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एस्थर गोखले के ब्लॉग

Cultivating Healthful New Routines in Times of Uncertainty

March, 2020


Coronavirus is a quickly-developing story, and one we’re doing our utmost to address.

We’ve all had a rough week. The spread of coronavirus has led to major disruptions in our existing routines. Schools in many locations are closed and parents are navigating homeschool and childcare without as much support from teachers and caregivers as they are used to. Students and workers, whenever possible, have had their environments shifted from the physical to the... Read more

Can the Venus of Willendorf Teach Us about Posture?

March, 2020


Thought to have been made around 30,000 BCE, one of the oldest and most famous prehistoric figurines is known as the Venus of Willendorf. Found in modern-day Austria, this late stone-age artifact is just over 4” high and has traces of ocher coloring. Underneath her ample flesh her pelvis is anteverted, placing her behind behind her. Original image courtesy Wikipedia user MatthiasKabel under CC-BY 2.5.

When the weather is cold and wet, or, for our students in the Southern Hemisphere, hot and dry, museums can be very agreeable places to visit. Humidity and temperature controlled as they are, museums allow you to... Read more

Opening Your Heart Space

February, 2020


This bronze figure shows an open chest and “heart space;” his shoulders are well back and his ribcage is anchored. He is part of a fountain in Piccadilly Circus, London, sculpted by Sir Alfred Gilbert in 1893. Referred to (erroneously) as “Eros,” the figure is in fact Anteros, Eros’ brother, who represents a more mature, less capricious love. Original image courtesy Gareth Williams under CC BY 2.0.

“Heart space” is a term used in yoga to describe the upper part of the chest where the heart is located. Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to give some special attention to this region, and explore its relation to your posture and wellbeing.... Read more

How to Improve Your Posture in a Day

January, 2020


Pop-up Courses ensure an excellent teacher:student ratio for lots of direct attention.

Our newly-crafted Pop-up Course fills a gap in our group class offerings. After many years of experimentation, we are excited about this format as it enables more people to benefit from the Gokhale Method.

Why a Pop-up Course?

  • Our highly successful Foundations Course typically takes place over 2-3 days, or longer. Some students struggle to fit its 6 lessons into their schedule. The Pop-up Course takes just one day (plus a 30-minute online private follow-up appointment), thus reducing the time required and keeping scheduling simple.

  • It’s easier

  • ... Read more

What is the Best Ab Exercise?

December, 2019


The abdominal crunch, though ubiquitous, is actually quite detrimental to the spinal discs and nerves. Better to find an abdominal exercise which respects and protects the spine! Image courtesy Jonathan Borba on Unsplash.

Happy Holidays! The dawning of a new year is a time when many people make efforts to establish new habits, many of them body-related. With the desire to improve ourselves often comes a (sometimes unhealthy) heightened awareness of how our bodies and their shapes appear to others. This is particularly true of abdominal muscles. Photoshopped, unrealistic images of... Read more

Humans Learn through Repetition

December, 2019


Learning and internalizing techniques doesn’t always happen immediately — or without assistance from a teacher.

I spent many years developing and perfecting the Gokhale Method Foundations Course. After years of crafting the language, honing the metaphors, and rearranging the order in which techniques are taught, I considered the course well-constructed and comprehensive. I was proud to empower students to be independent in taking their posture journey forward. I was proud to not be peddling products gratuitously, nor to insist students keep coming back for additional lessons. 

The results of this approach were not always stellar. Though some students functioned just fine after one go-round of a full 6-lesson Foundations Course, most students, not surprisingly, needed ongoing repetition to... Read more

Respecting the Neck: The Eyes Have It

November, 2019

My passion for researching posture has taken me far and wide. I was in a village in Burkina Faso in western Africa when I first noticed how people there would track the conversation from speaker to speaker mainly by using their eyes, rather than by turning their heads. Along with their excellent body posture it contributed to a strikingly well-centered, dignified bearing.


This young man in Burkina Faso demonstrates the dignified bearing that comes with an appropriate amount of eye tracking.

Comparing what I saw in Burkina Faso with what I was used to seeing back home, I realized that in the US, and the wider industrialized world, we move our eyes a good deal less and... Read more

Function over Appearance: MommaStrong, the Gokhale Method, and Posture for Moms

November, 2019

Posture and pregnancy have always been closely linked for me. As you may know, my own journey to create the Gokhale Method and a life free of back pain began with my development of crippling back pain during pregnancy. So it’s always a special gift to get to connect with other mothers who understand the deep relationship between posture and health, and to help other women learn to navigate the many changes that come with pregnancy and childbirth.

That’s why I’ve teamed up with MommaStrong to bring you this discussion between me and Courtney Wyckoff, the founder of MommaStrong. She’s a Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, with 16 years experience in the field of fitness, nutrition, and injury prevention/treatment.... Read more

Posture Differences in Elite and Plebeian Ancient Egyptians

October, 2019

 


This famous bust of Nefertiti (c. 1370 – c. 1330 BC) exhibits a forward-protruded head. Original image courtesy Wikipedia user Philip Pikart under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

In my travels, I enjoy visiting museums. In a concentrated space and in a short few hours, I am able to travel back in time and over large distances, and compare people from different cultures. What a remarkable gift from the craftspeople of the past!  

Many museums have a well-developed Egyptian collection. The Egyptians’ expertise in preserving their dead as well as the dry Egyptian climate has yielded a bounty of specimens from... Read more

When Is It Good to Pull Back Your Shoulders?

October, 2019

This is the second post in our series on shoulder positioning. Read Part 1 here!


Typing with shoulders too far forward.

Often, in industrialized cultures, the shoulders are slumped or held forward. There are so many daily tasks in the modern world that make it all too easy for these bad habits to set in: holding our arms out front for hours with poor shoulder placement while we are typing, gaming, driving, and so on. Over the years this is likely to cause various problems:

  • Impingement, bursitis, wear-and-tear

  • Reduced circulation to the arms 

  • Compromised breathing patterns

  • Reduced athletic

  • ... Read more