If you’ve hung around the natural movement space long enough, you’ve likely heard of a smart gal by the name of Katy Bowman. She’s a biomechanist… sort of. What she really excels at is highlighting just how little we move (in big ways).
Things like remote car locks, tea bags, and shelled nuts all take movement out of our days. If something is convenient, you can bet that it’s creating a deficiency in your movement diet. And since we can’t all quit the real world and move to a self-sustaining eco-commune (although it sounds like my idea of heaven), I want to share a key concept of hers that has made a radical difference in my life. I want to share with you the idea of “stacking your practice.”
What Does Stacking Even Mean?
Let me demonstrate with a few questions:
- How would your training differ if you could only train with other people?
- How would it look if you could only train outside?
- How might your life look if you only ate after training?
- Or only ate meals with other people?
It’s kind of multi-tasking. But not really. What we do when we stack our practice is find easy areas of overlap to take advantage of. If you think back to a few weeks ago, we talked about the idea of “just do human things”. And that sounds great in theory, but the practice can be a bit tricky.
What we do when we stack our practice is create the conditions that make human things easier:
- Social interaction + fitness = after-work hike in the park with friends
- Fitness + eating better = foraging for local foods, or simply moving before you eat
- Eating better + social interaction = cooking with friends, ideally processing most of the ingredients yourself (e.g., chopping & grinding)
Why You Need to Stack
Ever felt overwhelmed trying to fit in a zillion things on any given day? Yeah, me too. When we stack well, we effectively reduce the number of separate things we have to do and still make beneficial changes in our lives.
You can’t make time. But you can choose how you use it. You can carve out time for the things, places, and people that matter most to you. It’s scary. It’s radical. But it’s what humans have been doing for as long as we’ve been humans.
Your movement practice is a way to better connect to yourself and the world around you. When you stack your practice, it gets immeasurably easier to do the things you love doing—without stressing yourself out on a never-ending list of tasks. All it takes is inviting a friend or loved one into your practice. Give yourself permission to be a good human animal again.
Don’t abandon movement because of perceived risk: