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.
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.
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.
-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.
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