going global and local
That I’m a fan (and a student) of Katy Bowman is hardly a secret to most people in my orbit.
For those that I’ve managed to turn on to her work and her writing, they immediately get why.
She’s smart, she’s funny and she's talking and writing and DOING movement in a way that is far, far outside the exercise box... which often helps people to move better, or even to start moving at all.
Katy’s (eighth?) book has just hit the shelves, and yeah, I’d say another home run.
Until this one, I considered Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement to be the flagship - a really readable introduction to biomechanics, why it matters and the impact this modern sedentary culture (or any environment) has right down to our very cells. Really, it’s the overarching science behind all her other more specifically topic-focused books. And, it includes exercises! And cool words you’ll be able to whip out and impress your friends with at parties, like mechanotransduction, and anthrophony!
But, if Move Your DNA was an overview in how the global affects the local, Movement Matters: Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology, and the Nature of Movement - Katy’s latest release - trades in the microscope for a telescope and drives home the humbling realization of how extensively the local (as in, our lack of movement) affects the global.
If you have an inkling of concern for health, the environment, exploitive labor practices, the economy, community - any of it, this book will tie it all together by exploring how the divorced relationship between our movement and our food is harming our bodies and the planet.
Well, the most basic and primitive reason we, like all animals, have for moving in the first place is to get food. There was a time when those two imperatives were part of the same cycle. Move to get food, get food to be able to move. Zoom ahead to now where the crevasse between moving and eating is so wide as give the illusion that moving is now optional.
Just like with our discarded trash - that there is really no ‘away’ to throw things to - movement still has to happen for us to get food. Only now, we can outsource that movement. Entire industries, economies, labor forces are in place to provide our sustenance with an ease we can enjoy.
But at what cost?
Fuel, carbon footprints, deforestation, mining, packaging, and even slave and child labor figure in to any number of food items we don’t have to expend much energy to procure.
Think about the last thing you ate today. Where did it come from? How did it get here? What did you have to do to bring it into your home as compared to all that it took to get it within your easy reach?
No easy answers given, but lots of small suggestions about how to bring the means and the ends a little closer together, with exponential benefits all around. (Added bonus - essays from a scientist about the limitations of science in informing our movement practices…!)
Food for thought, for sure. Fascinating, but galvanizing… at least I hope.
Because I want the whole world to read these, or at least you or people you know, I am offering a Global/Local bundle - buy them together and receive a 20% discount off an upcoming Move Your DNA workshop, based on the exercises presented in the book. (If you buy them from my office, you'll get a coupon for the discount there. If you buy them elsewhere, send me proof of purchase, and I'll get you a coupon.)
Of course, you can find them through your preferred book-procuring venues, or use my Amazon affiliate links above.
Interested in checking out Katy Bowman's other books? Here’s a brief overview of each:
Alignment Matters: The First Five Years of Katy Says - a compendium of, well, the first five years of her blog, “Katy Says”. From the Amazon description: "Starting with the feet and working all the way up to the head, Bowman's clear, engaging text lays out a user's manual for the human body, including stretches, habit modifications, spiritual insights, and enough belly laughs to soften even the tightest psoas..."
Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Healthy Feet which has been updated in this new version: Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Healthy Feet... A lot of the same material, but I think clarifying the confusion that her first book was only for women. A comprehensive introduction to your feet, what they need, the effect of shoes and how to apply basic exercises to undo a world of hurt, foot-wise. And, what my upcoming “Healthy Feet Workshop is based on (this book is also included in my Healthy Feet Kit…( create page and links...)
Whole Body Barefoot: Transitioning Well to Minimal Footwear is taking the previous book to the next level - putting the feet in the larger context of the whole body, plus guiding you through the conditioning necessary to transition to minimal footwear, which should be taken as seriously as any other kind of muscular conditioning.
Diastase Recti: The Whole Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation - A whole book dedicated to abdominal wall separation! How exciting! But, seriously, if you are dealing with this, or want to prevent it, this is a beyond-the-symptom, whole body approach to a stronger, more resilient core.
Don’t Just Sit There - This book takes her work to the workplace. Not even close to ergonomics (which is really just a way to keep a sedentary body more comfortable; as Katy says, the best chair for you is the one that you’ll get out of… :), this will help you find creative ways to get your movement nutrients in an environment that is anything but nutritious.
And, of course, you can check out anything on the Nutritious Movement website for yourself.