I am so pleased to welcome my old friend and repeat podcast guest Katy Bowman back to the show!

Katy is the queen of nutritious movement (check out her website here to connect with her and get a more movement-oriented lifestyle). Katy joins us to talk about her new book, Rethink Your Positionwhich deals with the many options we have as we move our bodies throughout everyday life and why “Maximalism of the body helps you achieve minimalism in life.” Aside from workouts, we also have an obligation to optimize movement in everyday life and I love Katy’s work on the goal of creating a dynamic workplace environment (you can enroll in her digital course, Don’t Just Sit There, by clicking here). Katy shares some interesting specifics in this show, like head ramping (a drill you can do to get your head aligned with your shoulders), the benefits of spending more time sitting and interacting with the ground, and her minimalist sleeping experience (including how she has gradually moved away from using even a pillow!). 


Katy Bowman is an expert on movement and posture. [00:47]

If exercisers take a lot of downtime, sedentary time, it’s important to do it right. [06:03]

Specialization is necessary for competition, but it’s not great for longevity. [10:35]

Our generation is not moving their body the way they used to years ago. One study says we spend 86% of our time inside and 7% in a vehicle. [23:46]

Our relationship with nature and our relationship with movement can’t really be separated. [26:32]

Supplementing in many areas is not really meeting our needs. [28:33]

You might have a physical malady and go for treatment, but you also need to look at fixing how you got the injury.  [31:40]

In her new book, Katy has short essays divided by body parts so if you are focusing on the knees, for example, you go right to that chapter. [35:03]

Flexible seating in classrooms, workstations and even around the home is a low-cost way to keep in shape. [39:08]

Being seated on the ground is using different muscles in the body for support from those used when sitting in a chair. We are not very fluent in our physicality. [42:23]

So often when we are working on screens or reading, we position our head forward, in front of our ears, thus throwing our spines out. By learning the head ramps described by Katy, you will be in a better position. [51:09]

It is hard to separate age from length of habit. Forget about aging. Look at length of habit. [57:13]

Minimalist bedding experience includes no pillow.  How does that work? [58:32]

How does Katy produce so much as a writer? [01:08:13]



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B.Rad Podcast:

Katy (00:00:00):
When you can start looking at things as length of habit and not age, that’s valuable. Age is not malleable.

Brad (00:00:08):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life. With without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three, world ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey. Talk to laugh. Have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Brad (00:00:47):
Hello, listeners. I am pleased to welcome my old friend and repeat podcast guest, Katy Bowman. She is the queen of Nutritious Movement that is the name of her operation. You can find that website and connect with her and help you get a more movement oriented lifestyle. This new book is called Rethink Your Position, and it deals with the many options that we have as we move our bodies throughout everyday life.

Brad (00:01:22):
Of course, with fitness activities, we are told the proper technique and we learn about this and that for swinging the golf club or running down the road. But we also have this obligation to optimize movement in everyday life. I love her work on the goal of creating a dynamic workplace environment. We have the digital course called Don’t Just Sit There That you can enroll in and get some great video content from Katy. And she has so many other types of offerings along those lines at her website, Nutritious Movement.com. So we’re gonna get into some interesting specifics about things like head ramping, a little drill you can do to get your head in the correct position aligned with your shoulders rather than forward hunching as modern life compels us to do. Uh, we’re gonna learn about the benefits of, uh, getting more time just sitting and relaxing and interacting with the ground rather than anchoring everything in a seat.

Brad (00:02:29):
Katy’s gonna talk about her minimalist sleeping experience and the benefits of gradually, overtime, working away from even needing to use the pillow. Uh, there’s a nice quote from her. Uh, maxism of the body helps you achieve minimalism in life. So the more functional and balanced and active our bodies can be throughout daily life, uh, the more the less we’ll need to rely on modern crutches such as braces and support devices and chairs and prescription medi medication for all the, uh, little aches and pains that we develop from excessive time in stillness or in repetitive positions. Or repetitive activities. I think you’re gonna love, uh, Katy as she, uh, carries on about her life’s work and we talk about many interesting subjects over the course of this freewheeling discussion and getting into some specifics, uh, about the book, rethink Your Position, which is a really nice easy read.

Brad (00:03:33):
I encourage you to go grab it wherever books are sold, uh, because it’s a series of essays so you can dive right into the knee and foot section if you’re experiencing, uh, complaints and troubles and wanna learn how important it is to, uh, engage in more barefoot time and barefoot like, uh, experiences as you go through daily life. The one and only Katy Bowman back from a stint in South America where she took her family to do immersion Spanish, and now she’s back in her home in the Pacific Northwest and a true lover of nature. She’s gonna tell you about her birthday feats, that she does something every year to do a what’s called a dynamic celebration. And she recently turned 47. So what does she do? She walks 47 kilometers in a single day. That’s close to 30 miles. Amazing stuff. Enjoy Katy. Here we go. Katy, Bowman,

Katy (00:04:29):
<laugh>. Hi. Oh my

Brad (00:04:30):
Gosh, we’re reconnected again.

Katy (00:04:33):
Reunited, and it feels so good.

Brad (00:04:36):
That’s actually not a bad voice. Now I know your mic’s working cuz that was spot on. Do you have a singing background in your, in your career?

Katy (00:04:44):
Not in my career, but in my career as a human.

Brad (00:04:49):
Nice. All right. I wish it was in person, but anyway, that’ll be sometime in the future. And I’ve loved your work for so long, especially the slap in the face portion of it for athletes like myself and people in my realm. And I love your quote that we used in the book Primal Endurance, where you called out athletes for having this quote lazy athlete mentality whereby we use these hall passes all the time to sit around for most of the day and not worry about, uh, our, you know, our, our positioning, which we’re gonna get into with your new book. Uh, but it really hit home for me cuz like my whole life I’ve knocked out that awesome, impressive workout. Uh, usually first thing in the morning from, you know, being on the team and, and practicing or, or being a triathlete and, and training all day. And then my downtime was spent on the couch with little or no concern for anything except for, uh, you know, chill time. And now we realize, and it’s really great to see the fitness industry embracing this idea that fitness is a lifestyle and movement is a lifestyle and that’s where, that’s where you’ve always been strong. So I’d love to welcome you and you can talk about this exciting new book, Rethink Your Position and anything else that comes to mind

Katy (00:06:03):
Starting now? You just want me to riff starting now? <laugh>. Yeah, I mean I don’t think I ever use the words lazy athlete mentality because I don’t tend to label things like that, but I do think, I think fair enough for the people slogging those hard workouts is, is what the data was showing early on is this all came back on on I guess everyone’s radar around the sitting is the new smoking, like that you could be an exerciser, um, a regular exerciser, an athlete even, but you were sandwiched in a lot of downtime sedentary time. And what they found was people, especially who did those hard workouts who were training for things, it was like they used up a lot of their day’s energy by doing, pursuing that extra hard thing. So I don’t even know if like athletes they’re coming by their sedentary time, honestly. Especially if they’re not doing other things like resting and eating in a way that supports their physical endeavors. It makes it hard to uptake more movement outside of their training time. But, but I guess that’s why I started with just going, well, you’re gonna be sitting down. How about sitting differently? You can sit in a different position. And that’s cross training and that’s even part of active recovery a little bit. You know, it’s the same thing you would do to, to stretch out your physical performance competitively.

Brad (00:07:37):
Yeah. What’s been amazing to me is to realize that recovery is optimized when you are moving around more in general everyday life. Cuz I always perceive the ultimate recovery strategy would be to plant yourself on the couch for hours and hours and eat and, and watch tv. And you start to realize when you get stiff and creaky and have issues in the aftermath of these killer workouts that you’re so proud to accomplish. Something’s, something’s off here where, um, for a long time in my life I I didn’t feel like a healthy, vibrant, energetic person unless I got over to the track and did my warmups and then started in with some impressive exercise.

Katy (00:08:18):
Yeah. Um, I think if there’s one takeaway for everybody when it comes to movement or movement sciences, distribution of movement matters, the distribution of it, you know, like the idea of it being happening throughout the day versus all compressed into one period of time. But that’s also part of effective training, whether you’re an athlete or just a, you know, an everyday person wanting to get more out of their body. Distribution is something we need to be thinking about.

Brad (00:08:47):
It’s almost like two separate objectives where if you have fitness goals, competitive goals, you have to adhere to a, you know, regimented training program. But then if you want to be healthy and energetic, and I love how you distinguish between cardiovascular fitness and cardiovascular health, cuz those are two separate and distinct things and we know what happens to fitness freaks when they overdo it and, you know, come into problems and in even increased injury and disease risk. But that, that objective to just move more in general everyday life, I think is now coming to the forefront finally.

Katy (00:09:24):
Yeah. I mean, as it as it should, I was just thinking about something when, when you were talking, but I’m dunno if I can <laugh> if I can retrieve what it was. It was, it was a good insight, but it might be, it might be already, it might be already gone. Yep. It’s gone.

Brad (00:09:47):
That’s what happens when I talk too fast. Yeah.

Katy (00:09:50):
Well you are, you’re a, you’re a fast thinker and you’re a fast talker.

Brad (00:09:55):
Well, I think we’re hitting on an important concept that might be an awakening for a lot of people that, you know, they knock off their fitness objectives, they work out for an hour every day or whatever that is, which is an amazing seven hours per week. We know that there’s 168 hours in a week. And so what are we doing the rest of the time to be healthy and energetic and, um, the, you know, the, what did you call it in the book? The, um, the, the, the chopping up of, uh, your movement objectives whereby sitting on the ground rather than anchoring in a chair can all of a sudden bring in all these wonderful benefits.

Katy (00:10:35):
Well, actually what I was, I just remembered what I was <laugh> thinking about was this idea of specialization. You know, we are generalists and, and, and performance is like a specialization of movement, you know, like, and especially because you’re not necessarily looking at, you’re not measuring your performance across a broad number of categories. You’re usually looking at the mode that you’re most into. Right. That’s the mode would be like, I’m a cyclist and I’m trying to improve, I’m trying to specialize in being a cyclist, or I’m a sprinter or, or I’m a hiker, whatever it is, we’re specializing. And specializing is necessary for competition, but it’s not great for longevity. Right? You have to make trade-offs when you specialize. And so I think a lot of people are more motivated to work on a broader definition in their post competition phase because they’re like, wow, I, I don’t feel good anymore where I can’t even dig into the thing that I specialized in with comfort.

Katy (00:11:46):
It’s hurting me. And so like you’re, you’re losing your flow, your joy. So that’s a good motivating factor of distributing movement. Um, and then I try to get athletes or people who are interested in just optimizing performance to have like a, a bigger movement diet if they will not to be super generalized, um, so early on, because I actually think it makes you better at competition before you’ve retired from whatever your competition is. So, but it’s, it’s a little bit harder to motivate people who are at the beginning of their journey in specialization because, you know, just like my kids mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, they just don’t really, they can’t imagine a time where, where they won’t be able to do the thing or and actually, I don’t know, like should athletes really just give a hundred percent in the direction of their sport and practice only that? Maybe like, maybe there’s a fire there. There’s more than just mechanics, there’s more than physiology, you know, it might be mentality, it might be focused. Mm-hmm. There might be that at play. But in talking about preserving, um, preserving the physical performance, I do think cross training is the easiest way to, I mean, we hear cross training all the time, and that’s all I’m talking about, right? It’s this idea of cross training only. I would say that there’s a broader way to think about cross training than most people do. They’re like, I’m gonna add some

Katy (00:13:16):
<laugh>, these two other sports, you know, to, to this one sport that I’m doing. But again, I’m back to that distribution idea of like, well, we need to distribute movement throughout the day, and maybe you need some other, you need to be looking at some other movement skills as well that seem radically different than what you’re specializing in for you to objectively see, okay, look, my body can still do some other things. Like I see cyclists where I live, it’s a, like people when they get off their bikes, they still look

Brad (00:13:41):
Like they bike, they’re slouched over

Katy (00:13:43):
<laugh>. Yes. When, and they actually walk like they’re pedaling because the tensions are so strong, they, they’re so specialized. I mean, you even see bone density clinically mm-hmm. Bone density go down in competitive cyclists, um, just from the mechanical loads that are there. Not they’re site specific. It’s not like general whole body mineralization changes. You’re not using your hips in a weight bearing fashion anymore. You’re using them to crank out quite a bit of, uh, pedaling, but, but you’re specializing your bones to cycling and then they don’t work as well in walking. And, and, and then as you get older, the only movement you can do is cycling, which is great that you still have that. But then it’s like, yeah, I don’t, I can’t really go for hikes. My back hurts the only place like I need to be off my leg. So it’s just, it’s just to get people to think, uh, more globally, more, more broadly about their body and what they’re gonna wanna do with it over time to be like, this is, this is a toolbox of movement that you’re investing in.

Brad (00:14:46):
There’s an amazing study from Tour de France cyclists where in the three- b week duration of the tour, they have a measurable loss in bone density. It’s amazing. It’s like 20% or something. And in this example, it’s because they’re never loading their skeleton during that three weeks cuz they’re either sitting on the bike seat or they are resting in bed or on the bus. And so they’re just, you know, in, in that binge of activity, um, they actually have a extreme difference. But I guess a, a lifelong cyclist who doesn’t do a lot of other weight-bearing activities is gonna be gonna be, uh, weak and frail.

Katy (00:15:21):
Well, I mean that’s, I would love to see that study. We shoot that over to me later on. But it’s, it is just that, I mean, there’s a lot of bone density studies that are done by NASA, you know, cuz have a problem being in a wait list environment. And the way that they test that is by putting people in bed and then just, you know, like you can get paid a lot of money to sit in bed and let NASA look at the effects of decreased loads and like giving people different exercise programs while they’re in bed in these low load states. But yeah, that is sort of, um, the Tour de France is like one end of a spectrum, right? It’s, it’s a hyperbole. It’s a, it’s a moment of seeing like this thing in a really big, clear way. But yeah, if you drive to work, you sit at work for eight hours, you get on your bike and, and ride it really hard, like you’re, you’re physically fit, um, that would be the more practical version that probably many people are experiencing.

Katy (00:16:19):
Swimming is another one, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like you’re getting in, you’re, you’re fit, you are, you have physical fitness, like anyone on the Tour de France has a tremendous amount of, um, physical fitness, you know, VO two max and their body composition and, and certainly maybe even other areas of strength and flexibility, but there’s a trade off for specializing your movement. And it is, the tissues are really needing well distributed movement, not only throughout the day, but also throughout the body, right? That’s the other thing. When you specialize, think about what your arms are doing, you know, when you’re cycling, they are not as active as other parts of you. Um, so it’s just that, it’s just to think about like, you gotta move, you have a movement. Diet is, is are the foods that you’re eating in a very narrow range, you know, like same thing if you had a senior dietary diet, you can have good foods, but if you only eat one or two of the same foods, even if they are nutritious foods, um, you’re gonna have malnutrition. There. There are no two single foods that can sustain you mm-hmm. <affirmative> over a long period of time. Um, you need a variety of macro and mitro micronutrients. And the same goes for your movement diet as well.

Brad (00:17:39):
Yeah. I guess it comes down to one’s goals and things that they enjoy. And when I was a competitive athlete and, and training all day for triathlon, of course I didn’t care about broad and varied movement and activity because I was, you know, too focused on the compelling goal. But, you know, I think it’s really healthy over time to pursue different challenges and especially notice areas where perhaps you lack competency and you can improve. And it’s super exciting to be a novice at something and try to get better and better rather than just grind away at something you’re already familiar with. But only if the, the individual’s convinced like, Hey, you know, that, um, racing on the pro triathlon circuit is not aligned with longevity. Oh, it’s not. Well, I don’t care right now, but Sure. Um, you know, yeah, at some point, of course, my goals have transitioned to, um, new competitive aspirations that are disparate from what I did before. And of course, in the background, strongly looming like never before, is, are these contributing to, uh, longevity and, uh, reducing disease risk? And I think there’s a little bit of fear motivated in there too, because as we talked about just before we hit record, it’s like, Hey, um, if you don’t do anything about this, uh, chronological, uh, clock ticking, you’re gonna have a lot of pain and suffering ahead rather than envisioning another possibility where you start to work on these broad fitness competencies and, and movement objectives, nutritious movement, as they say.

Katy (00:19:05):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, I certainly say hopefully other people are saying it too,

Brad (00:19:09):
Or other people as other people tribute. Yes.

Katy (00:19:12):
Well, and I think there’s a couple things in what you’re saying. One is like, one you, I imagine a lot of people listening to you are probably people who identify as exercisers and athletes, whether, I mean, once an athlete, always an athlete, even if you’re not actively competing, you have that mindset. Um, you know, your sport really well, and that, and that sport is the thing that probably brings you a lot of joy in your life. Doesn’t, not only, but we have found this thing movement that is our, like, gets us in our flow. And as I’ve worked with a very broad group of people, I’ve just realized that, oh, for other people it’s music for other people’s art. Um, that, that, that, that, while movement is for everybody, it being like, what people wanna specialize in is not across the board. But that being said, the other part of what you’re saying is like, once you’ve done special, once you’ve done figuring out what your specialization is, um, your body is still a reality, right?

Katy (00:20:15):
We have to deal with bodies that need this movement diet that nourishes us, like just to a base, a baseline. And so letting people know, like it’s not necessarily about even competing longer or really living longer, it’s just about, um, making sure that you’ve met your basic needs physically so that you can fully engage with whatever it is mm-hmm. That you like about life. Because I’ve just, like, we’ve just seen a drop off of people moving. Like the movement is still dropping off not only in North America, but globally. Um, and like, I, I always think of what I, what I see people like on Instagram or social media, and they’re what, and they’re working on their bodies and their bodies are, you know, they’re sculpting their bodies with movement. It’s the same to me as like watching someone who plays a musical instrument who’s specialized in L Look what I can do with my body.

Katy (00:21:17):
Right? And so not everyone has specialized in it, but the fact is, we keep referring to the specialist who’s, who’s chosen to specialize in something. I mean, playing the piano is also physical, right? It’s a coordination of hands and legs. You are using your body in one particular way, and even if you won’t be comfortable later on because you’ve had something that’s fairly static with your body, it doesn’t really matter in the same way, it didn’t matter to the, to the runner, right? It’s like, but I can do this amazing thing physically. I can, I can play the, all these amazing songs through this coordinated physical effort. Both of those groups would be served. It’s like, if you can just meet the non-specialized general needs of your body, you’ll be able to engage more in whatever you choose to specialize in. Mm-hmm. Whatever, whatever it is.

Katy (00:22:12):
Mm-hmm. You know, whether it’s, um, teaching.

Brad (00:22:14):
Tour de France, <laugh>,

Katy (00:22:16):
Tour de France to setting up a preschool, like, and just be fully engaged in it, right? Like, it’s just that we don’t, we’ve tend to dis we’ve wanted to sort out like things that we perceive as movement based tasks and things that we don’t, but really everything we do is through this physical body. They’re all movement based tasks. They all just have different, they use different shapes of our body and they use different contractions to our muscles, but, but they are all physical. We are all on this physical spectrum. And we could all benefit from an understanding of just how can I be positioning myself all the time, not when I’m specialized, but especially around that specialized time in a way that supports me so that my mind is healthier too. Not only physical, the mm, mental health benefits.

Katy (00:23:08):
Because like when you’re in pain, you’re not able to really engage. Mm. Like you’re, you’re managing so much pain on the inside that you’re not able to give a hundred percent because 40% of you is paying attention to what’s going on and, and going around that. And, and so like, that’s what I’m just interested in is helping everyone get to a baseline. Maybe it helps you with your athletic performance. Maybe it helps you with your musical performance. Maybe it helps you with your time with your family. Maybe it helps you, um, be more focused at work, whatever it is for you. I don’t really care, but mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But these are some of the building blocks of movement that the body needs, and I’d like to show them to you.

Brad (00:23:46):
It also brings to mind another, uh, a pillar of your lifestyle, which is that engagement with nature. The importance and the value. And my question comes when you encounter, uh, people that are deficient in both movement and by, by, uh, by association time and nature. And it seems to me like my concern with society in general is like, we’ve forgotten how awesome it is to go out and, and, and take a walk or, or go on a hike or, um, you know, jump in in a lake and when we’re disconnected. So, and instead using all this time to engage with digital screen and so forth. Um, how do you, uh, how do you, how do you tackle that challenge, <laugh>?

Katy (00:24:33):
Well, I, in the same way that we tackle our lack of `movement, right? Like, I think probably 40 years ago, 50 years ago, there was, I’m not speaking from North American history, like this idea of like, wow, like people aren’t moving. And, and this idea of exercise came on, right? And then there was like, running was a hobby, right? Like, th these weren’t things that people did because people still walked a lot of places. They did, you know, they, they were using their body physically regularly throughout the day just to meet their basic needs. I mean, certainly that’s been falling off for a long time, but I just look at the difference between my generation and my parents’ generation and my grandparents’ generation. It’s just, it’s accelerated the rate that it’s dropping off. And just since I’ve had kids, since, you know, like a smartphone in 2010, from 2013 years, it’s radically dropped off even more.

Katy (00:25:28):
So this is not like, well, movements, you know, have been going for a long period of time. Uh, yes, it has, but it’s accelerated at this point. Like, we’re just like throwing it out the window. And so it’s really hard to look, well, I guess it’s not hard. What we need to do is look at this decreasing movement problem and see it alongside this other problem, which is our parents and grandparents in doing all the things for their body, were also doing most a lot of ’em outside, right? Mm-hmm. They were just outside more, because this is like philosophical. What is life? What is going on? Like, we are just living in these dwellings, and the dwell and the time that we spend in the dwellings keeps getting longer.

Brad (00:26:25):
93% says a British survey.

Katy (00:26:27):
It’s unbelievable.

Brad (00:26:28):
Yeah. 86% indoors and 7% in a vehicle.

Katy (00:26:32):
Yeah. And thus, and also, like, not only have we spent more time, it will say inside, whether it’s in your car, in your house, in your office, but inside. You’re not outside, you’re inside. Thus, we need to make all of our dwellings larger. Hmm. Right? So, so now, and it’s so logical in our mind, it’s like now everyone needs their own room and, and now the cars have to get bigger, right? So there’s like this natural progression to just increase the size of inside so that nobody ever has to go outside. And that is very much lockstep, woven through our relationship with movement, our relationship with nature and our relationship with movement can’t really be separated all that easily because everything that we need that we are trying to bring inside our dwelling, including what the dwelling is made of, comes from nature, it comes from outside.

Katy (00:27:35):
So we’re just like, we gotta get more things from outside and bring them inside. Because outside by definition has everything that you need, but you are inside now. So then you need to duplicate every and every single person needs their own duplicate things that I need to be brought inside. And so this nature deficit, you know, that people have, we tend to tackle it in the same way that we tackle exercise. So, so an exercise came on the scene as like, Hey, there’s a way to supplement your body. You didn’t move your dwelling. It doesn’t have you moving your body anymore. So let’s supplement, let’s drive to another inside space and take some dose of vitamin cardio and vitamin stretching and vitamin strength training. Like we’re, we’re pulling in exercises that are themselves beneficial, but they have very little context outside of they’re the thing that we need that make us better.

Katy (00:28:33):
We never leave off, we always leave off the other half of the sentence, which is 5to replace what we used to got to get outside mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, like, it’s always just like, oh, we need this. No one ever knew that we needed this before. And so now it’s had to be invented. It’s had to be discovered. And it’s like, well, all these things are very, very old. They’ve never existed in inside, inside the dwelling. And the same thing goes for nature now. Like now you’re gonna see people, we’ve pulled out vitamin get in cold water and, and have bought the, you know, get the cold water tub, you know, and, and do this as a thing just in the same way we do our cardio as a thing and climb a tree, you know, or forest bathe, you know, like, it’s just mm-hmm.

Katy (00:29:15):
<affirmative> instead of missing, we’re not seeing sort of like the relationship of like, these broader choices that we’re making as a society is requiring a tremendous amount of supplementation. We’re supplementing movement, we’re supplementing nature, we’re supplementing community, you know, like trying to figure out people who are isolated. It’s like, well, maybe they can interact with an Alexa to supplement there. You know what I mean? Like, we’re, we need to acknowledge like, this is not meeting our needs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And in the same way, if you, if you went into your kitchen cupboard and opened it and there was a hundred supplements there, if you had no knowledge that all those came from food, I’m talking about dietary supplements mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it would be like, well, maybe you could eat some food <laugh> that would have some of this in this, because all these supplements actually have no calories. So you’re getting, now you’re getting all of the nutrients, but none of the calories and all the other things that were found in food aren’t there. And the same as going for our approach to like movement and nature.

Brad (00:30:26):
There she goes. All right. There it was. And now we’re on to,

Katy (00:30:30):
Okay, let’s start

Brad (00:30:31):
<laugh>. Uh, yeah, it’s a good point. I mean, it’s not to criticize people making devoted efforts to supplement the deficiencies. No, but I do think in the fitness industry especially, um, the complexity is in the interest of profit. And we don’t realize, or we’ve been talked out of the idea that we can go outside and in five minutes get a fantastic total body challenging, strenuous workout, and then return to our busy day indoors. Uh, but instead we’ve been programmed that we need to sign up for a, a book of 12 personal training sessions, or go to the 6:00 AM class and, you know, sweat in a big pool on the bicycle. And that’s what is equated with fitness in our, in our, uh, social programming. So I like the idea of, uh, we, we’ve been, uh, complaining about some of the modern trends, but like the solution is these baby steps forward where you go outside and if it’s raining, that’s okay, <laugh>, uh, whatever the weather is. And, uh, you challenge yourself with, you know, a a set of squats up and down the bench, and that actually counts, and that’s awesome. It doesn’t have to be an hour long sweat fest.

Katy (00:31:40):
No. And, and, and yeah, to your earlier point, like, it’s not to criticize supplementation. Like supplementation is sort of a gift, right? The idea of supplementation, because especially in dietary supplementations, sometimes the world, like the world might have even stopped producing the thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know what I mean? Like, we’ve done a, we’ve done a number on a lot of things humans have. And so supplementation is a solution, but it’s, it’s sort of like when you’re trying to fix something in your body, you can do the therapy, but you also wanna look and make sure that you’re not also continuing to do the thing that got you in the position where you needed the therapy. Mm-hmm. Which happens quite a bit as a bio mechanism. Mm-hmm. You know, they’re like, oh my, you know, this is a problem with my knee. And so I’m like, adding all these treatments is like, great.

Katy (00:32:32):
But also I noticed that the way you walk or the shoe that you wear, whatever it is, this chair that you have, like this is part of why this keeps popping up. So if you want the solution, do the therapy, but also remove some of what you’re doing that’s creating, it’s illuminating, you know, people are like, I had no idea that this was related because I’ve always done this. It’s like, yeah, well, everything in the body can be done for a really long time, and then it breaks. Like, the fact that you’ve been doing something for a long time is no indication that it has been working for you, <laugh>. It just, it just got you, uh, to this particular point. So I like 6:00 AM classes where you can sweat it. I think that’s great. But my point is, our lives are so busy and full that you will never be able to get enough supplementation to make up for replacing all of nature without changing some portion of your life.

Katy (00:33:31):
Like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you would have to like say like, the amount of supplementation is overwhelming. And I think for most people it’s too expensive, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s like, that’s the other thing is it’s so expensive to get all the things that you need. It really leaves a lot of people behind. If you have a supplementation only approach, mm. Supplementation is fine. And there are also simple, not always easy, but simple, inexpensive ways where you could be working on your wellbeing and your movement diet by just, like, sometimes you don’t even have to go outside. Like, that can be a pretty big step. But by looking at what does outside give me in my body? And at first trying to get a little bit more of that more complex movement inside of your house, and then it just becomes something where you can start getting a little bit more outside.

Katy (00:34:28):
You know, if you’re gonna sit down and read something, try it outside. That’s a, that’s a different movement, right? All these natural light that we talk about, we need for our wellbeing, that does not mean sitting next to a window with natural light. Your glass is blocking the full spectrum of natural light. You have to go outside to get natural light. Um, and just many other examples like that. Temperature, variation, terrain shape variation, other people, you know, you have to get them out of the house. Like, there’s just a lot of things going on outside that are beneficial to us.

Brad (00:35:03):
Uh, and so with the latest book, Rethink Your Position, a lot of great tips and strategies, uh, to use in inside and outside. But I think particularly with the focus that we are obligated to spend a lot of time indoors interacting with screen and so forth. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, maybe we could, uh, get into, I guess the, the essence of what the book’s about. And I especially love, like the idea I’ve now, um, inspired by you, um, has have numerous work areas throughout the day. And I don’t feel bad about it anymore. I don’t feel like, uh, uh, short attention span. I keep changing rooms and going from standup to sit down, but especially sitting on the ground has been my new favorite because it has so many, uh, positive health benefits in comparison to disengaging, uh, your skeleton in a chair. So let’s get into the new book. Congratulations. Rethink Your Position, people.

Katy (00:35:57):
Thank you. I’m stoked on this book.

Brad (00:35:59):
I wanted a high jumper, my high jump logo on the cover, so I’m disappointed about that. But maybe like on the next printing you can throw on, cause there’s all these little figurines on the cover, A bicycle rider and this person, that person. How about a high jumper? One vote for the high jumper on the next cover.

Katy (00:36:14):
Well, that’s funny. I just, there was just a, a high jumper and we do these movie or d n a weekends where you can come study for two days with someone to help you, like break down all your parts. And they were, uh, they were a pole vaulter. Ooh. So there you go. Like, yeah. Yeah. That’s two boats, two boat gymnast on the front, not gymnast, right on track athlete.

Brad (00:36:33):

Katy (00:36:38):
Oh, sorry. Oh, I, I don’t think I froze.

Brad (00:36:42):
We froze. We’re back. And, uh, we have Rethink Your Position now on the, now on the bookshelves, signed copies directly from Nutritious Movement.com. Right?

Katy (00:36:53):
Ugh. Not signed. Maybe if you wanna signed one, just let me know. Yeah, yeah. What That book was definitely written for the times. Um, I think of, I think of us as sort of in social media times right now where we like short bits, you know, not tremendous deep dive. Like not at once shorter attention spans. Not so much shorter attention spans, but like having small periods of time where I can learn a particular thing. So the book is written in short essays where you just learn one thing at a time about your body. It’s organized by body parts so that you could just, you don’t even have to read it cover to cover. You can open it up and be like, knees pain and downhill knees. Oh, okay. You know, like, that’s my essay. So I was just really trying to, big photographs, just trying to make it fit the format that people seem to be really comfortable with right now.

Brad (00:37:51):
That’s a really nice way of saying that we have a disastrously shortened attention span in modern life. And I’m listening to another book, Stolen Focus where it goes into detail about how, um, our brains have been reprogrammed by the giant social media providers is pretty disturbing. And I can definitely, uh, relate to that, where sitting down and reading a book, which was like a centerpiece of my life decades ago now, it’s like taken over by tidbits on the screen. Uh, things like high jump videos or jumping into Katy’s chapter about knee pain going downhill. I just sent that excerpt to my mom, by the way, cuz she complains about knee pain going downhill. So, sure. It’s useful in that way, but I think if you go through from head to toe the way it’s organized, you get some really good, um, takeaways that can help. Uh, I don’t know how you probably describe it better, but like everything we do, there is an element of, you know, optimization from sitting in a chair in which surprisingly, Katy Bowman allows everybody. But, as long as, as long as there’s some, some variation in the, uh, in the day, and maybe we could hit that topic about workplace variation and how important it is to just change up rather than be fixed positions. Yeah.

Katy (00:39:08):
Flexible seating. I’m a big fan of flexible seating and that goes for classrooms, for kids. It goes for your workstation and it goes for like even the way you take your entertainment at night. So the nice thing about flexible seating is it’s one of those, again, low cost solutions. So if we talk about like nature, you don’t, there’s no chairs in nature. There are definitely things to sit on that are not the ground, but those things vary in height. Um mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they don’t often have a back that allows you to like, relax and drop back. So there’s a lot more active sitting in nature, as well as ground sitting, just getting up and down from the grounds. A a regular feature of what happens outside. Just think of going camping, think of going to a picnic. Um, especially when we haven’t brought in all the human made stuff into all the spaces where it’s like, here, come outside, but don’t get on the ground.

Katy (00:40:04):
And so yeah, you can adjust just the way you set up your home or more of that natural phenomenon of active sitting, but happening inside your house. So I have, um, like flexible seating for your workspace is this, this idea of wherever you do your work, try to make sure you’ve got at least a couple different positions. Three would be great that you can utilize while you’re producing, you know, while you’re in front of a computer. So if you have a laptop, you can move to something low floor. Floor desk is my favorite. It’s also the one that I need the most. You know, it’s this really good hip stretch. Again, that idea of cross training, I do a lot of upright walking and so my standing muscles are very, very strong and resist oftentimes floor sitting positions. Mm. Right. So we’re all adapted to what we do most often. Standing work desk, I don’t really need as much because <laugh> and like I said, like I already get a lot of vitamin standing. Um, and then

Brad (00:41:08):
Standing and walking,

Katy (00:41:09):
Standing and walking. Yeah. And yeah, just, I’m on my feet a lot. Like I do a lot of teaching, a lot of presentation. Mm. That’s like a whole body standing thing. So everyone needs to assess what their movement diet is and what are the movements that they need. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, again, if you’re a cyclist, you probably get a lot of already sitting <laugh>, flex hip, so standing would be a good solution. Coming down to the ground, again, varying through different leg positions is helpful. Yeah. It doesn’t have to be on the ground, some cushions down there. It’s just this idea of if you’re training, if you’re always training, if you’re always moving your training muscles, you’re, you’re sorry. Your, your sitting muscles are really well trained. And so you want to cross train a little bit. So you cross train during some of your sitting time. Same thing goes for taking in your media at night or your entertainment. Like if you go to the same chair or the same spot on the couch, you’re already pretty good at that movement. <laugh>. So, so the idea of like, I’m gonna sit on the ground and front of the, of the chair and I’m gonna cross my legs and I’m just gonna stretch my legs out wide and, and stretch my hips while I’m watching Netflix or whatever it is that you’re doing in the evening, reading a full book perhaps.

Brad (00:42:23):
Mm. Imagine that. Yeah. So when you’re sitting on the ground, describe the difference between that and sitting in a chair. Cuz we’re, we’re both sitting, but there’s this ground, ground reaction force, is that what it’s called? Where you’re actually getting some muscle and lymphatic stimulation from your, your body weight on the ground?

Katy (00:42:46):
Um, I would say, let’s break it down this way. If we start, let’s start in a chair in our minds. Um, so the chair is supporting the weight of your entire body, and then oftentimes our torso is leaning back. So, so you’re not even holding up your torso like mm-hmm. The muscles of your torso are not even holding up your torso. The chair is doing uping. If the back of the chair disappeared, you’d flop back to the ground. Right. If the chair were to disappear underneath your hips, you’d drop down straight down to the ground. So the chair is usually doing two things for people. So if you just sat in your same old kitchen chair or your same old office chair and scooted forward and held up your own torso, you would be sitting more actively mm-hmm. Than if you were letting your back rest against the chair.

Katy (00:43:39):
So one is torso position, how active is it? That’s why people sit on balls. Mm-hmm. Is because it’s, if we just look at the torso, it’s this idea of you are actually holding yourself up like an abdominal contraction being done. Mm. The entire time you’re in a chair. So if you’re just sitting and you’re resting, just scoot up, just scoot forward. Um, the second thing is the chair tends to, you tend to use the same shape in a chair again and again. There’s nothing that says you have to, but you’re just used to it. Probably when we started in school, we were not allowed to sit cross-legged and do all these things in a chair. So you just learn two feet flat on the ground, you know, center your hips, like, and that’s the form that we use when we sit in a chair. But you could be more active not only with your torso, but if you cross one leg over your, like your right leg over your left knee or vice versa, you know, or sat cross leg in a chair, if that worked for you, if the chair shape worked for you.

Katy (00:44:40):
And in that way you’d be doing the same thing that you’d be doing if you were to do those stretches. So that period of time that you’re sitting mm-hmm. <affirmative> is also stretching your piriformis, you know, stretching your glute muscles out, stretching your hamstrings, you know, like you can change your shape to get, um, more motion happening. When you sit on the ground, you are usually losing your rear support, the, the not your rear, the support that’s behind you. Um, and then also the ground is so spacious you can use a lot more leg position when you’re down there. Um, so that you’re able to do a lot more of those leg stretches. And of course, we didn’t talk about squatting, but just squatting down. That’s actually a very popular way that a lot of the world sits <laugh>. And that’s the most active, you know, to sit in a squat is the most active, but it is is not the most practical, it’s not the most achievable too for most people who grew up in chairs. But it’s all about how, what’s your muscular effort while you’re doing something plus sitting on the ground requires that you use your body to get down to the ground and then but up out of the ground. So it itself is an exercise just getting to the seat and getting back out of it.

Brad (00:45:55):
So again, not to go crazy here, but just making these little tidbits of effort where instead of being glued to your $800 ergonomically perfect chair, um, which is not inherently bad as you, as you point out often it’s just one position, but you know, the most restful and disengaging position, uh, you, you deserve to, to rest there for a certain period of your day. But I think when we get away from, uh, optimals, when we’re just relying on these things nonstop or over-relying on them in some cases because we did that awesome hour workout from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM and now we’re just going to, you know, sink into something that, that deloads the skeleton the muscles. And so just, you know, making little sprinkling here, uh, it feels like a good path for everyone to aspire to and that can, you know, improve overall musculoskeletal health and so forth, provided you hit some of these checkpoints as presented and Rethink Your Position.

Katy (00:47:01):
Yeah, well it’s form, right? Like you think of like, you are always in a form. You can always, we talk about optimization, you can think about this is my form optimal for what I’m doing. Like we’re trying to optimize form and it’s because the form is gonna optimize the load. But again, optimize is always gonna be dependent, dependent on what your goals are. So I would assume for a lot of people their goal is to sit down to work, but they also have this other goal of using their bodies more. So it’s like, okay, well what’s a form that I can get my work done and use my body more? Okay. It’s gonna be in this form where you are going to choose a more active seat. So you just are always thinking about what’s my goal here? And then is there a form that I’m using a shape to my body, a choice about how I’m gonna position myself, whether it’s in a chair or on the ground, or standing with my head down in front of me?

Katy (00:47:59):
Or am I gonna keep the upper back active while I’m looking at my computer screen? Like these are form choices. And I think that most people just don’t know how to toggle their joints enough to tap into all the form that actually is available to most anatomy. Like, I, we haven’t even thought about it. It’s been completely off the radar. They’re like, this is just how my body is, it’s how my body moves. And it’s like sort of <laugh> sort of. Right. You know, like it’s not, we haven’t been moving mindfully. No one has really shown you how all of these hinges work. Once you learn how a hinge works, you’re like, whoa, I didn’t know. I didn’t, when I stand every time I stand it hurts my left foot cuz I’m right on top of my Morton’s neuroma and blah blah blah. I’m like, well let me show you how to stand in a different way.

Katy (00:48:47):
Did you know right now you’re actually wearing your hips 40 degrees forward in that hip point? Yeah. Like why don’t you do this? And then they’re like, I, no one, no one ever told me to shift my weight back and my heels and I was standing. So it’s just, we we’re not very fluent in ourselves in our physicality. We can be great at a sport. Mm-hmm. We can be great at using our body in, in our labor or the work that we do. But it’s sort of like looking at handwriting and being like, wow, every time I make an O it’s sort of looks like an eye. Like we haven’t practiced all of the letters enough so that when we go to say something, it’s really not clear what’s happening there. The form of everything isn’t as crisp as it could be. So when you just for fun start exploring all of these separate body parts in very short essays, you start to learn like, I didn’t even know that was a letter my body could make.

Katy (00:49:48):
I didn’t even know I could bring that vowel sound to this movement conversation I was trying to have. And so it’s just that there’s a lot of part, you have a lot of parts, modern living calls on certain parts over and over again and completely neglects other ones. And these, while we are all unique in our bodies, our bodies are mostly the same even though they have like these little nuances here or there, they’re all mostly the same and can really benefit by just looking at these baseline where we are the same and make sure that we are all aware of like that your toes spread, that your toes lift individually. Right. This can be like mind blowing for people. Um, even when they’re tremendous athletes, their feet can be very atrophied mm-hmm. <affirmative> and eventually be part of what hurts their knees and hips. And it’s like, did you know your toes move like this? It’s like, no, I had no idea. It’s like, okay, do this. These are muscles, these are musculoskeletal muscles and you’re putting your whole entire body on top of these untrained muscles that you never thought about because you put ’em in your shoes and your shoes are on the pedals, your shoes are on the ground, your shoes are on the exercise machine. It’s like, yeah, but your feet weren’t really getting any exercise. They were just being supportive of the rest of you getting their exercise

Brad (00:51:09):
Encased in modern footwear and deactivated from how they’re supposed to work, how important it is. But a nice little plug for minimalist footwear. I’m gonna send you a pair of new Peluva shoes. <laugh>, they’re so awesome with their articulated five toes as a nice, you know, compromised to the fact that we can’t walk around barefoot all day. But Sure. Um, I know many people are listening, not watching, but I think maybe you could describe something like the head ramp and I think we could pick it up just with the audio description as a way to counteract the demands of modern life that are causing us to hunch over and and slump forward all the time.

Katy (00:51:47):
Yeah, well it’s just, so if you think about your upper spine, your head is dropping forward out in front of your shoulders. So when you do that at rounds your upper back and then not only is your upper back forward, you’re also usually lifting your chin to look forward if you have bifocals right. Looking through the bottom of your bifocals so that not only humps over your upper back really rounds forward, it means that the spine just above your upper back, the cervical spine, the spine of your neck goes in the opposite direction. So you’ve got this, you’ve created this sort of deep S curve between your upper back and your cervical spine. So we wanna get rid of that for many reasons. And so the, the way that you can adjust, so if you imagine looking at your phone screen, you’re looking at your computer screen, you’re reading a book, you’re working on knitting, whatever it is, you’re gonna keep your chest where it is, but you’re gonna slide your head up towards the ceiling while also moving the head back towards the wall behind you at the same time.

Katy (00:52:52):
So your head’s going up and it’s moving back so that eventually the ears sit over the shoulder instead of your whole head being out in front of you. And then once you’re back there, you can actually turn your head to the right and to the left and you can drop your right ear towards your right shoulder and your left ear towards your left shoulder. But you’re always adjusting your head position first. You don’t wanna have your head forward and do off neck stretches

Brad (00:53:16):
With a compressed spine. Yeah. No

Katy (00:53:18):
Good. Yeah. Right. For sure. Like you wanna free up those hinges for rotating. So yeah, it’s just back your head and lift your head up at the same time without lifting your chest. If your chest goes then you’re end up, you’re actually moving your lower back, you’re not moving the upper back. And that’s what we want. So put your hands on your sternum. You know, if you have a necklace that’s like at the front of your chest, the front of your ribcage, put your hands there, don’t let those hands move and then slide your head back and your head up and you’ll get a nice stretch in the muscles that run, um, down the front of the neck. Maybe if they’re tight

Brad (00:53:53):
And we could possibly avoid getting shorter as we age thing as you stuck about. Amazing.

Katy (00:54:01):
Oh that was one of the essays, right? Because I’m, look, I’m looking for to find, I’m looking to find your motivation, whoever’s listening, everyone is motivated by something specific and they’re not motivated by all of the other things. And so I have to keep saying the same ideas in different ways, hoping that I find your key, the thing that unlocks you were like, yes, I’m interested in that. And so one of the essays is about taking my dad to the doctor, when he was um, almost 90 and they will track height. I mean I guess they track height anytime you go to the doctor mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but they’re looking at height changes and maybe it’s, I know they do in kids and then cuz they, you know, they wanna be like, oh okay that can be hurting your back. There could be bone health issues here.

Katy (00:54:48):
But what I, the point that I was making in this particular essay is if you think of your full height and measure, let’s see you measure it six feet when you’re all the way up and your head and your spine curls forward mm-hmm. You’re now shorter. And then the more you do that and the stiffer your muscles become and then the stiffer your spine becomes. The more you do that, the harder it is to get back up out of that height ever. So a lot of our height, when we think of height loss, we tend to think of I was six feet and now my spine has squished straight down and that’s where those couple inches have gone and there’s nothing I can do about that cuz because all the discs are out of fluid and everything’s compressing. My point is geommetrically, what’s more likely is you’ve curled forward, your length has not changed, the length of your body has not changed, but it’s curling out in front of you.

Katy (00:55:52):
And so the total height of your length above the ground is less. That’s pretty motivating to the idea of like you can get that height back a lot of times. And then if it is there are they, there can be changes to the spine where your height can come because of compression. Hmm. But what’s interesting is it’s often being forward, curled forward for a long time that makes those changes that result in compressive. So no matter who you are, work on head ramping. Right. That’s going to be what gets that hype back and which can stop these loads in the vertebrae and in the discs that can end up permanently changing their shapes.

Brad (00:56:37):
Right. And so we see examples of permanently changed shapes with people with terrible posture and the neck sticking out and the shoulders are hunched, but as we work toward this exciting goal of correcting that, we certainly have the potential even to mobilize the spine further. You talk about the spine stretches that we want, uh, to do every day. Um, and so you’re saying just by the getting the proper nutrition to the muscles and joints and connective tissue, we can work backwards from all these age related things that we think are out of our, out of our control.

Katy (00:57:13):
Well, it’s very hard to separate age from length of habit, duration of <laugh>. I mean, and so like, so like that’s, that, that is the clinical marker that’s usually wrong in articles that attribute things to age. Cuz they’re not controlling for length of habit and length of habit is really there. And so when you can start looking at things as length of habit and not age, that’s valuable. Age is not malleable. So like, I tend to never use the the term because our habits, our lifestyles are so they’re not that great for our body. So when you can make the whole thing really clear, like we’ve got a length of habit issue that’s malleable. Right. That’s positive. That’s something where you can be like, yes, okay. Right. Got that. All right. I can change the habit today.

Brad (00:58:00):
I love it. Length of habit. Forget about aging. It’s length of habit. Happy length of habit to you. Happy length of habit to you. Happy length of of

Katy (00:58:10):
Habit. You don’t wanna have, right. You want, you don’t want those like you, you want to check, you wanna break up old habits that aren’t getting you to where you wanna be going.

Brad (00:58:24):
Start a new habit today. Yeah. Start a new habit.

Katy (00:58:26):
Baby habits. You want these baby habits. Mm-hmm. Like we, we don’t want old habits. We want baby habits at this point.

Brad (00:58:32):
So you’ve worked hard over time to minimize your bedding experience, which Yeah. I’m with you. I like the minimalist pad, especially when I’m by myself. I’m, you know, I’m just down on the ground with a one inch pad. But the lack of a pillow, uh, I’m curious, like how do you manage that and counter the common notion that we want a pillow to be the exact height between our shoulder and our neck so that our head can sleep. You know, like on all the, on the pictures of the expensive pillows, you sit

Katy (00:59:07):
On your sides. Right, right, right. I guess it’s like this. Wait, so trying to, if if this was all visual, it’d be so much easier. So let’s, let’s just start the model on our back. So I guess to give context to what you’re saying, I’m a floor sleeper, although when people hear that, it’s like, I’m not,

Brad (00:59:23):
She’s a floor sleeper. I’m,

Katy (00:59:25):
I’m not throwing a sheet down on a cement floor, you know what I mean? Like I’ve got, I have sheep skin, I’ve got a flannel sheet, I’ve got my body and another flannel sheet and a big comforter. It is like super.

Brad (00:59:40):
It’s heaven.

Katy (00:59:41):
Yeah, it’s heaven. So don’t, don’t be feeling sorry for me. And you know, it’s luxurious. It’s, it’s comfortable, it’s warm, it’s cozy. What it isn’t is very cushioned. That’s the only thing that’s not there. It’s not very cushioned. And so what that does is it, what does cushion do? I guess before we ask, what does floor sleep mean? Do cushion allows you when cushion means that what the surface that you’re gonna go on molds to you, you don’t have to mold to it. So if I take my spine that’s been curled forward and my hips that have been flexed all day, <laugh>, when I take that shape into my bed, the bed accommodates a lot of that shape and does not require that I change that shape as much as getting on the floor does. The floor is like a taskmaster, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> the floor is like, sorry, if you wanna be down here, you are going to have to change, bring your shape to me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I cannot bring my shape to you. And so you have a question there?

Brad (01:00:46):
Yeah. You better, you better take that excess curvature out of your lumbar spine because you’re not gonna be comfortable on the floor until you Rethink Your Position and get, get used to it. I’m sure there’s a learning curve, but it seems like a person could progress like you talk about where you don’t go down to the floor tomorrow, but I don’t know, maybe it’s a steady progression where you, it

Katy (01:01:09):
Is a, it is a progression over time. Like you, like you would already be working on, you know, just like, oh, I’m gonna stretch, you know, I need to stretch more. Like you, you would, you, it all depends on where you’re starting from. Like if you were very stiff and immobile, it would be pretty extreme to go from, right? Like, you’re not even moving your body gently for short periods of time. You’re not gonna get down and move it extremely for eight hours. So, so yes, there is a progression there and that progression’s outlined on my website, you can find that there. So now let’s put a pillow behind my head though, because when I’m on my back, the head being at the same height as the rest of the body is fine. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? Like, if I’m on my back pushing, having something beneath my head that’s pushing me right back into my same phone position. Not necessary. But that’s not what people are usually asking about. They’re asking about, well what about when I’m on my side? Because that commercial for pillows is on your side, right? It’s like, here’s your shoulder width. So if you put something that’s exactly the width of your shoulders and your head and neck don’t have to like bend or stretch, you’re not gonna get a kink in your neck. Mm.

Katy (01:02:18):
That all makes perfect sense. And my kids have watched this commercial before and they’re like, cause they know what we do and why and they’re just like, oh look like, so they’re like, they are saying that your shoulders don’t move and that your neck is not supposed to move. Like those are the assumptions. So my, I’m pretty now pretty mobile. So when I lay on my side, my shoulders come pretty close. I mean I do have broad shoulders, but my shoulder width when I’m standing is not my shoulder width when I’m lying on my side. Right. The distance between my shoulders becomes quite narrow,

Brad (01:02:56):
Right? Yeah. One shoulder’s pressing into the ground and one shoulders loading onto your,

Katy (01:03:02):
They both fold forward. Yeah. Like if you wrapped your arms around your and gave yourself a big hug. Yeah. Your shoulders come in pretty closely. And then the reason I actually went, and I put this in the book, the reason I went to pillowless sleeping over time, reducing the height of my pillow over time, just cause I had a lot of headaches and they were tension headaches and they’re coming from stiffness in my upper body and the stretches that I was given to relieve them, it was a time factor. It was like, I keep trying to mobilize this area, it makes me feel better, but every night I go back and prop something underneath there. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> so then the whole thing stays stiff again. And I, I would wake up stiff, I would wake up stiff, I wouldn’t wake up with a kink in my neck.

Katy (01:03:47):
I would wake up stiff and I was like, okay, well what if I got rid of the prop and allow my neck to sort of be more mobile throughout the night? And then I woke up more immobile now just like exercise progression. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I changed the height of my pillow over time. So I did not go from like massive neck stretching for multiple hours because if I did that during the day in a class, we’re gonna come here for six hours and do these next stretches, you would feel wrecked the next day. Mm. Same goes for trying to make a transition to a pillow. So I just decrease the height of my pillow over a year. Um, sometimes I even like now will like to sleep on a folded t-shirt. Like sometimes I like half of an inch, just

Brad (01:04:37):
Some random thing that’s that she grabs on the way washcloth.

Katy (01:04:40):
Oh it’s, I mean it’s often just a piece of clothing on the floor. I’m like, I just want a little bit of support tonight because again, bodies go through, I could’ve had like a big workout, you know, I could have been caring. I mean I could have been gardening. So I’m always giving myself that grace of like, I will reach for the support when I need it, but I’m not gonna start off assuming that my body has no ranges of motion that, um, can be improved. And so that’s a little bit about my, my sleeping journey and I, I swear by it for my wellbeing, I, we just got back from living in Central America for four months, uh, in a tropical environment, in an open air home with a lot more, um, uh, bugs and dangerous things on the ground. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that, that I did not have the skillset to drop in and deal with. There’s people who do all the time, but I didn’t just being novel. Um, and after sleeping on a bed, not a pillow cuz you don’t need a pillow, but I didn’t need a pillow, but I feel so much better getting back to my floor. Like that’s how important it is to my physical training. Like it was a massive multiple hours of movement of a particular type that I was getting. And my spine, my spine just feels my hips and my spine all the way to my head just really benefit from that setup.

Brad (01:05:57):
Yeah. I guess you, there’s, there’s the Katy route, which is to, you know, put some work in and, and progress over time. And I guess the rest of the population is, uh, purchasing evermore comfortable beds, braces, pillows. And it, you know, it’s kind of an insight you can extrapolate to to everything in terms of being physically fit that, um, we are just kind of going into, um, you know a crutch mode all night every night.

Katy (01:06:24):
Well we solve problems by adding stuff. We’re like, this gear must be wrong. Like, I think because we’re such a like hyper consuming, gear-focused industry, wellness is a gear focused industry. Mm. Your assumption is the stuff that you have is wrong. So let me get new stuff where I’m like, the stuff thing is new people, it’s just, it’s the stuff thing is new. Like it’s not, hasn’t been around for a long time. So don’t look for the solution always in the stuff. I mean, we all need stuff, but we don’t need as much of it as we need. And chances are when, especially when it comes to movement, minimalism of stuff is usually maximalism of the body. So it, it means that you have to do more. Like you have to bring more, you have to move more. And so less, fewer, fewer chairs, more hip movement, more leg movement, not less so. It is minimal stuff, but it, it maximal, it maximizes what you have to bring and produce in your structure.

Brad (01:07:25):
I know you’ve made up a lot of words in the uh, in the mechanic is biomechanic biomechanist community, but I like that maximalism that could be a good episode title. You just maximalize the body so you can minimize all your reliances on cushy support devices.

Katy (01:07:41):
Yeah, I tried, I’ve tried to like get on the minimalist to discuss this idea, you know? Oh

Brad (01:07:48):

Katy (01:07:48):
Yeah. It’s like we’re, we’re avoiding less stuff. I mean the avoidance of less stuff might simply be because we’re physically not there yet. And so if we could think about it, our physical training as a way to less stuff like that’s again, that’s a different <laugh> that’s a different key for people who are like, I wasn’t interested in minimalism until you talked about its relationship with my physicality. Now I’m interested. So

Brad (01:08:13):
Love it. Katy Bowman killing it. And before we let you go, I want to ask you about your, your writing process cuz you’ve just released this, it, it literally is the umpteenth book and the the, the rate of production is so impressive and the sense of humor that comes through, you have a good time doing it. So tell us, for those of us interested in writing, like how does, how do you, how are you able to crank out at such an amazing rate and uh, still enjoy it and still find fun topics to discuss and all that?

Katy (01:08:44):
I think I probably am just a writer first. Like, it might just be that where it wasn’t so much like I was doing other things and thought like, oh I should put ’em down in a book. That would be great. I think I’m just a writer, just someone who processes. I process through the word, I process through the spoken word I process through the written word. It’s in laying it down through that medium that actually helps me solidify my understanding. Cuz as you’re trying to articulate something and then you get to this spot and you’re like, how can I say this more concisely? And then you realize I don’t know it well enough to be able to say it and that, so it’s, I think that my writing is probably more the exhaust of me learning, not the other way around. I mean I certainly had a big base when I went into it, but for me, the process, when I wanna know something really well, I will sit down to write it and then that is part of what pushes me to question what I know. Well

Brad (01:09:46):
Said. I think you could do a, a writing seminar starting with that theme right there. The, the exhaustive learning is writing. I could totally feel that. Especially when there’s like deadline pressure where I remember when we were, you know, researching and writing the, the Keto Reset Diet at high speed because we needed to get it to market cuz it was so important cuz keto was rising as a trend and like, I didn’t know what I was writing about. I didn’t understand what I was writing about, but the process of writing about it, then you read the paragraph that you just wrote that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about and you kind of start getting it. It’s really, it’s a, it’s a great way to, it’s kinda like memorizing the vocabulary terms for the test. The best way by far is to write it out by hand, over and over and over.

Katy (01:10:28):
Yeah. I get it. Is for me, you’re just looking at my exhaust. It’s the wake that’s going, you know, and through my mind

Brad (01:10:34):
Just order some more exhaust from Katy with her. Exactly. Her new book. Rethink Your Position. Thanks so much for spending time with us. It’s great to connect and get these insights.

Katy (01:10:44):
It was good to see you Brad, always.

Brad (01:10:46):
And uh, Nutritious Movement.com is the best place to go to connect with everything and your wonderful Instagram site with so much nature and inspiring activity. Tell us what you did on your, was it your 44th birthday or something like that?

Katy (01:11:00):
Well, I, that was many years ago. This was for my 47th birthday. I always walk, I always walk to celebrate my birthday. I’m a big fan of dynamic celebrations, <laugh> and um, and so yeah, I walked 47 kilometers this time because I was in Central America, so it was easier to map it out that way. And also it was 47.

Brad (01:11:20):
Right on Happy Birthday. Keep up the good work. Thanks friend. Katy Bowman, everybody da da da. Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.




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