Play as Physical Nourishment with Rafe Kelley

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Do you want to start feeling better?

Yes, Where Do I Start?

Play as Physical Nourishment with Rafe Kelley

Movement is essential for optimum health. Time in nature is also essential and has been shown to combat many diseases. Today we speak with Rafe Kelley who specializes in obtaining exercise from natural environments while replicating key ancestral movement patterns with play-like approaches. This yields a great return on investment because you simultaneously get exercise, time in nature, and play.

If you want help learning how play and movement can help improve your health, click here.
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Rafe Kelly Bio….. 1:21
Movement Nutrition….. 3:20
Movement in Nature….. 9:15
How to Get Started….. 15:24
Concept of Aliveness….. 20:44
Episode Wrap-up….. 38:00


  1. The Tree Climber’s Guide by Jack Cooke
  2. Natural Movement: Getting Started with the Squat
  3. Rafe Kelley Facebook Movement Videos
  4. Evolve Move Play
  5. Rafe’s YouTube Channel
  6. Rafe’s Seminars

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Play as Physical Nourishment with Rafe Kelley

Dr. Michael Ruscio: Hey, everyone. Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio. This is Dr. Ruscio. I am here with Rafe Kelley who I am really excited to have this conversation with because, Rafe, I think you help people with something that I think has potential to yield such huge dividends in how they feel and is something that we harp on a lot. But I’m really excited to kind of expand on this conversation. So, Rafe, welcome to the show. Happy to have you here.

RK: Thank you, Michael. It’s great to be here.

Rafe Kelly Bio

DrMR: Can you tell people a little bit, because I’m sure they’re curious now, about what you do and how you got into that?

RK: Yeah, the easy way to say it is I’m a movement teacher. That’s not a thing to a lot of people. But I suppose it’s growing. I have a background in parkour, martial arts, gymnastics, CrossFit, strength conditioning—a lot of different things.

And what I’ve particularly taken an interest in is how play is our most powerful motivation system to get people moving. So we have a fitness world that is all about aesthetics, that is all about how people look and mostly about body shaming people in order to give them motivation to move.

DrMR: Right.

RK: And I think that it’s really not working. We have more fitness industry than ever before, and yet people are less fit than ever before. So I think we have the motivation wrong. And so I’m very interested in play.

And then I also see play as essentially the best guide to what evolution built in as the capacities to movement that are important for a human being. So it really connects to this ancestral lifestyle perspective. Really, it’s about replicating what the genome of a human being needs.

DrMR: Right. And when you say “play,” I think about two lion cubs learning how to attack or what have you. And they do that through play. And I think we’re probably not that dissimilar. We’re all animals, of course, even though we sometimes think about ourselves as being better than other animals due to our intellect.

I think we have a lot of those same movement needs to kind of nourish our bodies. And I know that’s something that you like to talk about which is looking at movement and play as a type of—I believe you term it like a type of physical nourishment, right?

RK: Yeah, absolutely. I got this terminology from Katy Bowman, whom I am a huge fan of. She talks about movement nutrition.

DrMR: Right.

Movement Nutrition

RK: And essentially, if you go down to the cellular level, the way that we load the cells actually has an impact on the way that the cell itself develops and on the neurohormonal system that’s released by the cell, and all the structures up above a cellular level, all the different systems in the body.

It is literally part of what makes the body work. If you don’t move, the body doesn’t function. And it starts breaking down. And it’s supposed to move in specific ways because of the way that it’s involved.

And like you said, lion cubs like to wrestle a lot because that’s how lions catch their prey. And if we look at species across the world across nature, we’ll see that play is specific to a species and that the things that are inherently attractive as far as play for any species are the things that they’ve always needed.

So lions like to stalk. Any cat likes to stalk and pounce. Any dog likes to chase and play tug of war. And so when we see that human beings everywhere climb and run and jump and play games of tag and roughhouse and dance and lift and carry and build things, those are signals of things that have been important to us through the long term of our evolution. And that makes them much more relevant really to developing as a human being than doing isolated exercises in the gym.

DrMR: Sure. Yeah, and I think, for myself, I can definitely share that I’ve always been pretty driven in the gym. But I think I took that for granted when I was younger because I was always driven in the gym. But I was always playing some kind of competitive sport.

And then the longer I was out of playing competitive sports after I finished college, the more I felt my motivation in the gym start to wean. And I think it was because I didn’t have that other side of movement, of playing competitive lacrosse or soccer or skiing a lot like I used to or a lot of those things.

And as I’ve recently been playing soccer more, it’s a totally different animal, just that type of movement, the competition. Literally, the game part of it just gives you a whole other perspective. So I have definitely found it to be way more motivating to have a game to play rather than just say, “Okay. We’re going to go in and do three sets of 12 reps and then go to the next exercise and do three sets of 12 reps and then go to the next exercise and do three sets of 12 reps and then go to the next exercise and do three sets of 12 reps.” Definitely having play in there I think is going to be a better way for people to be motivated, absolutely.

RK: Yeah, it’s huge. People look at what I do. And they say, “Man, I’d love to be able to do that. But I feel like I need to get fit first.” And I always think that that’s a dead end. We really taught people to put the cart before the horse, because if you don’t find the things that hook you into it and make you fall in love with the process of moving, then you won’t continue with the kind of drudgerous stuff that you need to do to prepare yourself.

DrMR: Exactly.

RK: So I always say find what you love first.

DrMR: Yeah.

RK: Now, the interesting thing about it is if you’re an unfit person who has kind of lived a sedentary lifestyle and you want to go back into soccer, that’s actually a dangerous place to get started. It’s easy to pull a hamstring. It’s easy to sprain an ankle playing soccer.

And our culture is really kind of oriented toward these as our accepted outlets for the play drive in adults, even in children right now. Kids don’t have recess anymore. They don’t get unstructured time. So all their physical activity is getting more and more turned into some sort of structured sport.

And those sports are great. But the problem is that they really rely on a system that’s been built. People should know how to play. People should have joints that operate correctly. People should have good elasticity, good strength before they try those things. So if you go right into soccer, you may pull your hamstring.

But if you can learn how we’re inherently motivated to play in a really broad, diverse way, then we can start feeding people games and interactions that are inherently fun and motivating wherever the level of their body is so we can work them up into these very free and very high intensity games like soccer, like martial arts, like parkour. And that’s kind of the philosophy behind Evolve Move Play.

DrMR: Gotcha. And I think you make some great points and again something that I may take for granted is the fact that I grew up in very rural western Massachusetts where there was a cornfield down the street from my house. And there was a stream through woods that we used to wade up the stream and climb trees.

And probably gave my mother—took a few years off her life with stress, two young boys, me and my brother. But we would climb trees. We would run into the forest. We would swim, wrestle.

And it was more so my brother just beating me up because he was a year and a half older and probably always outweighed me by a decent chunk. So I got my play on the beating end. But yeah, all those things I see could be easily taken for granted if someone didn’t have that base.

And I would, unfortunately, be inclined to think that that’s only getting worse with every successive generation, especially as we just seem to be getting softer and softer as a species. One kid pushes another kid.

And all of sudden, one kid is expelled. And it may not even have been a violent push. It may have just been a little bit of roughhousing. And so I think exactly what you’re recommending is important. And it’s probably going to only grow in importance as we become progressively more deconditioned.

Movement in Nature

And so tell us a little bit about—because here’s what I’m picturing in my head. You have someone listening to this. Here are a couple things I think could vastly help them, and please add anything that I’m not adding to this. But just from a big picture, I know a lot of what you recommend involves very healthy, ancestral type movement or movement that’s in alignment with the way our bodies need to move.

And a lot of this you recommend to do in nature which, to me, is like a triple whammy. You have movement, exercise, time in nature. And I can see if someone can incorporate this into their weekly exercise routine, you’d have healthy movement, which is, I think, both healthy for you from a spiritual or psychological standpoint and from a physical standpoint.

And then you also have time in nature if you can incorporate some of these movements in nature as I know you recommend. Then that to me seems like an incredible almost trifecta, if you will. So that’s a thing I’m most excited about from a big picture point of view.

But can you maybe use this as a jump-off point to help people say, “Okay, this sounds kind of interesting. But what specifically would I do? And how would that look?”

RK: Yeah, so I think it’s really interesting because I worked in a gym for year. And when I first started training gymnastics, I wanted to teach gymnastics just so I could have access to all the equipment and training. So I was kind of a gym rat. And now I can’t imagine hardly wanting to be in a gym anymore. People will invite me to the local parkour gym. And it’s always like, “Well, I could be outside.”

DrMR: Right.

RK: Because there’s this tremendous amount of nourishment that just comes from being in the natural environment that we don’t get from the gym. And when you can only conceive of physical culture as something that happens in the gym, then you don’t recognize what you’re missing basically. I go down to the beach, and I lift weights. But they’re just heavy logs at the beach.

DrMR: Right.

RK: Now, when I’m lifting those heavy logs at the beach, I’m watching the sun set over the Olympic Mountains and over the Puget Sound. And there are bald eagles flying overhead. And there’s a harbor seal there. And there’s a heron that flies down and joins me.

So it’s tremendously nourishing from that sense. And I’m sure you’re familiar with the research on how walking through green spaces has this effect on really improving mood, on improving our ability to exert willpower. There is a tremendous amount of positive effects that come from being in nature.

DrMR: Absolutely.

RK: So I’m a huge advocate of that. So how do you do it? How do you add it to your life? That’s going to depend obviously on the person. If you live in a downtown area without access to a park and you work in a downtown area without access to a park, it’s going to be a little bit harder to do.

But even in city parks that are primarily urban, you’ll find nature there. One of the best parkour spots in Seattle is a place called Gas Works Park. And people go there for the walls and the interesting climbing structures. But there is a bunch of trees nearby that you can climb.

And most cities have trees planted everywhere. And so just getting up into trees is a really good practice for reconnecting with nature that is an enormously effective physical conditioning practice.

If you’re climbing around in a tree, you’re going to be stimulating your upper body pulling strength. You’re going to be stimulating your grip strength. You’re going to be getting a tremendously more coordination-intensive workout than if you’re trying to do something on a pull up rack in a gym.

There’s a book that’s recently been released by Jack Cook, I can’t remember the title of it. But it’s basically about how you can find trees in your urban environment and how much value there is to that practice. It’s like Treetop City or something like that. But I highly recommend people check that out as one practice that they can engage in that takes them into nature.

Myself, I live near a park. So my workouts tend to kind of revolve around a walk in the park. So I’ll walk down to the park. I will climb trees. I’ll practice sort of traditional gymnastic strength activities but in the branches of the trees.

So I’ll be doing pull ups and muscle ups and kips and tuck planches and levers. But I’ll be using the tree branches to give me the access to train those. And I’ll be manipulating the way that I train those so that it becomes—I view all those gymnastic strength elements as actually moments that happen within movement. Just the moments that are most physically challenging to your strength and mobility. And you’ve isolated them.

So for me, a planche is a vault. An L-hold is a vault. They’re moments that happen while vaulting over something. A lever is climbing. It’s about having control in your climbing. So I will change the way that I train those in order to adapt to the natural environment.

And then I’ll go down to the beach. And I’ll run down on the driftwood, run along the driftwood. I’ll lift the driftwood up and carry it and throw it and do anything that you might do with a heavy piece of equipment in the gym—kettlebell swings, whatever it is. And then I’ll swim in the ocean at the end of it.

So that’s kind of like a daily workout for me. And for people who are in the Bay Area, there are a bunch of beautiful parks that have amazing trees for climbing in that area. So yeah, get out there and enjoy it.

DrMR: That sounds fantastic. That is something I’m thinking about going out and doing later today. What about a person who can’t even get into a tree? They don’t have that level of physical conditioning.

How to Get Started

Where would you start someone off? Or what are some things that if people are really new to exercise, they don’t have a good level of conditioning or athletic background—how can someone like that get started?

RK: The first thing that really everyone should do is just walk more. Walking is probably the movement nutrient that we would have gotten the most of in our evolutionary past. We spent a tremendous amount of time walking. I recommend all my clients walk two to three miles a day, preferably barefoot, preferably in nature.

But if you have to wear shoes as your feet are being conditioned, if you have to walk in the city because you don’t have access to nature, just walk. It’s really important for you. And it will help someone who’s really unfit become fit.

Once you are progressing past that, the place that I tend to start people with is just interacting with the ground, getting comfortable with the ground. So this is what I call ground flow, low-gait movement. I take influence from Capoeira, from parkour, from Systema, from modern dance and kind of meld these things to get people to really be able to move close to the ground.

This is another thing that a human being would have spent a lot of their time doing in the past. We didn’t have chairs. We didn’t have couches. We didn’t have beds. So we slept on the ground. We toileted on the ground. We ate on the ground. We worked on the ground. So we would have spent a tremendous amount of time moving between different sitting postures and lying postures close to the ground.

So once you start moving around in that area, you’ll find that it’s very easy to find the missing pieces of your own physical ability—all your mobility limitations, all your strength limitations. They come out really quickly when you’re close to the ground. This is what yoga—a lot of yoga poses—people find them challenging because they don’t spend any time really close to the ground outside of that practice.

It’s really important for our health as we go forward because we have this epidemic of falling of elderly in this country and really with everybody, in my opinion. People are very unsafe at falling because we don’t have a good relationship with the ground.

So I have a video coming out this week where I talk about one of the basic things that you can do is some drills starting from a deep primal squat. So drop down into a squat and start playing with—what are your options to move from there? How can you move from a squat to various sitting postures, to lying down, back to a squat? You can play with trying to track an object or track a variety of objects like targets in your environment. Point at them and just let the pointing of your hand move your body around. You can throw out a bunch of objects on the ground.

I like to try to get a lot of movement from my daily life. I look at movement as something you can incorporate and stack into your whole life. So one thing I’ll do is—I have two young children. And they make my house messy. So every time that I’m picking up their toys, that’s a movement opportunity. That’s a chance to explore the different ways that my body can squat and kneel and transition between these positions. And so instead of it being, “Oh, another drudgerous task,” it becomes a way to engage and actually play and have fun with my body.

DrMR: Yeah, that’s actually a really—I can see that if you just reframe that a little differently, it could go from a drudgerous task to something that’s kind of fun.

RK: Yeah, and I work—if it’s possible, I try to get everyone who I work with to stop working in a chair but rather to work either standing and sitting on the ground. So standing desks are good. But standing for a really prolonged period of time is not healthy for the body either.

Sitting for a really long time isn’t healthy for the body. They’re both bad. There are all these orthopaedic injuries that come from industrial workers. So going from just the chair bound to being just a standing desk, it’s not enough.

So really ideally, you should set up your workspace so you have a place where you can stand and work and a place where you can sit on the ground and work. And as soon as you’re sitting on the ground with nothing supporting you, you’re going to find that automatically, you’ll move a lot. Your body is not going to be comfortable to sit in the same posture that whole time.

DrMR: Sure.

RK: Really a constant sort of mobility stimulus to you while you’re sitting close to the ground. So I’ll move between a cross legged sit to a straddle sit to kneeling, half kneeling, figure-four, squatting. All those postures will come out as I’m just sitting on the ground doing whatever work that I do. And that’s tremendously developmental for your hips, for your feet, for your ankles, for your physicality.

DrMR: I like it. And we’ll grab a link to that squat video and include that in the transcript.

Concept of Aliveness

And do you have other videos on the internet or on your website where people can watch some clips like this and get ideas for specifics?

RK: Yeah, so a lot of my videos now are more of what I call aspirational videos where they show kind of the high end of the practice—me jumping from one side of a waterfall to another or climbing a tree really fast. But we’re starting to put out more content that’s about just the little things that people can do in their lives to make things better.

So I put out a video actually on the topic of how I practice just moving in my house while I’m just doing my daily tasks this week. So that’s available. So people go to my Facebook page, Rafe Kelley Movement. They can subscribe and see all my videos.

My website is And a lot of it is there, as well. And my YouTube channel. So, yeah, there’s a lot of video out there. Right now, most of it will make you go, “All right. That’s looks awesome, but I’m not sure if I could do it.”

DrMR: Yeah.

RK: But we’ll be putting our more and more stuff that will be stuff that you can do right now.

DrMR: Good because I would imagine a lot of this is—you can only tell so much with me at the show a lot of it, I’m assuming, for people. So good. And it will probably be from the time that we record this to the time it goes out will probably be a month. So hopefully, there will be even more videos in there for people to just watch and get some simple ideas for—

RK: Yeah.

DrMR: “Hey, okay. I can walk down to the park today. And I can incorporate this and that and make a whole workout of it.”

RK: Yeah, absolutely. And we’re working on that.

DrMR: So what else? What other cool insights regarding movement as nourishment can you offer people?

RK: Oh, man! That’s a big question. For me, it’s huge. There are so many ways that we can as far as talking about movement. One of the things that I really like is this concept of aliveness. I’ve talked about this a number of times. But essentially, I originally got this idea from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach, Matt Thornton.

And he looked at a lot of traditional martial arts and saw that they tended to practice without any free play or with very little free play. And he defined the arts that seemed to work really well, like Muay Thai and boxing, as having aliveness which was that, at some point in your training, you had to deal with somebody else’s rhythm, timing, and energy.

What I started to see that as is basically how many variables can you deal with in your training situations? So whenever we’re trying to refine a skill, we can take things down to a very few variables in trying to refine what we’re doing. The problem is when we don’t go and then try to express that ability within a really high variable context, it tends to be—it doesn’t transfer. We don’t get good transfer from very simple to situations to abilities in very complex situations.

DrMR: Right.

RK: So most of what people do in their physical culture right now when they’re doing bicep curls, when they’re doing just running on a treadmill, they’re really not creating this adaptable, resilient, overall human capability. And so that’s one side to it. Basically, your training shouldn’t just be about more volume or more intensity in the same very simplified context. This is my big criticism of CrossFit.

They build work capacity. But they don’t build the capacity to work efficiently through a broad spectrum of modalities. It’s supposed to be across broad modalities. But if you can’t fight and you can’t run on weird terrain and you can’t swim and you can’t go through interesting environments, then you’re taking all the complexity out. And complexity is really—it’s king.

The interesting other side to that, which has become really important to me, is that—what I find is when you’re kind of on the edge of the variables that you can adapt to, when you’re pushed on a lot of different fronts, those are the moments when you end up feeling most deeply alive as an internal state.

Early on in my practice, years ago, I had a fight with my wife. And we just kind of had an argument, but we got really emotional. And we had been planning to go take a walk. So after the fight was over, we decided we were going to go take the walk anyway even though it was starting to get late.

So we drove down to this beautiful beach near our house. And on the way there, it went from sunny to raining with sleet coming down. And so, we got out into the woods. And it’s twilight in the woods. And there’s rain and sleet falling on us. And I just had this overwhelming emotion come up in me. And I felt like I hadn’t processed it, so I needed to just run.

And so I was like, “I’m sorry. I just need to run.” And so I just started running through the woods. And this beach is basically this sandstone cliff over the ocean. And so I end up, up on top of these cliffs running and jumping over logs and sliding in the mud like with a 40-foot drop on one side of me.

And I was so present in that moment and so alive. And that’s what I realize more and more is what I’m truly trying to give people. More than the physical ability, more than anything else is that sense of being here in the moment.

One of the things that I’m playing with right now is cold immersion. I’ve been going into the Puget Sound every day all winter long. And what I like about it is that it takes my time horizons and basically shrinks them to the most incredible concentration in the moment. It’s an incredibly powerful training in mindfulness.

DrMR: How cold is the water right now, this time of year?

RK: This time of year, it’s about 53 degrees.

DrMR: Yeah, that’ll wake you up.

RK: So yeah, it’ll wake you up. But I was doing it in the middle of December too. I actually really almost enjoyed it more at that time of the year. It was cool because I got to hit the sunset. Right before I’d go and pick up my kids, I’d be in the water. And I’d be there while the sun was setting.

So watching a sunset is really beautiful. But a lot of times in our lives, we don’t have the kind of attention span to pay attention to something that happens on kind of—there’s not enough drama and tension compared to all the media that we feed ourselves.

So we’ll see a sunset. We’ll be like, “It’s beautiful.” But we’ll rarely take the time to watch the whole thing. But when you are in this really cold water and you’re sitting there and you’re seeing it, it’s so much more immediate and so much more powerful.

And it’s really interesting. I hardly ever watch TV anymore. And I feel like I’ve trained myself to be really rewarded by these other things in my life. And so you start to be able to pick up the nourishment that comes from watching a sunset that’s really different from the nourishment—in a lot of ways, it’s like the difference between junk food and real food, right?

DrMR: Sure.

RK: If you eat a lot of Twinkies, you don’t appreciate the deep flavor profile of broccoli or asparagus.

DrMR: Right.

RK: But when you take away the Twinkies, all of a sudden when you have the right type of hunger, when—if it’s a thing that your body needs, you can really be amazed by the flavor of well-prepared asparagus. And it just fills you up. And you’re like, “Wow. That was so good.”

DrMR: Yeah, I think you make some really good points there. I was recently—I went down to a park in Oakland, nearby where I live called Joaquin Miller Park. And it ended up pouring rain. And we decided we’re still going to go for a walk in the woods.

And it actually amplified the experience in my opinion probably by a factor of 10. I’ve always like running in the rain or things like that. But just being in the woods and then having it rain and smelling that smell of dirt that just had become really moist. And it gives you that very characteristic scent—just a really, really rich experience. So I totally agree that I think it’s good to get in nature even if it’s sometimes a little socially less via the norm. I think that can actually really enrich the experience.

And to your other point, I totally agree that it’s important to just try to simplify your environment so that you can appreciate the simple things. And as you were sharing your example of the sunset, I was thinking about the other night. I like to watch—I don’t do much TV, but occasionally, I’ll watch a show like The Prophet which is all kind of on business analytics.

And I find it interesting. And I just decided, “Hey, I’m just going to light a couple candles and listen to some jazz music and just sit on the couch and relax.” And that, to me, just felt 1,000 times better than anything I could have seen on television.

But it takes a little bit of a shift to get out of that mode of, “Okay, it’s relax time. Now, let’s watch TV” or whatever it’s going to be—watch our favorite show. But once I—it’s almost like a little switch flips in your brain. And once you just switch into this mode of—I don’t know—what feels like stillness to me, you can really appreciate how beautiful something like a nice piece of jazz is or a nice sunset is or whatever it is.

And it’s almost like that—I think it was Deborah Gordon, who was on the podcast a couple weeks ago, was saying, “Everyone should meditate once a day except for those who are really busy and have no time. And they should meditate at least twice a day.”

It’s almost like the busier you are, the faster you’re going, the more you need to take that time to slow down because you need to flip that switch and kind of get yourself to appreciate the simple stuff like nature around you. So yeah, I totally agree and think it’s important to gear down like that.

RK: Yeah. I’ve always wondered why people do movement. What is ultimately that’s motivating someone to do parkour, someone to anything? And everyone’s always—within martial arts, within parkour, people were always arguing about what’s effective, what are you going to do.

And then you would see that their practice often didn’t look like the ideal of what they were talking about. So if you were a martial artist, you were training for self defense. If you’re doing parkour, you’re training to reach your escape in a dangerous situation. And yet, most people don’t do that. And that’s fine, I think, actually as long as people are honest about what they’re doing, because I think ultimately what really motivates people to engage in physical practice is a subjective state of mind. It makes you feel better. That’s ultimately why we do it.

And really, most of us in the world are—really we’re motivated by this internal feeling of feeling good versus not feeling good. So subjective mind states are really important. And I have become very interested in how we create that through movement. But it’s not just movement.

And in a sense, if we think about movement as a bunch of nutrients that we are missing from our lives in the modern world, you can also look at mind states as nutrients that we’re missing. If we’re always in a work mode, in a creation mode, in a slightly stressed mode, that’s a specific kind of cognitive frame, specific neurohormonal framework that isn’t necessarily what our brains were designed to be in all the time.

And at the same time, the media that we consume, that’s also not necessarily what our brain evolved for. I have this analogy of stimulation versus nourishment. My friend, Stephanie, whom I believe you are familiar with, she said, “What the food industry has done is they have divorced flavor from nutrition.”

So if you want the stimulation of sweet and bright colors and specific flavors, you don’t need to go to fruit anymore. You can get candy. But candy doesn’t have the water. It doesn’t have the phytonutrients. It doesn’t have the flavor that fruit offers. So the nutrients are gone.

And when I look at the whole world of late capitalism, it seems to me like one of the most effective ways to win in the game of capitalism is to create a product that’s really rewarding down some ancestral pathway in the brain that doesn’t deliver the same kind of nutrition that we had.

One of the biggest examples is social media. Human beings are social creatures. We need approval. We need praise. We need prestige. We’re constantly gauging where we stand in the hierarchy and looking at who’s at the top of the hierarchy of our community.

And what social media does is it basically gives you a chance to get a little, very concentrated, very obvious dose of approval. So every time you get a like, every time you get a notification, it’s sort of like the button that a mouse hits in an experiment to get a shot of cocaine. It’s a shot of dopamine.

And so we’re conditioning—we’re all of us conditioning ourselves to need that hit. And I do my work through social media. It’s awesome that I have this power to reach so many people, that I have this community that reaches across the world. But because I rely on it so much, I become very aware of how conditioned I am. I’ll be driving in the car, and my hand will reach into my pocket and pull out my phone without any conscious volition at all.

DrMR: Right.

RK: That’s deeply operantly conditioned. And that’s not healthy for us. Social media basically has divorced social approval from actually getting in front of other people and experiencing the full spectrum of human communication.

DrMR: Yeah.

RK: Fitness is about divorcing aesthetics from function. Pornography is divorcing sexuality from relationships. Over and over again, we can see this relationship. And what I’ve found in my life is that the more that I can find ways to kind of step away from hyper stimulating products and go back to the traditional nourishments, the happier I am as a person. I more embody the more present I feel.

So when I feel the need to check in on my phone, if there’s a way that I can let go of that and be more attentive to my wife, be more attentive to my children, be more attentive to the environment or the people around me, ultimately even though you go through those periods of boredom, even though there are also those irritations with the people, you end up feeling a much more profound sense of satisfaction. You can be stimulated on the internet for hours and hours. And at the end of it, you just feel kind of buzzy and have no really deep satisfaction.

DrMR: Right. Totally agree.

RK: You’re just toing from Wikipedia link to Wikipedia link. And it shuts your brain off from having to talk to itself. But it doesn’t actually feed it anything really.

DrMR: I think that’s well said. That divorcing theory is actually really interesting. I hadn’t thought about it in that context. But when you do think about it like that, I think you’re really onto something there because it makes a lot of sense.

Episode Wrap-Up

So you’ve got your Facebook page. You’ve got your website. You’ve got videos there. You have more coming. Is there anything else you want to tell people about or any other places where people can kind of track you down? And please give your Facebook and your website one more time. And we’ll have the links in the transcript. But anything you want to tell people about?

RK: Yeah, absolutely. So I have a series of seminars coming up in Europe right now. So if you have any listeners in Europe, I’ll be teaching in Copenhagen, Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Gothenburg. And then I’ll come back. I’ll be teaching outside Boston in July with Tom Weksler and Shira Yaziv and a bunch of really amazing people in the movement community. And then I have my big summer seminar in August, Return to the Source. And then in the fall, I’ll be visiting Australia in October and November.

People can subscribe to my events on my Facebook page and on my website. And they can also jump onto my newsletter to be able to come and experience this in person. And we always go over all the movement stuff. We talk about the lifestyle. We talk about preparing the body to be able to do these things at all my seminars.

I will be creating online courses for people at some point this year. It’s in the works. It hasn’t been developed yet. I do offer online coaching. But currently, there’s a wait list for that. If people want to get on the wait list, they can get on the wait list. But we won’t be taking anybody on until July.

DrMR: Gotcha. Busy guy.

RK: Yeah, yeah.

DrMR: All right, my man. Well, make sure to also shoot me a note next time you’re going to be in my area teaching because I definitely want to try to drop in for one of your seminars if I can.

RK: Yeah, absolutely. I should be there in October.

DrMR: Sweet!

RK: So I will hit you up about that soon.

DrMR: Yeah, count me in.

RK: Awesome.

DrMR: Well, cool. Well, I will let you go climb a tree or do whatever you’re going to do. And you’ve motivated me to incorporate that into my afternoon today and hopefully people took a lot from this call. And thanks again, my man. Until I see you again, which will probably be at Paleo f(x).

RK: Oh, I won’t be at Paleo f(x) this year.

DrMR: Aw, darn. All right.

RK: I’ll be in Europe teaching.

DrMR: Gotcha.

RK: But yeah, hopefully, I’ll see you in October when I come down there. If you’re in Seattle, hit me up.

DrMR: For sure.

RK: Yeah, awesome.

DrMR: All right, my man.

RK: Talk to you later.

DrMR: Well, thanks again. I’ll talk to you later.

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