note to self: fire butler when I get home. Okay.
DANII: Okay, so does anybody have any questions? Real loudly, please, too.
DANI: All right, now I'm gonna break in. We did have a lot of questions during this recording session. Most of those were answered in Movement Matters. We're gonna skip those because it was kind of hard to hear in the space that we were recording in. Know that we are going to develop a book group, sort of, so that we can all discuss this book. Because it's a big work. And we will possibly bring those questions out at a later time. They were good, but like I said, most of them were answered.
DANI: Well. Good?
KATY: I’m good, yeah. I feel like I’ve said enough, Dani.
DANI: You did.
KATY: You feel like we’ll never actually release this podcast.
DANI: We’ll talk about that later! All right. It’ll be a special edition. We’ll do it April Fool’s and then we’ll be like – Just kidding!
DANI: We’re just kidding! Here’s a car clicker for everyone! You get a car clicker, and you get a car clicker! Okay, thanks for listening, and thanks for being here, live audience.
KATY: Yes, thank you.
DANI: For more information, books, online classes, etcetera, you can find Katy Bowman at NutritiousMovement.com.
KATY: Or in hiding.
VOICE: Climbing a tree.
DANI: You can learn more about me, Dani Hemmat, movement warrior and I guess former podcast producer
DANI: at MoveYourBodyBetter.com. Oh my goodness. So funny.
KATY: Ok, so thanks for letting us do our podcast in this way - holding on to something, letting something out of the vault. IF you are like, "ok, I'm ready, Movement Matters," you can find it on Amazon.com, you can pre-order it off of there. You can also pre-order from the publisher. Like I said you'll get it sooner and you also get a plantable bookmark which will make more sense after you read the book at Propriometrics press.com. That can be in the show notes. If you are reading, if you are listening to this after the fact, you can go get the book at your bookstore, local bookstore, hopefully. If not, online retailers and for all other stuff...
DANI: Yeah. Oh, for all other stuff! HA! See I'm just floored by the thing again! For more information, books, and online exercises classes you can find Katy Bowman at NutritiousMovement.com and you can learn more about me, Dani Hemmat, at MoveYourBodyBetter.com. Goodbye.
Voiceover: Hopefully you find the general information on this podcast informative and helpful, but it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.