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Engaging in the Ecology of Your Body:

Friends, it is springtime. This month, we get to celebrate Earth day. During this time of year, I get to watch monarch caterpillars munch up all of the milkweed we planted in the fall and the Japanese maple that is in front of my bedroom window grew a complete coat of luscious bright green leaves seemingly overnight.

This month, I have stewed and soaked in the movement science research specific to growing healthful bone, and I will publish mu further posts specifically about that topic.

But I wanted to write first about the process that I am coming to understand as the Ecology of the Body.

Within natural environments, ecology is the study of how species and non-living factors interact to support an ecosystem. You may remember studying food chains and pyramids in science? All that jazz is the beginning of an ecological underpinning.

Ecological study and action invoked terms that are at the heart of what we, as a Mindset + Movements community, are engaged with.

Terms like- antifragility, preservation, conservation. These are all terms that can be applied directly to both the natural environments my friend who studied fish ecology engaged with, and our actionable work with our physical bodies.

Bone, muscle, neurons and also gut parenchyma, cilia within our bronchioles, connective facia cells- all of these cells inter-are- not only with one another, with the environment that we expose them to (including how we move) and with the natural world we live in. In a very real way, we are affected by all elements, and our actions (and thoughts) deeply impact the function of our internal environment.

Like any ecological movement, I strongly suggest our focus be on preservation of our function, adaptation and also making our systems less fragile- more robust and resilient to challenge.

We will use the topic of bone this month to continue our reflection on the adaptability of all of our living cells. Though it seems like a boring old inert frame, I promise you your bone is cracking, remodeling, producing marrow- all below the level of conscious awareness. Gravity (our external environment), is a force that has helped to shape and fortify our bone- and when we are unconscious of how to work within it’s framework, it can impose a danger to our bones.

But there is hope! The nature of our body is, like the natural world, highly adaptable. We are not infinite but can work with the forces around us to help fortify and grow our bones, making them more resistant to mechanical forces.

When we engage with our bodies through the lens of ecology, we become acutely aware of what an active role each of us plays in our own internal environment and the preservation of each of our important tissues. We can really know that very directly, our physical bodies are an extension of the physical earth.

Wishing you a wonderful start to this earth month, may every month allow you to move ever deeper toward your understanding of your own antifragile and adaptable nature.


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