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Things I changed/did after reading Alignment Matters

Hi friends! How’s the morning going? Hope you’re having a wonderful day so far. We’re relaxing here at home and about to venture out to do something fun. I’m excited to take a dance class later today!

For today, I thought it would be fun to talk about Alignment Matters, and some of the things I’ve changed since reading it. I’m always trying to do little things here and there for my health, and love when new knowledge empowers me to make positive changes where it makes sense. It’s pretty obvious that I have a bit of a girl crush on Katy Bowman

Katy bio pic

(Source)

I first started to dive into her work this time last year, when I was dealing with the not-so-fun medical issues after having P. I was determined to do EVERYTHING in my power to change my situation (which ended up being unrelated to what I originally thought), and since then, I’ve been immersed in reading her blog posts, listening to podcasts, and keep one of her books on my nightstand for bedtime perusing. 

I was SO PUMPED to find a certification option on her website -I was like I NEED TO LEARN EVERYTHING I CAN FROM HER IN PERSON- but the bubble was quickly burst when I saw she no longer offers it. So for now, I’m just reading, listening, and taking in as much as I can.

Here’s a little bit about Katy Bowman:

She is a biomechanist, who spends her time educating others on the value of movement throughout the day. She uses real talk to describe scientific approaches, and breaks everything down in a manner that’s easy to understand and applicable to life. I love that she stresses the importance of nutritious movement: larger macronutrients (walking, hanging, climbing, etc.) with smaller micronutrients (corrective exercises). So much of our culture is sedentary, which we try to *erase* with exercise, when we should really be using movement ALL day as our exercise. In addition to teaching classes and blogging, she also has many bestselling books and DVDs. 

MY OTHER RECIPES


You can see what a day in her life looks like here.

Her book, Alignment Matters, is a compilation of her first 5 years of blog posts from her original blog, Katy Says. As you can imagine, it’s a LOT of information, and since I really wanted to digest the info and apply her suggestions, it took me a long time to read. 

Since I finally finished it, I thought I’d share some of the changes I’ve made in my daily life and with our family.

Standing desk

-Transitioned to a standing desk. I was so guilty of writing and working at the couch, or at a desk, with horrible posture. We have an awesome island at the kitchen, which is the perfect height for a standing desk. One of the things that I really took to heart is that Katy says that sitting isn’t the devil; it’s a sedentary life. So in that case, a standing desk can be just as terrible as sitting if you’re completely still the entire time. So, while I’m standing, I’ll do foot stretches, change up my position, move my hips around, and take breaks throughout the day for a few Fitness Marshall dances. If I’m seated, I try to sit on the floor, propped with pillows, and change my leg position often.

Chilling on the floor

If I’m on the phone, I’ll walk around the kitchen or sun room.

-Added blocks of movement into the day. I think it’s easy for us to get *trapped* in smaller areas (our house, the car, which store we’re in, etc), so I’ve been making a solid effort to get out and about. When I’m home with the girls, we’ll walk the dogs or out to the park, and instead of driving to get groceries, we can walk. We spend so much time driving from place to place (especially since Tucson isn’t the most walking-friendly; it’s more spread out), so I’ve been focusing on adding movement and walking when we can, even if it’s just parking farther away or taking 10 minutes to play outside before or after our errand.

-Started to really pay attention to my posture. This is the one that has been the most game-changing for me. My posture was pretty terrible, with slumped shoulders, a protruding neck, and tucked hips (thanks to years of dancing) with turned-out feet. My physical therapist helped me so much with posture, in addition to training my weak hip and glute muscles. My posture still has a long way to go, but I’m more cognizant of my alignment throughout the day. 

-Began to pay attention to foot position. As I mentioned above, my feet were constantly turned out. During the day, I’ll find tiles to line up with my foot to make sure that I’m walking in a straight line with toes pointing forward. 

-Adding stretches in throughout the day. These can be hamstring stretches, foot stretches, neck stretches, ear stretches, anything to promote full range of motion and function.

Working on my squat, and using it as a resting position. This is a low squat with shins parallel, feet flat on the floor, neutral pelvis (not tucked) and chest lifted. She breaks down ways to work into this squat, which I’ve been working on, and I’ve been using it as a resting position while playing with the girls. P is the squat master, so it’s fun to look at her alignment since it hasn’t been transformed through our culture and the examples we set. Liv and P both walk with perfectly parallel feet. 

-Practice diaphragmatic breathing every.day. This is one of the best things I’ve learned, and use it at night to relax and focus on my core. (A great video on the mechanics of breathing here.)

-Ordered Diastasis Recti. This is the current book that I’ve been working on, and enjoy the progressions of the exercises. They’re so unique (unlike anything else I’ve read), and I have a feeling they will help significantly. I’m still working to heal my own diastasis recti after P was born, and am excited to see how this resource will help me. 

So there ya go!

What’s something that you read, watched, or learned that made a significantly impact on your health/life? Who are some of your favorite podcasters and authors?? 

I can’t wait to read these comments. <3

xoxo

Gina

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26 Comments

  1. Courtney on February 21, 2017 at 6:17 am

    I work at a chiropractor where we are constantly working on people’s squats. It’s always amazing to watch their children squat down to play with the blocks we have and it is an example of a perfect squat. We should just have 2 year olds as the models of proper form!

  2. Jodie on February 21, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Yes she rocks! I have all her books and use her tips not only on myself but clients as well. Great post.

  3. Katherine on February 21, 2017 at 6:37 am

    I am a huge Katy fan and “Movement Matters” has changed the way I live and make choices in my life. I walk more places now and move more, but I think about how the choices I make affect other people’s movement. It’s really perspective changing in the best of ways.

    Also, I would have been with you on he next certification and was totally depressed that she stopped offering them! I’m thinking of doing a MovNat training now. Have you looking into that?

  4. Robin Morehouse on February 21, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Love her as well- bought the book after you recommended it awhile back. I have been working on the squat every day before I start my workout – her comment about women in other parts of the world needing to squat low every day to use the bathroom really got to me – I can’t imagine my mom doing that. Something to focus on – being able to pee outside when I am 90!! 🙂

  5. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on February 21, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Wow what an interesting book! I know I’ve learned a ton about alignment through working with my Pilates instructor. It’s seriously been life changing for how I workout and go about my day. I would be interested in reading this book to learn more!

  6. Christina @ montessoriishmom.com on February 21, 2017 at 7:59 am

    This is so interesting! I’ve noticed that one of my feet is always turned out – I’m going to peruse her website and see if I can find more about this. I’m definitely going to try using my kitchen counter as a standing desk too (I’m currently laying in bed with my laptop…whoops!)

  7. Sarah @ The Blonde Giraffe on February 21, 2017 at 8:45 am

    You have motivated me to learn more!!! Her book might be a future purchase for me soon!!

  8. Vanessa | The Real Life on February 21, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I hadn’t heard of this but I’m glad I did! I’ve had so many back issues lately, from running, sitting at a desk, stress, etc. Thanks for the info!

  9. Juliana on February 21, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I got one of these ridiculous looking posture shirts after i had shoulder surgery:
    https://www.corediscountmedical.com/product/alignmed-posture-shirt-2-0-women-pullover-shirt/?gclid=CNfe2PXaodICFUlNfgodSJcAWQ
    they are NOT sexy at all, but dang does it work!

    I really want a standing desk– sitting all day kills me! i try to walk as much as possible but still, 8 hours a day of sitting is terrible.

  10. Anna Becker on February 21, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Outstanding article! I am about to go to a chiropractor to check out my spine. I don’t think I have any issues, but the spine is something you don’t see, so it’s kind of forgotten. But I know as I am getting older, my posture isn’t what it used to be and I believe if I haven’t already, I will develop some sort of alignment issues. Most people do. But the things you suggested here are just great for general activity during the day – Thanks!

  11. Jessie R on February 21, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I love that she uses low tables and no couches! I prefer sitting on the floor anyways! My squat is in desperate need of help….

  12. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on February 21, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Hi Gina! I first learned about Katy on Shawn Stevenson’s podcast, of course. And I love how she calls movement nutritious! I can totally understand it that way. And I keep a lacrosse ball to roll under my feet while at my standing desk — it does wonders! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  13. Nicole on February 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    My husband calls me a penguin, nearly on a daily basis because I walk around with my feet turned out. My feet are also flat and wide and not small, and mum always said I walked like a duck when I was young!

    Anyway, one of my goals at the moment is correcting my posture. I’ve just finished an intense course which involved a heck of a lot of sitting and typing. And I don’t it all at the kitchen table which was the worst alignment ever! Planning on going to physio next week and working on correcting it!

    I’m loving the podcasts about natural health lately! We’re trying for children so Fertility Friday has been a new favourite and a wealth of knowledge. Plus balanced bites is always great. I love podcasts that have high quality audio, when it sounds like they’re talking on the phone on the radio I struggle to listen!!

  14. Julie on February 21, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    A book I read that was SO eye-opening & impacted my (love)life was The 5 Love Languages. I think you’ve mentioned it before…

  15. Jennifer on February 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Can you do a post on how your breast augmentation has held up and if you would recommend it?

  16. Kelly on February 21, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I also love this blog https://diastasisrectified.com
    She gives lots of good day to day adjustments she made to make things better. I read her whole blog and all the stuff by Katy I could get my hands on while I was pregnant.

  17. Bethany on February 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I noticed that Katy and the family are barefoot or wearing thin sandals in the pictures. What’s up with that?

    I am working on my DR and strengthening my pelvic floor with this program: https://health.nataliehodson.com/abs11790639

    I am only on week two so I cannot speak for it. My back has been sore so I believe it is doing something.

    P.S. I started sitting up straight and uncrossed my legs while reading this =)

  18. erin on February 22, 2017 at 6:09 am

    I am constantly asking for a standing desk at work! i feel like it would be so much better for me as my neck definitely feels affected Pus i like to move! I tend to park as far away as possible at my work parking lot, take my pup for many walks, just keep moving. Definitely want to work on my squat game!

  19. Amanda on February 22, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Ever heard of Correct Toes? They’ve really been helping me with my alignment.

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      no! off to google..

  20. Joni on February 22, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Yay! I’m so excited to read this. I went down a bit of a rabbit hole too and read all.the.things she wrote and almost got down on myself about how I can never change to live quite like Katy. 😉 I was actually in her certification program and completed year 1 but never finished year 2 due to having a second baby! But like you I have incorporated many of these things into my daily life and I feel so much better for it. Thank you for using your blog to spread the Katy love!!

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      ahhhhh that is so cool you had the chance to learn from her in person!!

  21. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on February 22, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Ahhhh I bought this book a while ago and still haven’t read it! I need to get on it. I really enjoy her blog.

    I always struggled with deep squats until I started CrossFit and now it’s my norm. I’ve had back pain for a while and it’s definitely partly due to my weak hips and glutes. It’s so interesting how it’s all connected. Strengthening those muscles, staying on top of my stretching, and seeing a chiropractor on the regular have been life changing.

  22. Katie on February 22, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Love the standing desk. Would recommend being careful with your neck; in the photo you’re looking down, which I know from personal experience causes its own set of pain! A laptop stand and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo are helpful.

    • Fitnessista on February 22, 2017 at 10:12 am

      thank you for the reminder! i need to get one 🙂

  23. Laura Barr on February 27, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Baaaaa!! What a great post! I’m a fitness professional as well and still have my diastasis recti (6 years later) – gotta get that book:) Lokking forward to reading more on your blog

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