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Gokhale chair

jenalfson
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Gokhale chair

I recently purchased the Gokhale chair and am having difficulty getting it to work for me.  I took foundations class 2 years ago and am a huge Gokhale fan, practicing this method has changed my life and I share with others often. So, I feel strange saying that the chair isn't working for me, but it isn't, and I can't seem to figure out why.  I've tried everything and have re-read the sitting and inner corset sections of the book.  I still can't figure it out for sure, but suspect that it may just have too large and too firm of a seat for me.  I'm 5'2" and spend 8 hours on a computer at a desk all day, so long-term comfort is key. The 100 year old antique chair I've been using the past 2 years with my Gokhale modifications like a wedge is far more comfortable and has kept me pain-free, but the Gokhale chair causes pain when I sit in it.  One problem I'm having with the Gokhale chair is the depth of the seat, when I stretch sit my feet don't reach the ground, and it causes my lower back to hurt.  My old chair was fine because the seat depth is smaller, allowing my legs to angle down and hit the floor.  Also, the large depth causes the edge of the chair to hit the bend in my knee and lower leg, putting pressure as well.   When I stack sit, the firmness of the seat starts to hurt my upper leg, as it's quite a bit of pressure over several hours.  So, both sitting techniques are causing pain.  I would think it's all me except that my old chair has worked great for 2 years with no pain at all.  I purchased the Gokhale chair because I wanted a chair that works that is also professional looking (unlike my old antique chair!).  Anyway, I have hope of making the Gokhale chair work for me, but I think I need some help with it.  If I still can't get it to work after some help, then I think I'll need to return it, unfortunately.  Can someone help me figure out if we can make the Gokhale chair work for me?

एबेजा जुडी Hummel की तस्वीर
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Oh no!  We need to figure this out, as we do call this the "pain free" chair.  It is difficult to troubleshoot online, so if there is a teacher in your area, we may need to call in reinforcements.

In my experience, there are some people who are too short for the chair, even in its lowest position. Try putting a block or folded blanket or something under your feet on both while both stretchsitting and stacksitting, and see if this helps. (Do remember to maintain the external rotation fo the leg).

I am going to ask Esther directly to help us troubleshoot.  In the meantime, try the support for your feet and let me know how that goes.

Sincerely,

Abeja Hummel

Gokhale Method instructor

Boonville, CA

jenalfson
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Thanks Abeja, I really appreciate your help with this.  I put something under my feet as you suggest today to stretchsit in it and it did feel better.  I only did it for about an hour though, so I'll try for longer tomorrow and see how my body feels.  I'll keep you posted. 

Jen

San Rafael, CA

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HI Jen,

Other ideas that have come from other teachers:

1--if you can, it can help to sit cross-legged while stretch-sitting.

2--Esther is in the process of making a petite sized chair.  I have not gotten an answer as to when it will be available or how you can trade yours out, or if you can return it.  It's good that you're "local-ish" to the main office.  We'll figure this out.

Let me know how the prop under the feet goes.

Abeja

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Here's some great advice from a fellow teacher:

"I am 5"3 with rather short legs compared to torso, but for some reason I don't have a problem with the depth or size of the chair seat. It definitely is too large for some people, however, and hopefully the petit chair will remedy that when it is ready for production. For stretchsitting, I place my feet on the feet/prongs of the chair base, which are also perfectly angled to provide a bit of openness and turn-out in my hips. I think having the openness, so my knees actually point over the 'corners' of the seat, makes the depth more comfortable, although you would think the distance to the corners would be longer than if my legs were pointing straight ahead. 

For the student who posted on the forum (and for everyone wondering about office chairs), it is important that the both the feet and the arms are at the right height. If, when your feet are comfortably on the floor, your elbows fall below the top of your desk or surface, then you are sitting too low; elbows that float above the desktop are too high, since the arms should be able to hang at a horizontal right angle when they are at your keyboard or whatever object you are working with. This student may need to adjust the height of her desk, if possible, or yes place something under her feet. She could also attach a Stretchsit Cushion to her chair (although yes this seems redundant) to pad out the back and lessen the depth of the seat."

I hope that helps!

jenalfson
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Hi Abeja,

Well, I've tried all of the suggestions to no avail.  I tried putting a block under my feet, using the chair base, adding the stretchseat cushion, etc.  I really wanted the chair to work, but it just isn't.  I think that I may be a more difficult case since I do sit for many hours/week, usually 40 or more.  My body might be okay with one of the suggestions if I only sat part-time, but it's really a full time thing with the job I have.

You mentioned above that Ester is or may be working on a petite chair...this is exactly what I was originally wanted.  When I took the Gokhale class a couple of years ago, Faye had mentioned that a smaller chair was in the works, which is why I waited to buy the chair.  While reading one of the newsletters last summer I saw that the "small" chair was now out.  I noticed that the dimensions of the chair were the same, with only the base changing in height, which surprised me since it's called a "small" chair.  So, I called the office line and got a call back from Jon.  He discussed it with me and said that yes, the small chair had the same dimensions other than the height and that there was no smaller chair option.  He told that some of the shorter members of the Gokhale team have the standard chair with no issue and after speaking with him I had the impression that I was worried about the chair base and back dimensions for no reason (not his fault, but this was my impression).  I decided to purchase the standard chair based on my conversation with Jon.  However, my initial concern of the chair being too large has turned out to be correct, so I'd like to go ahead and return the chair.  Do you know when a petite chair might become available?  That is what I'll need.

Please feel free to call me to discuss how we do this.  I don't really want to post my number publicly, but I am in the Gokhale computer system as a student and you can get my number there.  Since I'm in the Bay Area, perhaps we can do this without me shipping it somewhere.

Thanks,

Jen 

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HI Jen,

I am sorry that you are not loving your chair!  The return policy is as below.  Since we've been in this conversation for over a month, I'm sure we're out of the 30-day time period.  I will contact them and let them know about this conversation, and hopefully they will be able to accomodate your needs.

"You may return merchandise to us within 30 days for a refund, exchange or credit. Merchandise must be returned in acceptable condition, still clean and without undue wear-and-tear. Shipping is nonrefundable. For chair returns, there is a $75 restocking fee. To request a refund, please e-mail [email protected] or call (650) 324-3244."

Best of luck in you continued postural journey!

Abeja

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