Katy Bowman is a biomechanist who studies how we move our bodies. She says many of us are suffering from diseases of captivity and how you move your body throughout the day is more important than exercise. We spend more time than ever sitting and it just might be one of the reasons so many of us feel stuck!
Katy is the director of the Restorative Exercise Institute. She is also the author of four books, recently publishing Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement. She has helped thousands of clients with chronic pain, and has published several DVDs.
Katy has always been interested in approaching life in a very scientific way, so she could determine the best methods for conducting various processes. Her study of biomechanics provided her with a set of principles and equations she has been able to use throughout her career.
Katy is now on a mission to teach people why exercise is not the same thing as movement and why it is more important than ever to bring awareness to how we move our bodies.
Key UnStuckable Takeaway
Become more aware of how you move your body throughout the day!
If you are feeling stuck, really think about how you move throughout the day. The majority of your movements have been dictated to you by the very nature of how we have built our society.
If you had the choice, do you really think you would sit as much as you do? Would you walk as little as you do? Would you think of exercise as something that has to be scheduled?
The human body was designed to be in motion and to be in motion in a variety of ways. We have designed an incredibly sophisticated society and have invented a very comfortable existence for ourselves, but at what cost?
If you really want to get unstuck, you also have to challenge how little you move every day. There is a direct correlation.
Quick Action to Get Unstuck
Sit on the floor.
We all spend too much time sitting on our butts! Our bodies have been design in move in a wide range of motions. Our addiction to sitting is an indication of why so many of us feel stuck in our lives and careers.
One of the most recommended actions to get unstuck by our guests has been walking. Motion is a powerful catalyst to getting unstuck. Katy doesn’t just want us to move more, but to be aware of how we move our bodies.
A great place to start challenging the endless hours we spend sitting in chairs is by brining more awareness to how we sit.
Sitting on the floor is a very simple change to how we hold our bodies in a stationary, seated position, but begins to bring awareness to how we move. It also creates a different perspective of your surroundings and how you might view how you are stuck.
UnStuckable Quotes From Katy
“I’ve been stuck in every possible way.”
“When I don’t feel good, I assume something is out of alignment.”
“Any time you categorize yourself, you are committing an act of violence.”
“Nothing limits me more than a title or a job description.”
“Marry all of your interests together.”
“You can decide to be different at any moment when who you are no longer serves you.”
More Habits & Actions
- Whenever Katy isn’t feeling well, she brings awareness to how different aspects of her life might be out of alignment. She focuses on her current actions and how they match up with her idea habits to find the source of her discomfort.
- Your education does not have to define how you live the rest of your life. It can be used as a foundation to build upon toward what you really want to do.
- Don’t put labels on yourself. This restricts what you can do and limits your possibilities.
- Don’t worry if people don’t understand what it is you are trying to do. More often than not, they don’t understand where you are coming from because of their own limitations. Approach they from a place of empathy, rather than taking their lack of understanding personally.
- Look at all of your different interests and see if there is a way to combine them into one goal. No matter how different they are, there just might be one thread tying them all together you haven’t seen yet.
Katy’s UnStuckable Lesson
The inspiration behind Katy’s latest book, Move Your DNA, is to help people rediscover how to move their bodies in healthy natural ways to reduce tension, pain, chronic stress and “diseases of captivity”.
When most of us thinking of “moving our bodies” we think of exercise. Katy wants to help us think about how we move our bodies throughout the day. In fact she believes exercise as we know it can be harmful in many different ways.
Being more aware of how to move your body in more natural ways can improve your health and even help get you unstuck! Here are a few key movements Katy recommends brining awareness to first:
We spend the majority of our waking hours in a seated position and most often it’s the exact same one: sitting in a chair. If how we move our bodies is any indication of how we all might be feeling stuck, it’s time to take aim at how much and how we sit. Katy says we’re overdosing on sitting in the same way we overdoes ourselves on carbs and sugar.
Here are some awareness exercises to start changing how you sit:
- Monitor how many hours you sit every day and compare that number to the number of hours you are awake.
- Standing more is an option, but standing in the same position can be just as harmful says Katy. Standing desks aren’t the cure-all they have been made out to be.
- Be aware of sitting in different types of positions and for shorter amounts of time. Instead of sitting at your desk, try sitting on the floor like Katy made Stephen do during out interview!
2. Walk With Bare Feet
Did you know the soles of your feet are one of the areas of your body with the most nerve endings? Before humans wore any kind of shoes, their feet passed along sensory information to the brain to help us make decisions about how and where we walked. Shoes essentially cutoff the communication between our feet and the natural world.
Here are some exercises to that your feet express themselves!
- Walk around in bare feet when you can.
- Most of the flat perfect surfaces you walk on throughout the day aren’t available in the natural world. Consider buying a cobblestone mat for your office or your cubicle to stimulate the soles of your feet.
3. Rethinking Exercise
The real difference between exercise and movement is that exercise is done purely for health benefits. The downside of exercise is the reliance on repetitive motions that can cause injuries and tension.
Natural movement is a similar physical process to exercise, but occurs throughout your day, not just in a gym. Your natural movements are also less predictable, engage more of your body and aren’t scheduled.
Here are some ways to increase the health benefits of your natural daily movements:
- Walk as much as possible. Better yet, go for a walk on an uneven surface.
- Don’t avoid housework; view it as a great opportunity to move your body in a variety of natural positions.
- Work in different areas if possible and get up from your desk at least once an hour.
Questions & Feedback
Thank you for listening. If you like something you heard in the show, let Katy, Chris and Stephen know by tweeting us @unstuckable
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Thank you for for your support and let’s get unstuck!