The Fonz wasn’t the only one who wanted you to “sit on it”: floor sitting comes with multiple benefits for your body and your environment. Want to learn how to get down there and stay down there, and eliminate the pain that might usually come with it? Katy talks transitioning to floor sitting in this practical, helpful episode. Get down on it!
KATY: Welcome to the KatySays podcast where Dani Hemmat and Katy Bowman 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: Yay! And I'm Dani Hemmat, a chronically curious movement teacher, and lady, I got one thing to say to you.
Music (Get down on it!)
DANI: [sings] Get down on it, bam, bam, you know that song.
KATY: Woah. Did that just cost me a hundred dollars? A thousand dollars?
DANI: laughs, Yeah.
KATY: It was worth it. Ok, so today, it's like you can't even help yourself. You've got puns, you've got music samples.
DANI: It's why I get up in the morning.
DANI: Off the floor.
KATY: Or get down. Today we're talking about floor sitting. We get a lot of questions on that. Or more importantly, transitioning to floor sitting, to being someone who is a floor sitter ... comfortably. I'm excited about this.
DANI: Yes. We do get a lot of questions about this and I think ... and you probably get a lot of questions personally, like when you run into people or talk to people? Or do you?
KATY: When they trip over me when I'm sitting on the floor?
DANI: laughs. What's this on the floor?
KATY: They're like, "What is she doing down there?"
DANI: I know like when a lot of people hear "floor sitting" that one single image that's kind of conjured in their mind is sitting cross-legged on a hard floor while your legs slowly fall asleep as you wait for some kind stranger to walk by and help pull you off the floor. A lot of people that are in the adult category don't really sit on the floor.
KATY: No. It's kind of gone out of fashion.
KATY: Gone out of culture certainly.
DANI: Yeah. But there's more than one way to sit on the floor, right? More than one way to tackle this. It's not just that image that we kind of conjure up.
KATY: Well, I think floor sitting, you know, could be replaced by how you would have to rest your body if you didn't have furniture. It's simply that. It's just a big giant word, floor sitting, to mean what are all the different ways you can rest parts of your body while still doing the necessary work to hold you up. So that's what we're talking about today.
DANI: Ok. Well, why do you think so many people dislike it. I mean, that's kind of a big question, I guess because we've got a culture to deal with. But.
KATY: Yeah. Well, it's uncomfortable. I mean, it's simply, it's odd. I mean, I've spent a lot of years educating people on this minimal footwear thing and so if you, listening, are pretty educated on why do people make fun of Vibrams? Why do people, people make, like, why do we want, why do we want our shoes to look a certain way? I mean, on one level it's totally cultural. It's just, it's what's normal to you. There's that discomfort. The cultural discomfort. But then there's actually the physical discomfort. When you transition to minimal shoes, you do not have the mobility and the ranges of motion and the parts, the strength, to get you down and get you back up and let you be comfortable in between. So, it's physically challenging and that's probably why people haven't... I mean, we all don't do it because it's our cultural habit to sit. But it's physically and mentally uncomfortable until you get the parts. Just like shoes. Until you get the parts.
DANI: Yeah, well it's kind of funny. Like, I thought of you this weekend because I took an all day outdoor foraging class. And it was awesome. It was like, from 8 to 4, you know, outside foraging. But they started in a circle and they're like, "Let's get in our circle and talk about our experience." And then they got a bunch of folding chairs and got them into a circle.
KATY: laughs. Ha ha!
DANI: So of course, like everybody else I kind of perched on my chair and I was trying to be as comfortable, and after about 5 minutes I thought, "Ugh, this stupid. We're under this huge cottonwood tree and it's, you know, it's warm out and everything." And so I just kind of slowly slid, like I oozed down onto the ground to be as unobtrusive and not, you know, be noticed. And you could just see everybody just kind of glance over like, huh, how 'bout that. But see to me it seemed absurd to be in that setting, you know, and like, bring those chairs in. But they had to, because
DANI: people wouldn't be comfortable sitting on, or even on little stumps would be hard for some people.
KATY: Yeah, for some people, the foraging class is the portal into natural movement. And for other people natural movement is the portal into foraging, right? Everyone just coming at it based on their own insights and inspirations. So you came to foraging by way of, you know, a decade of mobilization. So it was natural for you. For those people it might have been different, you know.
DANI: Right. That's a good way to look at it.
KATY: Yeah. So chairs are totally, they're like, orthotics for the entire body. It's just, they're there to support you when the muscles in your body don't support themselves. Also, though, like orthotics, if you introduce the orthotic before the need, like we do culturally, then you just get a body that depends on the support device.
DANI: Right. Well, and in kindergarten and traditional school, you sit on the floor and then you're so excited when you move to first grade because you get... the desk.
KATY: That's big kid stuff right there.
DANI: That's big kid stuff. Like it doesn't even occur to you.
DANI: Because you want that big kid desk. But it takes away that
KATY: Well it's not even kids...
DANI: that opportunity of that sitting on the rug every day.
KATY: It's also, like, you know, Working Girl, one of the classic films of our time. You know, to get that corner office in Manhattan. That's like way better than the inside cubicle, right? So, desks of all type...
DANI: And you get Harrison Ford too. So you get the desk and you get Harrison Ford.
DANI: What else do you need?
KATY: Exactly. I like to think that I have my own personal Ford at home.
DANI: You do.
KATY: I kinda do. I have a young personal... I have a young Harrison Ford. Like a 27-year-old Harrison Ford at home. So. But no desk, see? You can't win 'em all!
KATY: So anyway, what was your next question?
DANI: Well, my next question is, why do I even want to sit on the floor if I'm not a floor sitter? What are some, I guess what would be some of the motivation, or benefits. Because everybody wants benefits, right?
DANI: I mean of course you do. And then we can talk about how to get down there.
KATY: Sure. I recommend floor sitting when people will ask, "how do I get more movement in my life." You know, so this is nonexercise movement, but, "how can I be using my body more throughout the day as to" ... oh hello! Thanks for texting me... How can you get rid of some of the items at are preventing you from moving?" So getting down and up from the...
DANI: Did you get my text telling you not to talk so much. Heh heh.
KATY: She's like, can you get a little closer to the camera.
DANI: Sorry, get up and down on the floor.
Music - "Get Down On It"
KATY: Sings: Get down on it. Ooh ooh. I'm having a hard time staying focused on this. Sorry...
DANI: It's probably my fault.
KATY: Ok, so let's talk about... so benefits, of course, everyone wants benefits. I suggest floor sitting not as a way to be "weirdo 101". It is to get more movement. Right? If people ask, "How do I get more movement. Non-exercise, physical movement, within the context of my life?" Start using your legs all of the ways that they can be used. Right? So like, when you sit down on a chair, what you've done is not used the muscles and your joints in the full range of motion it would have taken to get down to the floor.
KATY: So, you get stronger over a narrow range of motion. Right? Getting to the chair and getting back up again. That's one range of motion. Not stopping at the chair level and continuing all the way to the floor just increases the range over which you are using your body. So it's not only move more, it's move more of you. So you're using different body parts, using your same parts but to a different extent when you travel that full range. So chairs, like these things don't necessarily occur at this frequency, in nature. There's things that we've built and purchased and put in our homes, because it's the social norm to do so, and therefore we've stopped this mobility. So, what are the benefits? More physical use, greater ranges of motion, minimalism, right? You need less, you need to purchase less things.
KATY: You introduce, you know a lot of furniture is treated with, you know, various flame retardants so you're introducing fewer chemicals into your home that don't necessarily need to be there. So it's, it's just that. I mean, pick a benefit that interests you...
DANI: Yeah. I suppose... there's
KATY: Yeah, so that's just getting down and up and then once you're down there, you have a plethora of ways that you can take rest on the floor. It's not all criss-cross applesauce or sitting on folded legs. I mean, there's a wide variety and I kind of say this as a joke but I'm also super serious, you know, when you floor sit, those floor sitting positions often have a name in an exercise class that you might have to go take at a different time.
KATY: So, it's just, we don't see the value of sitting on the floor, we see the value of kind of stepping outside of our other necessary tasks and driving to a place, you know, to do the thing that you could be doing all day long at home without stepping out of your life, while accomplishing more than just the load to the hips or the knees that you're taking exercise for. All of that just fits into your life regularly. That's where it came from initially, right?
KATY: So, it's just that. That's what floor sitting can afford you.
DANI: Ok. if I want to get down on the floor and I get my butt down there somehow
DANI: However. However, I got down there. I got down. Which is actually scary for a lot of people.
DANI: Some people think it's very frightening because it hurts to get down. It hurts to get up and you don't know that you can get back up. But just say that I take the leap and I get down there and it hurts....
KATY: Let's stop. Let's stop for a second. So if that's you. If you're like, 'Wow, I can't even get to the floor or get back up because of the fear that I have for it." Then before you get down on the floor you want to practice using some of those parts but in a bolstered way. So start by going to your bed and climbing into your bed and on all fours and then climbing back out again, right? Do that 10 to 20 times. Climb in on your hands and knees and then get back up. So maybe that's the extent of where you can begin. Right? Maybe it's just, you know, getting down sometimes requires that you use your arms to kind of control the weight of your body. There are many many many many people who don't do that on a regular basis, so that's a perfectly great place to start. You can then, also, if that seems too easy, because what that removes is your need to actually get down. You can practice the support without needing to lower your center of mass closer to the ground. You don't have to deal with the work of going up and down. Then the next thing is, well maybe you could get down if it wasn't all, if the floor was half as far away from your hips. You know, if it wasn't all the way down to your feet but was more at your knees that would be more feasible. So then you can build something.
DANI: Just use couch cushions or?
KATY: When I used to do a lot more one on one with people, I mean I had people that were coming who were in their late 90s, and I had a massage table. And massage tables are adjustable. So instead of putting it at your typical massage height, which is more like hip height, maybe my hip height.
KATY: I would adjust it to knee height. And so she could, I was thinking of one person specifically, because it was such a fun session, she could get down on her hands and knees to something that was only knee height and that was a good place to work. Like, they're adjustable in height, usually in inch or two-inch increments. So that's another way, like if you already have that prop, you could put it to use by going, "I'm going to have, you know, your exercise program today is getting down and up onto your knees and then standing back up off this massage table that's going to be, you know, lowered to 18 inches off the ground. And then if you practice that more and more then you just lower it an inch at a time. And you do that for 30 days, you are transitioning.
DANI: Yeah. And that can be a lot of work. Just that, I mean, you may think it's not
KATY: It IS a lot of work.
DANI: but it's a lot of work.
KATY: It only doesn't sound like a lot of work to the people standing around imagining how much work something will take.
KATY: just like getting on the floor, like if we want to do a movement break right now. For everyone listening: get up and down. You can pause this, get up and down to your knees and stand back up again to your knees and back up again. Or, to your butt, sitting on your butt and back up again. Do that 5 to 10 times right now. And then you can actually experience, it's not theoretical anymore, you can be like, "Wow, yeah, I guess I really am. I'm hauling the weight of my body up and down from ground to hip height." Right? Which is gonna be three or four feet, depending on your height. So, it only seems like it's not, like these, so much of what I do people are like, "you know what, I thought that would be really easy."
KATY: And it's like, "Yeah, you think it's really easy because we have just made movement these big..." I mean if I told you to go run two miles you're like, "That's hard." If I tell you get up and down off the ground 10 times, you're like, "That's easy." And then you do it and you realize that after a minute of that you feel very similar to going to run for two miles. It's just about perception.
KATY: And frequency. And whatnot. So that would be, if you're just listening to this right now and you're like, "This doesn't pertain to me" that's your program is bring the ground up a little higher. Ok. So now, though, second, second piece. Let's say you have the strength and the capability to get down but as you said, Dani, it hurts once you're down there. Right?
KATY: Did it ever hurt you? Where you ever uh...
DANI: Oh yeah. Yeah...
KATY: Knees or hips or was it the sitting or the process of getting down?
DANI: Well it was my back until I learned to bolster.
KATY: Yeah. Yeah.
DANI: Had more length. And then knees in different positions.
KATY: Sure. So, that's another big thing, isn't it? Once you're down you gotta do something with all your limbs. Usually your legs. So if the backs of your legs, like your hamstrings and the calves are very tight, for you to sit on your bottom with your feet straight out forces your spine to round significantly. And it's one thing if you have to sit there, you know to do the sit and reach test...
KATY: ...or you know, do two minutes of stretching. It's another thing to sit and watch, you know, a TV show there. Or read books with your kids, right? So, that position requires that you brace so hard to offset how much your hamstrings are like shoving your torso behind you, right? So it's not comfortable. So what do people do? They cross their legs to remove that hamstring tension or the back of the leg tension.
DANI: Yeah, or lean back.
KATY: Or lean back against something. Or you can elevate your hips, right? So maybe you can get all the way down and up again from the floor but once you're down there you need some way to sustain that, those various positions longer. So, a pillow or three, stacked. If you don't use your sleeping bag that often, if it's in your attic or under a bed but it's nice and tight in one of those bags, those make great movement bolsters. You don't have to go out and buy a separate forty or fifty dollar yoga bolster. Just go get a sleeping... just go get something that's unused that you already have and put it out and be like, "These are our floor cushions for right now." And they you can prop your hip up which allows you to adjust your pelvis a little bit which changes the way your spine and your hips and your knees feel once you're down.
DANI: And it feels so good to do that. And it's fun to watch people's faces when you just elevate their hips a little bit and they're like, "I'm sittin' on the floor."
KATY: Well it's not enjoyable. It's almost like, you know, if you've ever been in any exercise or position where the intensity of the sensation is so big that it's like roaring in your ears...
KATY: you don't want to be in that space. That's not, you know, this is movement within the context of your life. Which means you need to be able to get your life done while you're doing it. You can't read with your kids or read yourself if you can't even hear yourself. So make yourself comfortable once you're down there. So have blankets, towels, yoga blocks, pillows, cushions from the couch. Get it all down there and create kind of a nook. Not necessarily to recline back against, but to sit upon or support - slide something if you're sitting cross-legged but you're like, "It really hurts my knees when I sit cross legged." Slide a pillow under either knee, if both need supporting then both, and then you'll be more cradled. It's taking, what it's doing, it's taking the extreme amount of tension off your tissues so that you don't really bypass your current boundaries that you have.
DANI: Well and it turns down the roar too. I mean, it's, of the pain. It's nice. I'm all for bolstering. I think it's cool.
DANI: Ok, you bolster, you get comfortable. Also, I'm a big fan of switching positions. We kind of are in this, because we were taught to sit still in school, we're kind of in this mindset, I think, that we have to not fidget or we have to stay still and it's ok to have many... I don't really stay in a position longer than a couple minutes when I'm on the floor. I'm always moving into a different position.
KATY: Yeah, and that's...that's one of the things that I really love floor sitting for. You know, all the things that we have that make us comfortable: chairs, shoes, beds, a lot of what makes them comfortable to wear is that they, they remove the discomforts and the signal to change position.
KATY: You know, you have a lot of natural, "Change position...change position...change position" signals happening because, you know, you put a lot of pressure on one spot or whatever, but when you create sort of a dwelling where being in one position for a long period of time is comfortable for you, right? The ground is hard, so you do the, you know, certain areas of your body, when they interact with the ground, the tissue in between gets squeezed or deformed in a particular way. The pressure is higher in some areas that are sitting, but you have a pressure limitation almost. Right?
KATY: So like when you're, like when you get bed sores and stuff, you can't have unrelenting pressure because it pushes fluids out of particular areas. Right? So those areas can die. So then there's the change position signals. So your natural personal trainer, your natural, you know, zapper, that would get you moving, kicks in a lot more frequently when you remove the comfort, right?
KATY: You remove that. So if you've been wanting to move more, make yourself less comfortable. Let yourself be more cold, right? That's a warmth. I think of down jackets and all that stuff. It's like those are ways to keep you from, maybe, like bouncing up and down or running or getting moving because we don't really need to move.
KATY: Like, you can stand outside and watch a football game, you know, and you're like, "Well, I'll just put on my down jacket." But if you were outside in the cold, chances are you wouldn't go just to stand around to watch other people move outside in the cold. You yourself would be moving out in the cold. So it's just getting rid of furniture and engaging more with the natural world. And we'll just call the floor, the ground in your home one step closer to natural from your plush couch. I guess. You're still inside. This is a really teeny tiny step. You're gonna be uncomfortable. But that is a good thing. Reframe it. "Wow, I don't have to even think about changing my position. My body is prompting me to do so." So that's one thing that I love about it. If had a camera on me in a couch I bet you would see many many minutes go by without so much as a twitch in my legs. But if you put me on the floor, I'm shifting constantly. You know, every few minutes I'm doing something different. So...
KATY: I like that.
DANI: Do you get annoyed now when you have to sit? Like in, you know what I mean, in that chair.
KATY: Well... it's not annoyed. It's not annoyed. I am physically uncomfortable. So I just liken it to when I put on a stiff, inflexible shoe, I feel it. I didn't feel it before. Right? That was my norm. So my perception kind of normalized that. And then barefoot was the extreme. Well now barefoot is the norm and kind of stiffness where I can't move around is the extreme. So it's the same thing if you take a wild animal and put it in captivity, you feel the captivity. But if you were a captive animal put in the wild, you feel the wild more. So it's just really what's uncommon to you that probably feels the least comfortable. I don't feel comfortable sitting down. I actually, like, my butt falls asleep.
KATY: So I don't know if there's adaptations that make sustaining long periods of time unmoving on your butt. I'm not sure if there are. But I don't have them. Because I, my, everything starts hurting and even if I sit cross legged, it's almost like the pressure isn't great enough for me. Because I'm varying my position when I'm sitting... you know I just spent three days in a hospital with a family member. I wasn't in the hospital, thank goodness. And so, you know, my floor sitting options, I didn't feel comfortable, just because there's a lot more going on at a hospital, you know
KATY: as far as what's in the air and all around, so you know the chairs are wiped down more frequently than the ground. But regardless, I could sit on the chair and it was soft and you know, quote "comfortable" chair, but I was just craving to get on the floor. It wasn't hard enough. Like I have gotten used to very stiff amounts of pressure and I was craving that variable at the end of a few days. Plus driving back and forth. Yeah, it was tough. I'm no longer suited for chair living.
DANI: No. My next thing I was gonna, wanna ask you about it, when you're in a public place it kind of freaks people out to see someone sitting on the floor. At least in this country, in the United States.
KATY: Sure, exactly, in the country.
DANI: And, like, I don't know, I do it anyway to a certain degree. Like, I was waiting for my kid to get his haircut at one of those guy hair cut places where they play the sports and stuff. And it was horrible, horrible chairs and so I just, nobody was there, and so I just sat down on the floor, you know, and read my book. And when he came out he was just like, "Oh, momma, don't sit on" ... you know ... "don't let people see you sitting on the floor." And I just thought, wow, it's really, you know, he's used to me doing it at home but not out in public because you just don't do that. And, I don't know... it's just something...
KATY: I squat a lot, heh
DANI: It's something you gotta get past and just do because I find myself being less and less willing to be uncomfortable just to make everybody else comfortable around me.
KATY: Yeah. Comfortable. And so interesting the relationship between physical discomfort for the sake of whatever the status quo comfort is, you know. Like, there is definitely a relationship there for sure. Yeah, I mean, airports, you know, usually you're just passing through places briefly, so everyone gets to pick when they want to be, like, the weirdo, or not. It's interesting, I'm seeing, I'm seeing more and more people take to the floors in airports.
DANI: I was just gonna say, that's the only place that I feel like, not out of place sitting on the floor.
KATY: Yeah, and I think it's because they're always been this group of young travelers who are, like, stretched out in sleeping bags on the ground. You know, like, there's kind of like the airport's already full of weird people. Right? Like we're all just ... we're all transient, we're going somewhere, you're not gonna see ... but I've had people go, "I saw your whole family squatting on the ground." You know, at an airport. They'll say, you know, "I could tell, you guys looked weird. Like, you're all squatting around food." Like, there's one thing to be squatting charging your phone or whatever, but it's another thing to be having your family meal, kind of, you know, squatting around a corner in an airport. So, you just, you just pick. Outside I have still noticed the weirdness in sitting down outside. Even if you're at a park, you know, with kids. You either stand with a group of adults or you sit on the table or chairs.
DANI: Find a picnic bench.
KATY: Yeah. And it's often weird, like, when you're the only one. Like, I don't enjoy standing around conversing for an hour and a half. One, it's just because it's just stillness. It's uncomfortable. I don't know, it's not what I enjoy doing. So I, usually, what makes it weird is you're going down three feet below everyone else, right? So you're just, you're dragging everyone's attention away. So that feels weird.
KATY: So a lot of times I'll just say, and everyone can just feel comfortable... if you use an excuse of discomfort - we are so used to discussing our poor health. That is a very common and accepted theme amongst everyone,
DANI: True that.
KATY: discussing what's hurting you, what's ailing you. So if you want to beg off with like...
DANI: It's like baseball cards.
KATY: Exactly. Exactly. Let's trade injuries. You know if you're just like, "Oh, my back's really killing me. I'm gonna do some stretch while we're talking ok?" Just that alone will remove that discomfort of "why are you doing it" without stating it. Like, I think that's kind of weird, it's like, I don't want to have to explain why I'm squatting because everyone's free to do what they want to do. But if you're trying to negotiate that line of comfort and discomfort, a little statement of why you're gonna do it, or that you are doing it is enough to relax everyone's mind. Because I think the discomfort is "Why is she doing that? Should I be doing that? I'm not doing that. Why is she so much better than me? Why..."
DANI: Mm-hmm. Laughs
KATY: Like, there's all this internal dialog so...
DANI: Is she going to poop.
KATY: So if you just beg off, if you just beg off with, like, "Oh, it was a long drive, I'm gonna do this." Or, you know, "I have to sit. I've been working all day I feel like I gotta move my knees and hips while I have the chance." You know? Which is totally different than, "Katy said that you should be moving as much as possible and so I'm gonna do that right now. Right? Like, can you see how one is just about you really saying the reason why you're doing it; because it brings you joy or health or whatever. Like you're just framing it. And the other way is framing it where someone else is wrong if they're not doing it. Right? So if you can really pay attention to even like your intention with it, it'll defuse, I think, all that is around that weird stuff.
DANI: Yeah. I think that's a good point.
KATY: If you go to someone's house. Yeah, if you go to a dinner party and you just feel like "Oh, I've been sitting so much at my job. I'm gonna..." What I do a lot, is I don't squat because that's kind of like a weird kind of lurking position. If everyone's sitting in chairs I will slide off the chair, put my elbows in the chair
KATY: so I'm kind of still sitting in the chair with my elbows and like do a supported squat and just be like, "Man my, I'm just trying to stretch my back out." Everyone knows me and my weirdness but at the same time I'm constantly in new situations and if I had to drive there or do anything, I'd want to... I want to be ... I have the freedom, it's movement sovereignty, right? I have the freedom to move my body in the way that I want and I want to use it. And I don't feel like I need to oppress others with my using it. Even if it's their own perception of feeling burdened by my choices. So, those are maybe some outs for you if you want to add a little bit more in your, in your non-home life.
DANI: Yeah. I don't know. I just don't say anything but that's ... I figure maybe they'll be curious. You know, maybe they'll think about it enough. And the honest truth is, people just aren't thinking about you. They're probably like, "oh, she's squatting" and then they're back to thinking about themselves. You can probably just slide down to the floor and not even worry about it. Because everyone is thinking about their own thing.
KATY: Try lying on your back in the middle of a dinner party and see what happens.
KATY: I bet you they'll be thinking about it.
DANI: Have you done that?
KATY: No, never.
DANI: I'll give you five bucks if you do it next time at you're at a dinner party.
KATY: I'll do it at your dinner party.
DANI: Send pictures. Laughs.
KATY: I'll do it at your dinner party.
DANI: Well, you just brought up home and a lot of people, you know, they just, you know, there's more than one person usually that lives in a home and one of those people doesn't want to give up their furniture and a lot of times I've, you know, gotten emails from people that, a lot of times are really uncomfortable because they're like "either we all do it or we don't do it". And I just am, like, "Doesn't work that way. You get down on the floor but you're not gonna make so and so give up their couch." Because there's just gonna be a whole mess of stuff that goes with that. I know that you and I have talked a lot about that on this show, about partners and spouses, that they're just not gonna be on board and it's really not your responsibility to get them on board.
KATY: It's certainly not... it's certainly not a deterrent to you getting down on the floor. There's nothing that someone else's couch has to do with you getting on the floor.
DANI: Mm-hmm. I guess that's what I'm trying to say. Thank you for clarifying my thoughts.
KATY: Laughs. You're welcome. You know what else you're thinking? "Man, I'd like to get Katy some tea right now."
DANI: I would. And then I'd like to lie on my back at her dinner party. Go back to the part, because you touched on it and I want to just maybe see a little bit more about that, when you talk about some of the other, other benefits that aren't just about your health. Like, we're talking benefits that spread further out. Like the no need, you know, you don't need to buy as much. You're not putting as many chemicals ... because
DANI: by the time people hear this they'll probably have a copy of Movement Matters in their hands if they've pre-ordered it. And so this, I think ties in really well to that. Because at this point we're not just talking about how it's better for my hips. But there's more to it. There's more benefits to it.
KATY: Sure. Well, I mean, it's just that. I think that, you know, it's an argument that maybe might be that beneficial... like if you already have a couch you're like, "I already bought my couch, so, you know..." whatever. So there is the fact that it means more stuff, but then there's other non-physical benefits in that it affords more space. Like it gives you, it gives you more space. Which is another principle of movement matters which is like that stacking your life thing. So it might not only be... sometimes say, you just want to sit on the couch, but does your need for sitting on the couch trump your need for space to do other things within your own home or if you have a family. If you're like... a lot of people will say, you know, we get a lot of questions and they'll be like, "Well, my apartment's just so small, I can't do this or do that." Well, a lot of times ... we do a lot of VRBOs, like rentals and
DANI: Oh, uh-huh.
KATY: Air B&Bs and stuff. And coming from, I don't think it's only that I'm coming from a furniture free home, I spend a lot of time in furnitured homes. Right? Cuz, I have friends and family and no one else really has our set up here, but there are homes that are so packed with sitting devices - chairs - that there's just, there's not this space to really, you know, I can see why people might have to go to a gym to get more movement or to have to go to a separate spacious facility because their own environment is so dense with stuff. And that's kind of where that episode of personal mission statement comes in. If you've been mulling on that a little bit, which was the last episode right?
DANI: Right. Yeah. Yeah.
KATY: One episode before. If you're just like, "I want this in my life and I want that in my life." It's like, sometimes you have to make more space for it. And if you're wondering what can go, consider minimizing your furniture somehow. And if you're worried about, you know, family memories who have different abilities and you want to be able to offer them seats and what no, then take a good hard look at what you have and go, you know, is there a way to get rid of lots of stuff that's keeping me from doing the things on paper that I want to do while still retaining some elements of it, to also do these other things that I want to do which is, involve these other people in my life in a real physical way. Meaning, if you're keeping 42 seats in your house for the two family members or the six family members that, when they do come over, need a place to sit, then do the math a little bit. You'll find that there's room for stuff to go. So that you yourself can get the thing that you yourself have said you wanted.
KATY: You know, if there are friends and family... if your own family can't imagine getting rid of the furniture. It's not a category. It's not "get rid of the furniture or keep the furniture". Right? Minimal is to reduce...it's not barefoot or shoes, right? I break down all the- the different features of a shoe. Maybe it can be one piece or three pieces. Because maybe your teenagers aren't into to floor sitting but they're not sitting on all seven things in your living room at once. So maybe the negotiation is, "All right, everyone pick the one thing that they can't live without." You know, that's a negotiation Great, I meet your needs, you meet my needs. We just got more successful as an entire family. Right so don't...
KATY: Everything isn't like this big giant category or yes or no. You get in and you figure out how to transition in a way that's acceptable. And that's where the work is. The work is black and white is easy
KATY: Shades of gray require attention, awareness, engagement, and negotiation. And that's time-consuming. It forces you, really, to pay attention to what you yourself want and to listen to what other people want and consider what everyone needs. And there's just a lot of engaging in your own life to be able to do that. And that's why it doesn't, I don't think it'll come easy because it's not practiced...
KATY: as much. So, I like that we got there from furniture.
KATY: I didn't think we'd go from floor sitting to that but I think it's all related. I think that all of these issues are tied up to really fundamental questions we are all struggling with on a regular day. And sometimes those fundamental questions to be made better or more answerable by, "I'm just gonna sit on the floor right now instead of the couch." Like, that's a take action item where solve the crisis, you know, that is this particular issue
KATY: is unsolvable, you get kind of, you ruminate on it and you can't get out. Well, you can just go sit on the floor and it's like you've solved an element of something.
DANI: Yeah, there's so many wins to sitting on the floor.
KATY: Yeah. Sure.
DANI: Cool. Well, I think we should just, I think we should just end there.
KATY: All right. Goodbye.
DANI: What do you feel?
KATY: See you later guys. I think that's enough food for thought and... the floor. It's just right there under your feet. That best piece of exercise equipment that you've yet to truly embody. And that's exciting.
DANI: Yeah. And I think it just, it takes away some limits when you're able to get down and get back up and be comfortable on the floor.
DANI: Then you don't have to look for that chair at that place or, you know, even the big rock at that place that you can sit down but you can just sit down wherever. And it's kind of cool. It's a lot of freedom. Like it minimalize but your maximum...what is it you maximize, you maximize.
KATY: Minimalism is just maximalism.
DANI: Yeah. And it's pretty cool.
KATY: So it just occurred to me, if you go to NutritiousMovement.com and on the top bar click on "Learn to Move". And then scroll down about, I don't know, half way down. No, it's closer to the bottom, almost all the way down. There is a download our free macronutrient pack guide. So you can get that, it's a free document that I made transitioning to floor sitting or floor sitting, one approach. And it will give you a list of exercises that will help mobilize certain joints to make that easier for you. And then they're also, I had a graphic created that's on our "Think outside the Chair" poster, of all the different ways other people around the world, who have been researched for how they rest their body without - they don't live in places like where we live that are full of furniture. They're just the traditional postures of rest. And if you just cycled through them. There's these exercises that you can kind of measure which ones are easy and which ones are difficult and how to use that graphic itself as a training tool. So, go get that. If you're like, "I'm gonna do that." Like that's what the rest of this year is gonna be about, then go get that guide. It's free.
DANI: Whoo hoo!
KATY: And it's full of tremendous information!
DANI: Let's do it.
KATY: Now let's end. Now that we've ended and ended and ended once more, now let's really end, ready?
DANI: All Right. Thank you for listening. For more information, books and online exercise classes including the macronutrient pack?
KATY: Macronutrient guide pack
DANI: You can find Katy Bowman at NutritiousMovement.com and you can find more from me, Dani Hemmat, at MoveYourBodyBetter.com. See you later alligator.
VOICE OVER: Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful. But it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.