Notice how the baby's knees are bent in a wide stance to
allow his pelvis to settle comfortably between his legs.
The holidays are upon us and ‘tis the season for cooking, cleaning and entertaining. You may find yourself especially reliant upon your body as you enjoy the added festivities. We want to help keep you safe and healthy with some seasonal posture tips!
Whether you are baking dozens of cookies or wrapping bundles of presents, your shoulders may feel uncomfortable if neglected. Firstly, assess your surroundings. Whatever your task, ensure that it is within comfortable reach. Read more
Eating is an essential part of life and can also be a delicious, healthy, and pleasurable experience. But for many people, sitting down for a long, leisurely meal causes tension and pain. Have you ever found yourself considering going out to eat and having second thoughts because you know you are going to be squirming in your seat before the end of the meal? We at the Gokhale Method Institute believe that dining can be a delectable experience for all of your senses. Here are a few tips on how to stay pain-free while dining:
Stacksitting is a comfortable and healthy way to sit down for a meal. Find or construct a wedge for your chair—a sweatshirt, jacket, or scarf will do. At home, you may want to have a folded towel or blanket handy in your dining area for this purpose. When you don't have a wedge, you can use the edge of the chair like a wedge. Position your legs slightly... Read more
You’re on a long hike, and it’s been a while since you began. Your surroundings are beautiful, and you want to take a moment to soak it all in. But, there’s nothing nearby to sit on and the ground is damp. What do you do?
Resting up for the next all-out effort.
The best restorative position I know for these situations is the isometric resting position that includes hip-hinging to park your hands on your knees with straight elbows. Steps to relief: hinge your back, place the heel of each hand on its respective knee, lock your elbows, permit your shoulders to hike up in a slack manner, relax your belly, let your pelvis nest between your legs, and rest. This resting position counterbalances some different parts of your body and requires almost as little muscular effort as reclining in a chair or... Read more
Studying and teaching yoga has been part of my life for several years. However, after learning the Gokhale Method, I approached the well-known yoga posture “downward-facing dog” (Adho Mukha Svanasana) in a new way.
Hip-hinging with my even spinal groove visible — GOOD! Image courtesy Cecily Frederick.
In the Gokhale Method Foundations Course, I learned how to hip-hinge and keep my spine from flexing when bending. I wanted to maintain about the same spinal shape in my “downward-facing dog” pose as I had learned when hip-hinging. This spinal shape, with an even spinal groove from the lower to the upper back, meant that my... Read more
My students sometimes lead me to particularly juicy nuggets that enrich my understanding of posture-related practices in other cultures. Sometimes they simply send me a link to an article; sometimes it is an introduction to a special person. Recently, my private Gokhale Method Foundations Course student Alpana informed me that her friend had a visitor I might be interested in meeting. She was right.
Two days later, my daughter Monisha and I showed up at Nirmala’s host’s home in Saratoga. I was immediately struck by the woman’s presence, regal carriage, slender and strong frame, and sparky energy, especially for a 60-year-old. Nirmala does traditional Indian baby and post-natal massage on newly delivered babies and their mothers in Surat, India. She speaks no English. Thanks to Alpana’s fluent Marathi and my broken Hindi, I was able to communicate very effectively with her.
If you ask Joan Baez what keeps her in good enough shape to do worldwide musical tours at age 78, she will hand you a little brown card that says “Esther Gokhale, Creator of the Gokhale Method.”
My wooden business card.
Joan has used various kinds of bodywork throughout her career. Music tours invariably involve bumpy bus rides, late-night performances, uncomfortable beds, and other challenges to the human frame, and Joan, like most seasoned musicians, has experienced her share of neck and back strain. Joan lives in California, the mecca of massage therapists, chiropractors,... Read more
Harvesting rye with scythes in early twentieth-century Lithuania. Original photograph Balys Buročas, 1923.
The Gokhale Method has improved my understanding of how posture correlates to our health and physicality. The method is based on healthy body architecture and has been informed by movement patterns from populations without back pain, those shared by our ancestors worldwide. This inspired me to take a look at my own forefathers in Lithuania, especially their posture while laboring in the fields.
Memories of my youth I was born and raised in urban Soviet... Read more