Book Review | Alignment Matters by Katy Bowman

Posted on October 15, 2013


If there’s something you initially dislike – let’s say, ‘eating broccoli’ – but there’s a likelihood that you’ll be negatively impacted BECAUSE you don’t like it (& thus, avoid it), I generally take the mindset that you should suck it up & figure out a way to like it anyways. Especially before your progress gets hamstrung by it. Maybe you’d rather off-load your broccoli to the dog, but I would say that you’re a grown adult (or even if you’re not), sort it out and make it work. You don’t have to L.O.V.E. it but you aren’t benefitted by avoiding it entirely either.

But I’ve got a confession to make. When it comes to certain parts of the technology side of my work, I hate it. I don’t really ‘get’ it, I’d just rather give it to someone else & never think about it again. It’s my broccoli. But the reality is that there’s good-for-me components to following through and ‘eating my broccoli’, ie understanding the technology side of my business. And having a lack of understanding about it definitely would hamstring me at some point. So how do I take care of this? I found someone who can explain things in such a way as to make them sensical in my mind, who can guide my focus & walk me through the steps I need to take to improve my technology skill set, and who is patient with my dumbness on the subject. And slowly but surely, I learn. And I apply what I learn. And I build my capacity to take care of my technology. Just like you’ll learn to like broccoli & reap it’s superfood benefits.

Katy Bowman’s new book, Alignment Matters, does exactly this for folks who are experiencing the common* breakdowns of the human body that they are either ignoring or just don’t know how to handle. It’s not normal, or optimal, to have a chronic pain in your neck and shoulders. It’s not normal (& definitely not optimal) to develop pelvic floor issues as you get older. But it can be challenging to figure out what to do about these & other body break-downs. I mean, have you noticed how vast the internet is these days? There’s a gazillion (+/- a few) sites to look at for any issue you want to search about.
*common – not normal – but seem normal because they are so common.

So, do you really have to sit down & wade through all the research yourself and give yourself a degree in the human body to figure it all out? You don’t want to ignore it because you may be doing yourself future harm by ignoring right-now breakdowns, but I can just see you making the ‘yuck’ face at the idea of having to give yourself a degree in the human body just to figure it all out.

Ok, giving yourself a degree in the field is out. But what if you don’t have a place to go work with a specialist in-person, who IS educated in the field, like folks do at ProKine or at Katy’s Restorative Exercise Institute in CA? You need a way to get the knowledge you require, in a way that’s understandable to the non-specialist, with a guide who can walk even a novice through, and it would be nice if the whole process was fun too. Alignment Matters does all these things…with a heavy emphasis on the ‘fun’ part, and for how science-y the human body can get, a shockingly good focus on the ‘understandable’ bit. The book is a collection of all the things Katy has written on her blog, Katy Says, from 2007-2011, organized into various sections making it approximately 1000x easier to find what you need for your specific issue. Not to mention, the host of instantly-actionable things she gives you to do to start fixing your issue.

Maybe it’s because I geek out on the foot and how important it is for optimal human movement, but the fact that she opens with “Feet & Shoes (& what gets stacked on them)” made me all kinds of happy. And I was able to apply what I learned from that section to my clients in the gym the very next day. {Trust me, you need to be paying more attention to your feet than you currently are.}

Now, I get it. Some folks aren’t going to buy a book like this. Or if they do, they won’t get around to reading it. I totally get that. They’d prefer to have someone who lives & breathes this stuff daily to teach the important parts to them, rather than diving into it themselves. If that’s you with regard to your sub-optimal body stuff, that’s cool, just so long as you’re doing *something* to take care of it. I just wanted to be sure you knew that you have the option to study up on it yourself with Katy’s excellent new book. It’s available now in e-book format, as well as handy soft-cover so you can tatter it as bad as I’ve tattered mine in the 2 weeks I’ve had it. 🙂

Aligned & Well book

There are no less than 6 bookmarks in this book right now.

Posted in: fitness