Health

Aaron Alexander on How to Create an Environment That Benefits Your Body

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

 

This podcast is sponsored by Good Culture, a company making naturally fermented dairy products, including my favorite cottage cheese.  This is a food I loved as a kid and stopped eating when I realized what was hiding in most brands. But my love was reignited when I found Good Culture! It has 19 grams of protein in every single serve cup and is low-carb, keto, gluten-free and gut friendly. They even have lactose free varieties. Good Culture’s cottage cheeses are the ultimate protein-packed addition to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can mix it in with your bowl of oats, spread it on some toast, or enjoy it on its own for a light snack. And if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, try Good Culture’s low-sugar fruit-on-the-bottom cottage cheese. Each cup has fresh fruit in every bite with only 3-grams of sugar and boasts 15-grams of clean protein. Good Culture is a certified B corporation and donates 1% of all profits to support regenerative agriculture.  So ditch your yogurt and head to goodculture.com/wellnessmama to save on your next purchase with a coupon — exclusive just to our listeners! You can also find their products at your local Whole Foods, Sprouts, Target, Publix, Kroger, and other fine retailers. And here’s a hot tip—check out their cultured sour cream varieties while you’re there.

 

This podcast is sponsored by Hiya Health Children’s Vitamins. Did you know that most children’s vitamins are basically candy in disguise — often filled with two teaspoons of sugar, unhealthy chemicals, and other gummy junk growing kids should never eat, with synthetic forms of vitamins. But Hiya is different and is made with zero sugar and zero gummy junk, yet it tastes great and is perfect for picky eaters. Hiya fills in the most common gaps in modern children’s diets to provide the full-body nourishment our kids need with a yummy taste they love. Manufactured in the USA with globally sourced ingredients each selected for optimal bioavailability and absorption. Hiya arrives straight to your door on a pediatrician-recommended schedule. Your first month comes with a reusable glass bottle that your kids can personalize with stickers, then every month thereafter Hiya sends a no-plastic refill pouch of fresh vitamins — which means Hiya isn’t just good for your kids, it’s also good for the environment. Go to hiyahealth.com/wellnessmama and use this link or use code wellnessmama for 50% off – discount applied at checkout.

 

Katie: Hello, and welcome to the “Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com. That’s wellnesse with an E on the end. And this episode is with Aaron Alexander, who is a popular past guest and now a returning guest. And his specialty is movement, and especially very certain types of movement that make you adaptable and strong in various different ways. We actually go deep on a lot of different aspects of this today, as well as talking quite a bit about mindset and how our environment shapes us, not just how we shape our environment. He gives a lot of practical tips for optimizing your environment to best support your body and your mental health. And we also talk a lot about a lot of things we’ve recently read and learned, and have a lot of just general advice. It’s always so fun to record with him. So without further ado, let’s join Aaron.

 

Aaron: Welcome to my living room. We’re sitting on the floor.

 

Katie: Yeah, it’s lovely. And welcome back to the podcast.

 

Aaron: Thanks so much for having me back again.

 

Katie: This is awesome. I’m excited to chat with you in lots of directions. But first, before we went on air, you mentioned you just finished reading “The Four Agreements” again. And I would love to hear your impression of that. And this is a book that’s very often recommended by guests. So for anyone who hasn’t read it, what were your impressions, and what stood out most to you, or what stayed with you most maybe?

 

Aaron: I think that books like that, you’ve probably heard, it’s a more relevant decision to read one or two or a few books quite deeply, instead of just consuming all the books in the world, and to prove to people that you’re really smart. I think “The Four Agreements” is one of those books. That if you literally could just pretty much base your life around those really simple four agreements, and some of the basic fundamentals from it, and integrate that in your daily life. So what I like about it is I like the simplicity of it, the brevity of it. And just it’s like a simplification of how easy it can be to do this life experience. I think we can easily over-complicate ourselves, and make things feel like it’s so complex and complicated to get things done, or be a good person, or be successful. And what I liked about it is it really draws back to tell the truth, do your best. What’s the other one? Don’t take anything personally.

 

Katie: Don’t take anything personally, that’s a big one right now, I feel like.

 

Aaron: Huge. And don’t make assumptions.

 

Katie: Yeah, those two could do for society quite a bit of good right now, I feel like.

 

Aaron: It’s crazy. And within that, just like those little subtle details in each moment that I certainly feel like I could have read that book 15 years ago, and it would have been supported. There are certain moments ah, I didn’t quite do my best in that moment. I kind of was like…whatever it was, some emotional thing. I wasn’t into the leadership at the moment, or whatever the thing was, and I kind of just like slacked off. And I think if I just continue to ride that mantra of like, no matter the scenario, do your best. And no matter the scenario, tell the truth. And that baggage and that weight of wrapping ourselves up in all the various different forms of lies that we…many have wrapped ourselves up in maybe since we were little kids may. Maybe we’re telling ourselves lies that we don’t even realize. And it’s life can be this unpacking of getting deeper and deeper into this state of truth and authenticity. And that leads to ease. And ease would be the inverse of this ease. And then you get into the weeds a little bit of what that means. Good book.

 

Katie: Yeah, it talks a lot about that. Like the stuff that we get programmed with early in childhood that we don’t necessarily choose that becomes part of our…the way we operate, and how these kind of four simple things help you re-anchor and choose a pattern forward that’s not the ones we were just raised with it. And it’s interesting, I read it about once a year as well, and it always strikes me as it’s so simple. And everything in it is largely like common sense. Like you read it, you’re like, “Well, yeah.” But it’s also so profound in its simplicity too.

 

Aaron: Most things are. Most things that are really impactful. Einstein, lots of people have various different quotes along the lines of if you can’t teach it to like a third grade, or whatever they said, then you don’t really understand the subject. And I think that’s if you wind things back, I think that’s why people resonate with your work. That was the function of…kind of the mantra of most of the things that I do is figuring out how do we take these seemingly complex topics, and make them be digestible, meaningful bites that people can integrate into their present moment. I think that’s the case with most things. If there’s something that’s…and this is a really obvious one with like the healthcare system. It’s like if you really wind things back to what the human organism really needs to be healthy and fulfilled, and have adaptability, and longevity, and strength, and flexibility, and all those things, it’s like the list is not that long. It’s like “The Four Agreements.” There’s pretty much four things. Expose yourself…

 

I’m kind of making the four things up right now at the moment. But generally speaking, probably most of the listeners will agree, it’s like, you need to be outside, get adequate exposure to sunlight. Probably be extra bonus points to get maybe the full spectrum of light, including all of the hours, not villainizing any one specific moment, but especially gathering some of that infrared stuff in the morning, around sunset. Having varied temperatures, all this is encapsulated into nature. Just go into the nature, nature will do the thing. You need to have meaningful relationships, and a part of that comes into telling the truth in “The Four Agreements.” Not making assumptions about your relationships, not taking things personally within your relationships.

 

Having purpose. What gives you…what’s the point of you waking up each day? I think that that’s something…it’s like, am I living a life that it actually feels worth living? Or am I just kind of going through the motions? And if I’m just kind of going through the motions, living up maybe somebody else’s dream, or somebody else’s suggestion, or influence, there’s no sustainability and longevity in that. At some point, like the house of cards, it’s probably gonna collapse because there’s just no foundation there. And then suddenly, you go through this midlife crisis thing. It’s the longevity part that I think is really, let’s say, important. I think the only way to have longevity is to keep things pretty simple. And so whatever your four things are, I know that was a wondering way of not really saying anything particular, but the simplicity of…or health is much simpler than what I think we make it out to be, culturally, from a consumer perspective.

 

Katie: Absolutely. And at least that idea of you can get 80% of the way there with those simple, very often three things that go back to, essentially, nature and relationships. And I think it’s easy to get swept into the idea of all these fancy bio hacks, and supplements, and those all, I think, have their time and place, but if you don’t have those foundational things, those things won’t be as effective anyway.

 

Aaron: The one thing I didn’t say is the entirety of my book and podcast, brand, everything it represents is movement. So that’s the part of it. But then movement is actualized in all of those other things. So as you’re expressing out your purpose, as your work, as you’re communicating with your relationships, you’re moving yourself into those relationships. Maybe you go out dancing with someone, your body language, your capacity to have empathy with someone else, that’s a product of being able to kind of move yourself into the position of that person to be able to feel where they’re coming from. Sorry if I interrupted.

 

Katie: No, that’s a great deviation. And ironically…so every year I do something that scares me, which is just part of my getting out of my comfort zone challenge to myself. And this year, it’s dancing, because that’s…it used to be singing, that used to be the most terrifying thing I could think of. So I did that. And this year it’s going to be dancing. So I’m figuring out what that’s gonna look like. But movement…

 

Aaron: Yeah, there’s a…what is it? I think a research from Albert Einstein College. They found that dancing was out of the various different type of mediums of like, crossword puzzles and different kind of like brain games and such, kind of like walking, cold exposure…I don’t know if they did that, but stuff like that, they found that dancing was the most impactful medium within that study that they found to be preventative for dementia, cognitive decline, and things of that sort for elderly. So there’s a lot of variables there. One, dancing, harmonizing your body to music, that’s major. To integrate the way that you’re moving, and all of your appendages and your joints, and finding rhythm to this outside sound coming in, that just is such a complex equation. And then you compound that with connecting with another person. “Now ok, I’m following sound. Okay, now I’m leading the person, or following the person.”

 

It’s so much more complex than just like going…putting some heavy metal music on your earbuds, and just doing bicep curls. Like that dance, it just integrates the parts so effectively well. And then also, the other part of it is like the joy factor, and some more, I think, magical parts of connecting with another person, that we have these isolated research studies that isolate specific factors and variables, and then we…if you read something in “The New York Times” about it or goes on PubMed, you’re like, “Aha, this is it.” I think life is dramatically more magical, and that we kind of contain little isolated parts of it. We try to hang our hat on those parts exclusively. But it’s just an interesting thing, all of the things that we would do that would be specifically brain based, just that act of dance seems to trump the whole thing. So it says, Albert Einstein College research.

 

Katie: Well, that’s an encouragement to do it. Because everything else, like in the chess world, or Rubik’s cube, or brain games, I feel safe in those worlds, and dancing is the out of the comfort zone one. But I think, at least for me, and this might resonate with some people listening, I think it has part to do with having been like disconnected from my body for so long that I feel like it’s like a relearning of how to, like you said, harmonize with the music, or how to connect with someone else, because that requires the body part. And I got really good at the brain part for a long time. And I’m relearning that as part of my post-trauma adjustment.

 

But I think this is something I’ve heard a lot from a lot of people about is that kind of disconnection from the body, and relearning how to get back in our body, whether it be from trauma, whether it be from, for the moms listening, childbirth, which makes your body somewhat…you carry a baby, you nurse a baby, your body’s not 100% your own for a long time. And often I feel like women can get detached from that communication with their own bodies. And I also saw firsthand how much somatic work can help us. Re-integrating with the body can actually help the mental, spiritual side of processing as well. And I think movement is a key here as well. So I’d love to kind of delve into that with you of like, what are some of the ways we can start learning to reconnect?

 

Aaron: I think the first thing…I mean, that’s beautifully said. I think the first thing is being willing to listen to what your body is saying, which sounds like, “Oh, boy,” it’s like woo-woo kind of language, but your body says so much. Maybe you have inflammation, maybe you have some type of irritable bowel situation going on, maybe you have some fuzzy stuff on your tongue, maybe your eyes are bloodshot, maybe your back hurts, maybe you have some joint dysfunction. There’s all of these different things…you have acne, and all the things that you’ve covered so exceptionally well. Your body is on your team. So if it’s communicating something to you that you may deem to be unfavorable, it’s just its way of communication, saying, “Hey, we need to make an adjustment.”

 

So as opposed to coming from a place of, “Okay, we need to you know…” it’s like your your kids. Your kids say something to you that you don’t really…maybe they speak another language, they come back and speak in gibberish. It’s like Mary comes back and she’s going [vocalization], she’s just in a groove [vocalization]. I don’t understand it, it’s annoying, it’s obnoxious. What do we do? Do we cut off little Mary, do we lock her in a room, do we get her meds? What do we do? And then probably a more empathetic, caring, mature parent would be like, “Maybe we spend some time with this habit, or this trait, or with little Mary, and we kind of see what’s behind her doing this thing that seems really obnoxious, and annoying, and inappropriate.” And I think we can do that with our body.

 

And with specific symptomology, in my experience, just going from the lens of kind of actually listening to it, and being respectful to stuff the body is by saying. But then also from a lens of if you’re feeling anxious, or you feel stressed out, and that’s something that I experienced, but some level of regularity. Something will come up, or whatever it may be, that will cause me to have this sensation of like, “I don’t know,” like an anxiety in my belly kind of feeling. Like, “Ugh.” I gotta go, I don’t know where to go exactly, or what to do, or where to put my energy or attention to, but I gotta do something. Or relationships are an amazing opportunity for this to kind of present certain triggers that might make you feel a certain way, maybe anxious, maybe avoidance, any of those things. And so to take those as opportunities, never waste a trigger is what I do, and I think it’s interesting.

 

Take those opportunities and say, “Where do I feel this in my body right now?” So that anxious attachment stuff you might be having with a boyfriend, or girlfriend, or partner, if you…instead of just doing the thing, jumping on Tinder, or sending messages that you might regret, or whatever it may be, actually take a moment like, “What is this feeling that I’m experiencing right now? And is there a location for it in my body?” This gets into like Peter Levine’s work and Somatic Experiencing. Eugene Gendlin is another great resource for this. His work’s called “The Felt Sense,” and it’s going in and feeling exactly…observing exactly where we’re feeling a certain sensation in our body. And that anxiety in their stomach, for example, going in, sitting with it, instead of running around it, sitting with it, saying, “That sensation, does it have a color, does it have a shape, does it have a density, does it have a volume, does it have a sound?”

 

And then from there, once you do kind of create a little bit of separation like, “Huh, that feeling that I was pushing away, and I found it discomfortable so I just kind of shut it out. Suddenly, it’s not the entirety of me, I’m not that feeling. I’m actually able to witness that as like a thing in my body.” And then it’s like, “Okay, well, maybe you can even ask that thing a question.” It is whatever questions work for you. “Why are you here? What are you trying to tell me?” And just being with the thing. And now it’s like, okay, now we’re talking to little Marry, or being with little Marry, as opposed to just shutting it out. So I think that’s more of like a psychosomatic type lens of movement and how to tap into the body. But I think that’s a great starting point.

 

Katie: Yeah. And I think two really important things that you just said is that sitting with it versus judging it, I think often, we’re quick to jump into…any kind of pain, anger, or fear, we’re like, “This is bad,” and place a label on it, and then try to fight it versus accepting it and feeling it often, ironically, helps it pass more quickly. And also, I think language is so important. Like, I often hear people say, “Oh, I am angry, or I’m afraid.” And instead of I’m very…

 

Aaron: It’s like who are you exactly?

 

Katie: Right. It’s like be very cautious the statements that you put behind the words “I am,” because that’s a powerful statement. And so instead of, “I’m angry,” or, “I’m afraid,” “I’m experiencing,” or, “I feel anger at the moment.” Instead of associating our identity with that emotion, like you said, stepping back and separating it. I think, for parents listening too, this is a really helpful thing to do with kids, especially when they’re young. And they’re having trouble understanding when they’re having all these big emotions, it is giving them the space to step back and ask them, help them walk through, “Where are you feeling this? And what color is it? And can we give it a name?” Kids love giving it a silly name, and then it’s now not them. And then they can realize like, “Oh, I’m not this temper tantrum.” And they learn, start to have those tools. And the more clarity with which we can name an emotion, I feel like also helps it…help us understand it, and then let it go when we’re able instead of just lumping everything under one category of anger. It’s like, there’s so many more detailed words to be on that, figure out where it’s coming from, and what it feels like, and where it is in your body.

 

Aaron: Going back to “The Four Agreements” book, that’s Don Miguel Ruiz, that’s his name. He describes this as kind of the stories that we tell our kids, and that we’re told as domestication. And my lens work like a movement realm. The Align method book is…that’s a book that I just…at some point, we’ll probably get into that specifically. A big part of that is domestication more like a movement lens, how the modern world that we exist in forms our bodies to be who we are. It’s like postural perspective. And then that ties into the way we think, and feel, relate in the world. But there’s also the initial domestication of the stories that we’ve learned from our parents, and what’s okay, what’s not okay. And I think that a really…like an elephant in the room within that is, I think, death is something that is kind of a weird, sticky, uncomfortable subject. I think sexuality is kind of like a little [vocalization]. As opposed to it being… And there’s lots of other ones, just different judgments of some people.

 

I remember, growing up, having some judgment around gay people. That wasn’t me. That was the culture that I grew up in. If you see that throughout nature, there’s homosexuality all over the place. Like some percentage, or most creatures around, there’s some expression of homosexuality, tendencies throughout that. Just any of those different stories you get. and then it’s a process of starting to parse out, “Okay, what is authentically me? And then what is me? And what are these domesticated kind of structures that I’ve been formed into? And are these structures to the support of my greater good, or are they limitation?” And we’re continually re-perpetuating all of this stuff with the words that we speak throughout the day.

 

And so if you just start to come back, and start to gain some level of maybe responsibility, or sovereignty around the words that come out of your face, and just have a general…like an audit of like, “Okay, I’m saying my trauma, or my anger. I’m angry, or I’m say,” all of those things. It’s like just taking a moment to reflect and say, “What does that mean exactly?” And I think that that’s…words are just immensely powerful. I’m glad you brought that up.

 

Katie: Yeah, I think it’s a conscious unpacking often as adults, when we work, given some of those beliefs as children. And as adults, we can then get to make the choice to start to unpack them. And that’s the thing I’ve started doing consciously as well as, at the beginning of each year, writing down things I am relatively certain I believe to be true. And then intentionally challenging myself on those things with the idea that, at the very least, I’m going to gain empathy and understanding for people who might have a different viewpoint by researching their viewpoint. And if I’m not right, I want to know that. But it’s like that constant unpacking that’s a conscious process as adults, because…

 

Aaron: The moralistic judgement of right and wrong, I think is a whole book just about that. That we kind of flippantly…we, I mean me and a lot of people flippantly throw around, like, “Oh, that’s right, wrong, bad, good.” No, it’s inherently, objectively it’s true that this idea, or story is that. And, yeah, I think that that’s like…I think unpacking that, and removing the judgment, I think that’s one of the best things that a parent could offer for a child, is no matter what you bring to me, I do not have judgment. I have acceptance of the thing, it might not make me feel…I don’t have to disassociate, bypass, just be like…no matter what you do, I’m like, “Woo-hoo, yay,” that’s not what I’m saying. But this is such as safe space, safe container, this house, our relationship, that there is nothing that you could say or do that would lose that unconditional love that I have for you.

 

And to be able to create that, I mean, that’s just such an amazing place for the physical body to grow, and the mind to grow. If a person feels insecure with their ability to tell their parents, or maybe even tell themselves something, then that will put a knot in the body, in the mind. And then from that point where there was a nonacceptance of ourselves, or a divorcing from ourselves at that moment, because we’re not able…we don’t have…our domestication doesn’t allow us to accept this thing about ourselves at some point, when we were 13, when we were 20, when we were 5, whatever it was. Then your life will pretty much be probably a process of seeking out ways to unwind back at that point, find acceptance, and then move forward again. So the sooner that we can come to a place of no matter what you got, I’m here for it, with myself, with my family, with my friends. Man, what a cool world.

 

Katie: Yeah, I think that’s a huge thing for parents. And I think that’s…I make sure my kids hear me tell them every day, “I love you unconditionally. There’s nothing you could ever do that will change that.” But the other important key is, “And there’s nothing you ever have to do to earn that or increase that. It already is unconditional.” And that was the part I felt like I didn’t fully get. For me, I had to unpack that fear of disappointment. I think a lot of us make it into adulthood with the fear of disappointing…

 

Aaron: Do you think that was your?

 

Katie: The way my parent dynamics were, I was afraid of disappointing them. And so I was super type A in school and always had to…because I got love through achievement. And then I had to learn to unpack that, and figure out who am I separate of those things. And that goes back to some of “The Four Agreements” and learning our inner selves more.

 

Aaron: But I think who you are…I mean, that’s an interesting question, who am I separate from my achievements? How does that question hit you?

 

Katie: That’s what I’ve been on a journey on for a couple years. Because I think the default is to want to answer, “Oh, I’m a mom, and I’m a writer, and I’m…” and to answer with our titles. And if you take all of those things away, I think when you get into Buddhism, or a lot of these other traditions, you eventually arrive with the idea that the true answer to the question of who am I is just that I am, at its core. But I think for me, there were other answers. And it showed me a dichotomy within myself where I had tried to figure out one or the other, and assign myself a label. I realized, no, there actually is a beautiful dichotomy in all of us. And so it was like, I am gentle and strong. And I am fierce and love. I had to learn what are these pieces of me that are not achievements, but that are traits. And that was a long process of meditation and journaling.

 

Aaron: Do you know the original meaning of persona?

 

Katie: Hmm-mm.

 

Aaron: Persona is the masks that they would wear in the…I think it was Greco-Roman, or Roman, or maybe Greek times. I think it was Greek theater. They would wear these masks that these masks to be able to project sound. So they’re projecting essentially their character out into the audience, and they wear their persona in order to project this identity. And then when they get done with the theater, they go back, the villain, and the protagonist, all the extras, and everything, they come back, and they’re all hanging out, smoking a cigarette together, drink some wine. “Oh, cool, masks are off.” It’s like, we navigate the world. You want to have the most well taken care of…like you can worship the persona, you can want to paint it really well, you want to maybe carve it out, you want to get the angles right, project sounds perfectly. And really, materialistically worshiping the persona is so cool. And then within that, acknowledging that this is a mask that you can take off, and now I can put on a mother mask, and now I can put on the CEO mask, and now I can put on debater mask, and now I can put on the victim mask, and now I can put on the villain mask, and wear all this throughout it.

 

But it’s becoming a very meta-physical discussion, like Ram Dass. You can’t have a conversation like that without mentioning Ram Dass. He said, “Who you think you are is vulnerable, and who you are as invulnerable.” And so operating from the awareness that who you are is not that nice, and who you are can’t be burned, can’t be twisted, or destroyed, or any of that. And who you think you are, your motherness can be taken away, your…all of those different things, it’s not can be taken away. It will be taken away. And so investing some level of your bandwidth to that other part, and then also being really effective with the various personas that we wear, and realizing that they are a mask, and I have the fluidity to be able to flip between those different masks. But not…I think this is the Jim Carrey movie, “The Mask,” but I think it probably is what it represents, the mask, if you wear it too long, it can start to consume you. And then you think that you’re the mask.

 

Katie: Yeah, that’s a great analogy. And also recognizing, I would say, that those masks carry…they serve the subconscious in some way. Even the ones like the victim mask, or like different ones that may seem less than ideal, they serve our subconscious, they keep us safe in some way. Another way this…

 

Aaron: It’s like a tool.

 

Katie: Exactly. And so rather than even judging those things as bad, we can recognize why were they here. And for me, undoing some of those was learning to thank them, actually, for having kept me safe and for serving me. Another analogy that has come up for me in some therapy, actually, is the idea of the picture that we paint for our lives. I had a therapist call me out one time when I was having this inner turmoil about decisions. And she made me pause, and she’s like, “I’m gonna challenge you. I don’t think that you actually feel these feelings because you worry about the outcome. Because you have all these things in place where you know that’s going to be fine. And it’s not because you worry about your kids, because you actually know they’re going to be fine. This turmoil is coming because this is not the picture that was painted for your life that you’re supposed to follow. And you’re trying to paint your own picture. And this is the first time you’ve had to do this.” And that’s kind of that also unpacking that childhood domestication, and learning to paint our own picture for our lives. And I think often we don’t maybe have the opportunity to get there until some area in adulthood… Have you interviewed Byron Katie yet?

 

Aaron: Twice.

 

Katie: Okay, I thought you had.

 

Aaron: Yea, I did acra-yoga with her, all the things. It was a very nice experience.

 

Katie: That’s incredible. But I love her questions for that of, “Is this true? I know for sure that this is true. What would it look like if it wasn’t true?”

 

Aaron: Yeah. And then where it becomes, I think, interesting is the physicality part of all this, and the domestication. We wear certain types of personas or identities in the way that we move and express. So if you ever have done theater, or some maybe improvisation, or a stand-up comedy, or any of those things, I know you’ve done, you will place your body in the certain postural patterns in order to suggest or indicate certain sensations or emotions to evoke that in other people, because we have this global international language of, “Ah, these facial expressions mean this. This postural pattern…” If you win a race, the same whether you’re blind, or deaf, or Cambodian, or New Yorker. You get done, you pass through that tape, shoulders back, your vital organs open up, your throat opens out, you might looked up [sigh], and you go to supination with the hand, like everything’s open. I’m in this receiving place, I feel safe, I feel loved, I feel supported. The tribe loves me. And then you finish dead last, and you collapse through the finish line. Unless you had some like really excellent parenting or something, and really truly you’re not attached, and there’s no judgement about what this means, and all that stuff. It’s just a game, first, last whatever it is. But I think there is something really valuable in competition.

 

But within that, the interesting thing is, have we, as a culture, placed ourselves into a position globally, at least in Western culture, into a structural, and I would say, mental-emotional position of collapse? And so when you look at this, it’s like school system. Nothing against school systems, or any kind of institution like that, but before a kid goes into grade school, like kindergarten, what’s a kid do with their lives, what’s a kid’s natural innate biology suggesting to them, like, how do they live? They’re climbing trees, they’re eating poop, they’re running real fast, they’re rolling, and building up a pile of leaves, and splashing through it. They’re problem solving, they might be dancing, no judgment, just music comes on, dancing. And then suddenly, they get placed into this kind of new movement mold, that it’s like, “Well, it’s not okay to do that. You need to be able to sit, and you need to be able to stare into this screen, or into this book, or pass this Scantron test. And you need to be in your little cubicle place, and you need to…we don’t really give you much education around how to set your hips up for balance, and ease, and be able to, essentially, set your physical body up for success.” It’s just kind of like, “Stay in this chair. And if you can’t stay in that chair, then there’s now something wrong with you.”

 

Katie: Yeah, “We’re gonna medicate you.”

 

Aaron: “Now we need to figure out a way to do that.” Medication could be an option, maybe detentions are solution. But it’s just like, “Well, you’re kind of ornery. You seem like you really wanna move. How about detention?”

 

Katie: “We’re gonna let you move less to solve this problem.” Yeah.

 

Aaron: “I know what we’ll do. After school…especially the winter time where now it’s like you have this last little glimmer of sunlight to go out and be able to get energy out, to be able to express, all things that your innate biology has been suggesting throughout the day. Now we’re gonna cut that out so you gotta stay in school a bit longer, sit in that chair a little bit longer. We’re gonna break you.” It’s sort of coming from that lens. And that’s not, I think, the entirety of the school system, or the fault of any single individual. I think, teachers…if you’re teaching, you really care about kids, for the most part. But the system as a whole, I think, it’s like the ship is going…statistically, it’s going in a direction of increased anxiety, increased depression, and increased self-harm, and increased obesity. And there’s a lot of beautiful things in Western culture happening as well. But statistically speaking, if you’re looking at the statistics that I see, it seems like the ship is going towards this direction of dis-ease.

 

And so a conversation, I think, is not abundant enough. And it’s like just the lowest hanging fruit, like this glaring elephant in the room. I like to use glaring elephant, I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s the least low hanging fruit is the way that we’re moving, or the way we are moved in a day-to-day basis. And the solution to that isn’t more workouts, or more pilates, or more whatever. I think the solution is saying to people, “What’s the…” Bruce Lipton is another guy that I’ve done…I think we did just one podcast together. But he wrote “Biology of Belief.” He’s one of the kind of pioneering thinkers around epigenetics and such. But one of the things that he mentioned to me was, he’s working with cells in a petri dish, in order to change the cell, he doesn’t do anything to the cell itself, he changes the culture that it’s residing within.

 

So you change the culture, change the shape of your living room, change the shape of your classroom, change the shape of your work, maybe start to bring some nature in to your domesticated space. Bring more plants in, bring more sunlight in, bring more kind of varied environments, maybe have foam roller on the ground, or maybe put some myofascial balls, or maybe you bring a cool rock into the house, or something, underneath your desk, you kind of step and  you feel different contours. Whatever you do, bring that into your home, put a pull up bar in your doorway so you just naturally are just compelled to reach up and hang off of that thing. Then you’re changing the culture of the individual, and the individual just naturally, organically kind of reshapes to fit in. I just think that’s an interesting concept.

 

Katie: Yeah, and I think a couple important things, there’s…I agree with you. I think teachers inherently care a lot about kids, and every teacher I know is an amazing person, and they care about changing the world in a positive way. Just like almost every doctor I’ve ever met is an amazing person who cares about helping people’s health, and there are still problems with the existing systems.

 

Aaron: Yeah, it’s not…I don’t think it’s a fault of most individuals, it’s the general direction of the system. And I think that another thing that’s happening now, which I would enjoy going deeper in movement conversation, but the other thing, I think, is having it a part of the movement conversation is, are divorcing ourselves from each other, creating separation, “I’m blue, you’re red. I’m vax, you’re no-vax.”

 

Katie: Well, and those are also those “I am” statements that people then let become part of their identity that get in the way of actual relationships in human connection.

 

Aaron: Yeah. And so when you have that disconnection, or disassociation, or separation, I mean, there is value in boundaries. It’s not like we should just become like this aqueous amoeba hole, which maybe I think that’s ultimately what we are, whether we realize it or not. But it does have value to maintain boundaries, and identity, and persona, and all that. But I think something that I personally see lacking in the social media sphere, in the news sphere, is a lack of empathy and compassion, and seeing the world from someone else’s shoes, actually doing a work to do that. And I think when you do that, acknowledging that person that you vehemently disagree with, if you live their life exactly the way that they lived their life, the same parents, same environmental conditions, same age, same astrological, whatever situation, birthday, you would be that person. So when you start to take that perspective of like, “Okay, we’re so much more similar than we think we are different.”

 

And so coming from that place of compassion, I think that that’s it…if we can jump over to like a physical conversation with that. It’s like having disconnection in your body. If your foot’s not communicating with your knee, not communicating with your hips, your spine, and your neck, and your central nervous system isn’t communicating with your enteric system, your organs, and your viscera, and your immune system, and your cardiovascular system, and all these systems, it’s like, suddenly, the cardiovascular system thinks that it’s the king, and the whatever, the lymphatic system is, like they have a war between each other. That’s not a healthy body. So it’s figuring out that integration of connection. I think at an individual level, it’s like, “Okay, what are the solutions for all this? How do we prevent a civil war?” If that’s even a possibility.

 

I think the solution at an individual level, really, honestly, one of the spokes would be having a deeper relationship with one’s own physical body. Because if you feel inherently disconnected in yourself, and you feel kind of like that collapsed state, or you feel kind of disorganized, you feel anxious, you feel depressed, you feel pain, how does that affect the way that you relate to people? How does that affect the way that you show up to that debate, or show up to when your government official is making new policies, and you have this agonizing pain in your back, and you have this anxiety. And so I think the solution for all of us, one of the solutions that is tenable for every single person is to start to deepen their relationship with their own selves. Man, this a pretty spiritual conversation.

 

Katie: Well, let’s go deeper on that. So what are some of the ways people can start to re-establish that connection. I love how you talk about the environment shaping the body. We think we create our environments, but also our environments create us. And the idea of how our posture can signal to our brain, and our mental state, like our certain posture can actually change the way we feel about ourselves. And those are things we have control over. But I feel like for a lot of people, movement kind of just gets swept into the exercise category. And that’s what they think of as movement. And I think there’s so many areas we can all improve within our daily life in reintegrating movement as a lifestyle instead of a thing that we do that’s on our checklist. And you talk so much about this and have such good tools for it. What would be some of those baby steps on reconnecting with our bodies and making movement part of our lifestyle, and changing our environment to support that?

 

Aaron: I mean, the first thing, obviously, right now as we’re recording this, we’re sitting down on the ground like a bunch of kids. So any type of animal primate kid pre-kindergarten, this is how they’d record podcasts. Or healthy flexible dancer, or yogi, or maybe a jujitsu person, martial artist, most of them, for the most part, would be like, “Oh, yeah, let’s just throw some mats down.” So a person that is…they’re running the operating system of flexible, supple joints, with well-circulated bodies, naturally, they’re going to be drawn to spending a little bit more time in those ranges of motion where your hips are going below your knees, essentially. That position, more talk of divorce, has been largely divorced of Western culture as a whole. And so elderly needing assisted living, the number one reason for that is fall risk. You’ve got all the way, “Oh, you’re down on the ground,” and now you can’t get up because there’s such a…there’s a chasm or a distance between your hips, getting them below the height of the knees, and all the way down to the ground. You haven’t done it for X amount of time, and then you can’t do it anymore, because those joints have calcified, and the muscles have atrophied, and it’s just off the table now.

 

So that in and of itself is like, “Oh my God.” If we just continue that process of moving the way that inherently we all have moved forever. You got any culture that’s pretty much not a Western culture, they’re still doing that. And suddenly fall risk doesn’t exist, and pelvic floor dysfunctions is diminished, osteoarthritis in the hips and the knees is not a conversation. It’s just unbelievable how many billions of dollars, and millions of lives that end up losing their own sensation of autonomy and sovereignty could just be re-fulfilled just by making that subtle tweak to say, “Oh, maybe around your home, maybe get some floor cushions, maybe get some Moroccan poufs, get a comfy rug.” Have an area where you’re sitting on this infrared mat thing now, so it’s like it invites you to come down to the ground and just be there. So the culture shifts. Now suddenly, you’re taking your ankles, and your toes, and your knees, and your hips, and your pelvic floor through this full range of motion, because you’ve just changed your environment for the floor.

 

The only thing, like I mentioned would be…this is another chapter in the book, it would be hanging, like introducing some hanging into your daily life. Our shoulders are structured to hang more effectively than the shoulders of monkeys. So you think monkey bars. Monkey bars, a more appropriate name would be ape bars, or more human bars. If you look at the distance of our clavicle, shape of our hands, like this shoulder, no matter what your belief is, whether you believe in creationism, or evolution, or whatever you think, your shoulder is structured to hang off of stuff. And so that’s a really simple one, get a pull-up bar inside some doorway that you walk through with regularity. And just as you go through there, in the book I recommend 90 seconds per day, in total. So that can be like 15 seconds 6 times, wherever you do.

 

And there’s another book called “Shoulder Pain?” by a guy called Dr. John Kirsch, who is an orthopedic surgeon. And he found that…he suggested that 99% of the patients that he was seeing for some type of shoulder impingement syndrome that he would do surgery for could be completely healed, and all the pain and everything reversed, just by going through a basic hanging protocol each day. So if you’re a person that has slouchy posture, or has shoulder pain, or maybe just wants to have better respiratory capacity, better cardiovascular function, that you open…manually opening up space around that torso, and around your lungs, and intercostal muscles connecting your ribs, opening that space up, it changes the way you function at a cellular level. It was this compressed space. Now suddenly, it’s you open up those cells to be able to breathe and circulate. And it literally changes the shape and structure of the shoulder girdle by being in that hanging position.

 

So those would be the two things. And we can keep on going on and on and on. Opening your windows up, getting natural sunlight, open windows up entirely so you’re not blocking out some portion of that spectrum of light. So when sun’s passing through a window, you’re not just getting that full spectrum, it’s blocking out…  the window, it’s blocking out some portion of that light. Bring plants into your house, take walking meetings. If you got a call, do it outside. If you want to get really crazy, take your shoes off,  look at from a bio electric lens. Maybe take your shoes off and particularly be around tree with deep roots.

 

Put yourself in the water, a river, maybe near ocean. Start to integrate natural sounds into your home environment, or work environment, wherever it may be able so you get, play some digital stuff, where you get like a little water fountain feature or something. All of that sends the indication to your autonomic nervous system that you’re safe, you’re supported. There’s no war happening.

 

When you’re around climbing, abrupt noises, things of the sort, our auditory system is continually sending feedback to our autonomic nervous system. It’s just what’s happening in our environment. So if you’re getting the feedback that’s been infused into us for millennia, okay, like the crackling of fire [vocalization]. That sound isn’t very good cracking of the fire impression, but that’s been infused in, and it has been shown to cause your nervous system to calm down.

 

Katie: And there’s like red use of light in the… Yeah.

 

Aaron: So it’s like, I think… So then overlay the kind of cultural predicament that I think that we’re in, if you look at it from a statistical perspective at least. I think the solution that most people look at is what we see in the lobby for billions of dollars of advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs, these kind of more symptom-based solutions. They’re saying like, “Okay, cool, you have this feeling that…whatever it may be, you’re anxious, and you’re fat, or depressed. We have a solution. It’s in this pill.”

 

As opposed to whining back and say, “Maybe there’s a chance that you’re experiencing these situations because you’re so far away from home.” There’s all sorts of interesting things. Like Aboriginals, being out of their place, or Native Americans, or Africans. People, like they’re in their home, they’re in their tribe, their jaw structures are great, their teeth are great, the blood pressure’s great. The concept of killing themselves is like, “What do you mean?” Or self-harm or self-hate? Like, “What is that?” And then suddenly, you take them out, place them into captivity or domestication or whatever, the superior place. And suddenly issues start to manifest. No moralistic right, wrong, good, bad. It’s just I think there’s deeper solutions than just reaching out for a pill.

 

Katie: I agree. And I love, actually, that term captivity for the way we’ve modern domesticated ourselves.

 

This podcast is sponsored by Good Culture, a company making naturally fermented dairy products, including my favorite cottage cheese.  This is a food I loved as a kid and stopped eating when I realized what was hiding in most brands. But my love was reignited when I found Good Culture! It has 19 grams of protein in every single serve cup and is low-carb, keto, gluten-free and gut friendly. They even have lactose free varieties. Good Culture’s cottage cheeses are the ultimate protein-packed addition to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can mix it in with your bowl of oats, spread it on some toast, or enjoy it on its own for a light snack. And if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, try Good Culture’s low-sugar fruit-on-the-bottom cottage cheese. Each cup has fresh fruit in every bite with only 3-grams of sugar and boasts 15-grams of clean protein. Good Culture is a certified B corporation and donates 1% of all profits to support regenerative agriculture.  So ditch your yogurt and head to goodculture.com/wellnessmama to save on your next purchase with a coupon — exclusive just to our listeners! You can also find their products at your local Whole Foods, Sprouts, Target, Publix, Kroger, and other fine retailers. And here’s a hot tip—check out their cultured sour cream varieties while you’re there.

 

This podcast is sponsored by Hiya Health Children’s Vitamins. Did you know that most children’s vitamins are basically candy in disguise — often filled with two teaspoons of sugar, unhealthy chemicals, and other gummy junk growing kids should never eat, with synthetic forms of vitamins. But Hiya is different and is made with zero sugar and zero gummy junk, yet it tastes great and is perfect for picky eaters. Hiya fills in the most common gaps in modern children’s diets to provide the full-body nourishment our kids need with a yummy taste they love. Manufactured in the USA with globally sourced ingredients each selected for optimal bioavailability and absorption. Hiya arrives straight to your door on a pediatrician-recommended schedule. Your first month comes with a reusable glass bottle that your kids can personalize with stickers, then every month thereafter Hiya sends a no-plastic refill pouch of fresh vitamins — which means Hiya isn’t just good for your kids, it’s also good for the environment. Go to hiyahealth.com/wellnessmama and use this link or use code wellnessmama for 50% off – discount applied at checkout.

 

And also, just for people who are watching this to call out a few things, your house is very floor friendly, you all these things to sit on. But you also have…and you have a couch.

 

Aaron: And I have a TV. All this stuff is very…

 

Katie: It’s very balanced.

 

Aaron: don’t need to be this wildly, “Oh, boy…”

 

Katie: Right, you don’t have to throw away every chair you own.

 

Aaron: No.

 

Katie: It’s a both end.

 

Aaron: It’s a both end.

 

Katie: But you also have a rebounder. We used to have one as well as a coffee table, and the kids could just bounce on it. Or we have a gymnastics mat down our hallway, and climbing hangboard in the kitchen. Because it’s like…especially with kids just put the stuff in their way, they’re gonna use it.

 

Aaron: Yeah. And you don’t need another thing to do. You change the environment and you just be.

 

Katie: Yes, I think that’s a huge key. And that’s…

 

Aaron: That’s the key. If there’s anything that this incarnation of Aaron hopefully represents, that’s the thing that I think is the most valuable thing to acknowledge, is like, we don’t need to do more. We can kind of draw back a little bit, make a few subtle shifts, and then just be and see, be able to kind of revel in that change.

 

Katie: And that’s what I love about your approach too, is because you’re not saying you need to do deep back squats with heavy weight, you don’t need to like do 25 pull-ups. You’re saying just hang, which is a natural human movement, or like sit…

 

Aaron: And back squats are great.

 

Katie: And back squats are great, too.

 

Aaron: Love it all. Love working out.

 

Katie: Yeah.

 

Aaron: Getting punched in the face, punched in the face. Love sprinting.

 

Katie: But again, a both end. And for the people who are starting, it’s like if you are experiencing these things, just start with the baby steps, hang. You don’t have to pull-up when you’re hanging at first, just hang.

 

Aaron: Pay attention to your breath. This is something that you were talking about a bit was kind of like, I think, the chaos or complexity of having like so much stuff going on, and finding that organization, and finding just that to be able to come back into what’s really happening right now. Because our mind typically, it’s like [vocalization], it’s going all these different directions. It’s like what is really going on right now? Right now, well, I got some pressure on my bum here, sitting back. I’m engaging with this person that I really appreciate. We’re kind of naturally attuning to each other, whether we realize it or not. And you can tap into that intonement I wonder how’s my breathing pattern? I bet you it’s kind of similar to Katie’s right now. How am I breathing? Oh, I was breathing through my mouth. That’s an indication maybe I’m nervous. Or maybe I at some point learned some type of breathing pattern that’s gonna inherently make me feel more anxious and nervous, and kind of throw up my whole physiological, I was breathing through my mouth. I was feeling a little anxious. I had emphasis on the inhalation, maybe. All these things that we kind of sympathetic drive. I wanna just come back and just notice slow exhalations right now.

 

 

Okay. I feel different. Like just that little instance, suddenly you can start to take control of your physiology, and take control of your mind. And there’s a…I don’t know where this research came from, we can look it up. There’s some research around people doing dishes. And there was two different groups. One group was…they were paying attention to the weight of their feet on the ground, the temperature of the water, the glistening of the sunlight, and plate in their hands, just paying attention. And then the other group was just washing dishes, just getting through doing this work. And the group that just paid simple attention to what the heck they were doing, suddenly, their blood pressure decreases, and they feel like…they do better at creativity tests, and they feel a little bit more calm and relax, just by simply saying, “What am I doing right now?” That question, I think, is just such a powerful thing. I don’t think I’ve ever actually said that or thought about that, but I think that is, “What am I actually doing right now?” It’s an interesting thing. And when you come into that place of attention, I think, somebody can kind of come into like alignment and then things start to change.

 

Katie: Yeah, and that idea of like, how do I signal the body that it’s safe? We’ve mentioned that concept a couple of times in this interview, and it’s things like the breathing, and being present in the moment, and those natural light…nature is a huge signal to the body that it’s safe.

 

Aaron: And how you are using your eyes.. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone where their eyes are too piercing?

 

Katie: Yeah.

 

Aaron: Yea, like what is this person doing? It’s freaking me out. It’s almost like they’re hunting you, in a way. Or there’s…maybe someone, it’s like, they’re too spacey. And it’s like, this person is not paying attention to me, they don’t care. Like, “Well, they don’t care about me, and I don’t care about them. I don’t like this person.” Even that dance of communication with our visual system, we’re sending so much information with our eyes. So not only are we sending information with our eyes…so the reason that a person with that piercing gaze might seem almost like a threat, that’s literally…it’s cuing…their nervous system’s going to be more teed up to be more of a sympathetic drive. More of like [vocalization], get stuff done. Either I’m gonna attack, or I’m gonna run out of the room, or [vocalization]. If you’re out in nature, and you’re just spacing out, taking into panorama, you’re sending the indication to your autonomic nervous system, that’s like, “Oh, man, just taking it all in, I’m chilling.” I had a long inhalation, a sigh. All of that’s tied into makes me feel a way.

 

Suddenly, there’s a mountain lion. All of your attention, your visual attention focuses on a potential threat. And so now, suddenly your nervous system gets queued up to say, “Okay, get ready to do a thing.” So we’re communicating with someone. We’re continually sending information back and forth, but it’s not enough eye contact is a little weird, and too much eye contact can be a little weird. And then also within that, we are communicating to ourselves with the way that we use our eyes. So if you’re experiencing something maybe a lot of people…maybe it’s just me, but notice maybe sensation of anxiety or stress. For me, I don’t like cold plunges or something like that. But the other thing, notice the state of your visual muscles when you’re in that experience of feeling kind of wound up. Probably their little piercing focus type of style of seeing.

 

So the opportunity there is to say, first, it’s bear witness to yourself, like, “Oh, I’m wound up.” Just even in doing that you’re probably relax your eyes. And then from there say, “Okay, cool. I’ve got the tools now because I listen to this podcast, or read this book. I understand how to shift the toggles to make me feel more stimulated, get up and go, or more down-regulated, and calm, and resting, and digesting.” So I can pull the visual toggle, I’m gonna focus in. Okay, now I’m hyped up, ready to go. “Oh, I feel anxious, this is too much.” Okay, space out, take the whole room in. Look out the window and just go [sigh]. Now stack that up with the way that you breathe. Okay, deep inhalation, especially through the mouth. That’s gonna add more of that sympathetic drive.

 

What do you do when you’re afraid? [sigh] Right? Shoulders come up, maybe your hands clasp, maybe your mandible tightens. You take this inhalation. What do you do when you’re calm and relaxed? [sigh] Okay, great. Tie that in, the way that you use your eyes, space out. The way that you use your breath, long exhalation through the nose. You can maybe even stack in a little sigh with that as well. You can start incorporating sound into it. And then say, “Okay, what’s my postural patterns while I’m in this state? Okay, interesting, my shoulders are pretty tight, chronically. I don’t know how to not be stressed. And my solution is either…” whatever plethora of solutions I might have. So check in.  “My hands are clenched. Or my feet are grabbing the ground.” So starting to bear witness to what’s going on there and saying, “Okay, I head in this podcast, or read in this book that that’s probably going to send an indication to my autonomic nervous system to be in that more sympathetic drive state. Okay, shake it out.”

 

And then we’re slowly starting to take control of our physiology and take control of our felt state, just by bearings some witness to ourselves, and understanding the tools to create significant change, as opposed to, if you’re climbing up the wrong ladder, people said certain phrases like this, it might be Tony Robbins, you get to the top of the ladder, and you realize you’re on a wrong ladder. It’s like, “Oh, my god, that’s too bad.” So it’s like, first figuring out do you actually understand how to effectively toggle these levers in your body? And then from there, stacks of intention on top of that, start to pull the levers. Life just becomes this big, amazing experiment.

 

Katie: Yeah, I love that. And…

 

Aaron: Sorry about the ladder analogy. That didn’t really work. You know that analogy?

 

Katie: I have heard that analogy as well. Yeah.

 

Aaron: How does that work?

 

Katie: He ties it maybe to mountains as well, I don’t know, there’s another piece to it. But from a practical level, I think one tip I wanted to make sure I got out of you while we’re talking is, for a lot of the women listening, the majority people listening are women, and especially after having kids, I feel like our bodies get put in a very forward-bent type of position, our shoulders are down because of nursing, carrying babies. And I know I’ve have some hip and shoulder mobility I’ve been working on. So this is a somewhat self-interested question. But other than the things we’ve talked about, just sitting on the ground more, sitting in more varied positions, what are some things we can do to start getting back to more natural movement patterns in hips and shoulders?

 

Aaron: I think looking at the body really from a joint-by-joint approach is valuable, and again, you change the environment than actually…the ground thing was such a huge thing. Something that would be supportive, continuing with the ground conversation. And we can go through some specific exercises as well. But this is a specific exercise that you would just have to be on the ground. It would be…people call it active rest position, where you bring your…especially if your person is pregnant, you could this deep anterior tilt, hyperlordosis, maybe you can starting to open up space for those rectus abdominis muscles. The opposite of that position would be the hips slightly flexed, laying your back, bring your legs up on top of the edge of a couch, or if you just have…if that doesn’t quite work, that’s too high, you can put some pillows up on a couch. Or I have a yoga swing hanging in my house that I can put my knees a bit. And it’ll kind of like traction my low back and my knees. But place yourself in that position.

 

And just have it so that your legs are slightly lifted up so you’re actually create some space. So sacrum ideally, is like a…think of your sacrum like a sailboat. And it’s floating in the ocean that is your sacroiliac joint, your lower spine, all that stuff. So allowing that tide to just be in that position of traction. And you could bring in maybe like a couple little light weights, maybe 10 pound kettlebells or something, drop them down into the space in the front of the hips. And I have all these videos of people…just examples of this in the book. We also have an online program that we can share the link for, and I have tons of free videos on YouTube and such and such. But that’s a really beautiful way just to be in that position. You could do maybe six breaths in that position, maybe little five-minute meditation. Bring in the weight, find any place in the abdomen that feels a little bit like tense. And just allow that weight to gently rest into that space. And use the weight as feedback to breathe into that part of the abdomen that’s been clenching for who knows how long, emphasizing that pressure in around the hips, start to open up like the iliac or muscles.

 

That’s going to be a really beautiful starting point. And from there, as far as a specific weight exercise type example, changing the way that we’re doing sit-ups, and not being just something where you are violently cranking your neck up into some weird dysfunctional position. But from that position where you’re in this position now, keep your neck nice and long. And start to just raise your shoulders, lift your thoracic spine up off the ground, bring your hands on your belly, and just feel that contraction really specifically in those ab muscles. And you’re not crunching your neck up. You’re not doing any kind of this other stuff where you put your body in twisted position. You can put your hands up against your knees, you can put a little block in between your knees, sort of to activate that midline, adductor muscles, but blocking the knees, press that together. You put your hands against your knees, bring your elbows in, nice and tight as well, in towards your body, press the hands against the knees. It’s called dead bug position. It’s reintegrating or reinstating the integrity of the midsection. It’s so valuable for people that for the most part, people walking around with like…it’s sexy to have the Brazilian booty thing. Your butt’s hanging out, it’s kind of waddle-y, but your abdomen is totally just splaying forward. And there’s not a lot of strength or integrity in that position.

 

So those would be…that’s like a really simple…I think I might have explained that decently. But people can check out…like I said, we have videos and such, include links for that, specific exercises. But that’s a beautiful thing. And generally getting into the awareness, the idea is an overarching principle, ribs, talking down towards the hips is typically going to be supported for most positions. So if you have that tendency of really fluttering yourself, like fluttering the ribs, when you are doing anything athletic, pretty much, or just standing in line at a bank or something like that, standing is a complex position. Yoga, Tadasana, Mountain Pose, you can write a book about Tadasana. It’s a meaningful position. And for the most part, something that would help people in general, not just women post-pregnancy, would be to get in the habit of slightly tucking those ribs, just allowing them to rest down towards the hips. And then we’ll create more stabilization and integrity in that cylinder that is your torso. Does that make sense? I know it’s hard to describe exercises, but…

 

Katie: That does make sense. And for people watching, they can see you kind of explaining. And I know you have videos we can link to as well, if you don’t mind sending me links to those specific ones. Those will be in the show notes, welnessmama.fm.

 

Aaron: If you go…I mean, alignpodcast.com has all this links to all this stuff. And in the book, thealignbook.com, I think is what it is, yeah, thealignbook.com. That takes you right to the book. And so almost everything that works, at least from an exercise perspective, is in the book. And then there’s videos that go along with it as well.

 

Katie: Yeah, I’ll make sure that’s linked as well, because I think that’s the one limitation of podcasting is trying to explain somewhat visual and very somatic concepts via audio. But I know you do such a great job in the book. And you also have the video. So I’ll make sure people can find those. But talk a little bit more about the book before we finish up. And just, I know it goes so many other directions, beyond what we could cover in just an hour podcast.

 

Aaron: Yeah. I’m really excited about the book. I think that’s something… Do you have…are most of the things that you’ve created that way, or do you have anything you’re just like full, like, “I love this thing that I created.” Is that most of the books, or blogs, or podcasts, or…

 

Katie: Yes, but I think the more I live and the more I learn, I would still add and change things now. But I think when I created them, I was very much “oh, yes” about them. And still am, I think they’re very helpful.

 

Aaron: Tendency is to come back in five years….

 

Katie: Which is great. That means we’re always constantly learning.

 

Aaron: You’re evolving. But at this point, at this present state, I’m like, if there’s one resource that I would give to someone that wanted to understand how to effectively use their body in daily life, get the most out of their body in the present moment, and then also having longevity, and there’s other relevant conversations. Honestly, truly like that is the absolute function of this book. It’s an aggregation of all of the most meaningful tools that I’ve gathered from doing 370-odd podcast episodes, and working with clients for the last 18 years, and getting to just connect with all these amazing minds that I’m just so humbled and grateful to have access to those people over the years. Everything that I found to be absolutely the most valuable in that timeframe, I put into this book, which I’m so excited about.

 

And the way to describes it is, if you were an alien, you had no idea how to drive the body, you’re just like, “How do I work this thing?” This would essentially be the user’s manual to be able to tap into effective physical mechanics, but then also broaden the conversation of how to start to utilize your senses to touch, and your auditory senses, and visual, the other parts of movement to make you feel even more stimulated, or awake, or helping to down-regulate, or calm down, or go to sleep. I think that’s a really an untouched aspect, not completely untouched, and if you were in, that’s a good research for this Patrick McCuin, there’s a lot of really good resources. But to be able to integrate that physical move, dead-lift, pull-up world with the way that our senses also inform our physiology, to be able to bridge those together and start to integrate them into the way that you show up in conversation, or show up at the gym, or show up in business, or relationship, and acknowledging that you’re moving all day long, and here’s the manual how to do it more effectively. That’s the function of “The Align Method.”

 

Katie: Well, I’m a huge fan. I’ll definitely make sure, like I said, it’s linked. I definitely recommend it. I think it has some super practical tips that also have a lot of crossover with our kids. I think in a lot of ways, kids are great movement teachers, because they do many of the things you talk about naturally. And also, there’s so many good tips that I think when we put these things in our kids way, and we create a better environment, we end up with happier kids. So for all the parents listening, this is a great way to reduce the stress level in your house. And there are some super practical tips, so…

 

Aaron: And your kids…I mean, I would go to you for your opinion on this. But I think your kids care a lot less about what you say than what you do, and who you are. You don’t teach what you know, you teach what you are. It’s tapping the way that you change who and what you are is to start to augment your environment, augment the way that you conduct yourself, live, and breathe, and move, and think when no one’s watching. And then suddenly, when your kids come in the room, and you have some valuable lesson to bestow upon them, they’re like, “Whatever, Dad. What are you doing? Like how do you communicate? How do you sit? How do you stand? How do you breathe? I’m attuning to the way that you show up.”

 

Katie: And that’s literally how babies learn too. So if we do it, they will follow, much more than if we just say it. Absolutely.

 

Aaron: Thanks for doing this.

 

Katie: Thank you for being here. It’s always such a fun conversation. Such a pleasure. And to echo again, you guys check out the book. It’s awesome. I’ve gotten a chance to preview it. Highly recommend.

 

Aaron: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh, I have a podcast coming up with you on “Align Podcast.” So whenever you release this, we can just co-release that so people can continue this conversation.

 

Katie: Absolutely.

 

Aaron: And we’ll do a simul-release on there.

 

Katie: Yeah, check out both podcasts. Also I’ll send people links to your website, and your book, and your YouTube videos. Thank you so much.

 

Aaron: Thank you.

 

Katie: And thanks, as always, to you guys for listening, sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again next time.

 

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Source link

Show More

admin

Makes Noise is a blog where you can find all the juicy details on a variety of topics including health and fitness, technology, lifestyle, entertainment, love and relationships, beauty and makeup, sports and so much more. The blog is updated regularly to make sure you have all the latest and greatest information on the topics that matter most to you.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button