Healthy posture can positively
impact the universe inside us
We have an amazing pool of teachers, and I’m extremely proud of every one of them. They have diverse backgrounds and bring all kinds of knowledge, experience, and sensitivity to our Method, which benefits teachers and students alike. We are constantly tweaking and improving our offerings. Every month we get together via regularly scheduled continuing-education teleseminars, where I or another expert in a specific area makes a presentation, followed by a lively discussion. In addition, we stay in regular communication via what we have dubbed the “Teacher Water Cooler.” This is a private collaboration, a place where one teacher might write, “I just reviewed the intake form for ‘Student Y,’ who has this unusual syndrome, plus this and this and this. Any ideas how I might adjust my approach?” Another teacher might offer, “I ran into a cool educational tool the other day,” or, “Check out this interesting video on YouTube, and tell me what you think about its point of view.” So we teachers benefit from an ongoing and very dynamic interaction and, once a year, we gather together for a weekend of hands-on work. Read more
The butterfly stroke provides an intense workout for the
"rib anchor" muscles.
One of the many benefits of having excellent posture is the ability to enjoy an active lifestyle without injury. Conversely, an active lifestyle can help cultivate good posture. While you are still honing your posture, water is a perfect medium to train in since your buoyancy will reduce impact on your joints. In this forgiving medium, you can safely increase your muscle strength, stamina and flexibility while exploring the nuances of natural posture. You can reset movement patterns and connect the dots that make up the Gokhale Method while enjoying the soothing effect of the water on your body and mind.
No matter which stroke you choose, you will have occasion to summon up and strengthen your deep abdominal muscles. These muscles are especially important for the health and safety of your spine. Read more
Spring brings renewal. All around us the earth is alive with the sounds and smells of new life. As the weather grows more inviting, your yard and garden may be calling. For many people, gardening and outdoor work are favorite pastimes, yet the fear of back pain can be inhibiting. Let the Gokhale Method help you to thrive alongside your plants!
When planting flowers and digging in the dirt, use hip hinging to save your knees and lower back. Maintain your spinal shape as you bend from the hips. Take a wider stance to reach the ground more easily. When you feel your hamstrings pulling, bend your knees to keep from tucking. Check to see that your knees track over your feet and that your shoulders remain back for good blood flow to your arms and hands. Try resting one elbow or forearm on your thigh as the other hand performs your gardening tasks to reduce the demand on the muscles in your back. Read more
On our website, the top searches include, "glutes," "walking," and "butt." So I thought I'd take this chance to say a few words on the subject.
"Callipygian" is an English word of Greek origin. It means “of, pertaining to, or having beautiful buttocks”. The word, (pronounced kal-uh-PIDGE-ee-uhn), is derived from the Greek word “kalli” meaning beautiful, and “pyge” from the Greek word for rump or buttock.
Over the years, GMF course alumni have often reported that they lost weight. Occurring too frequently to be coincidence, these testimonials have spurred me to thinking about the weight loss – posture connection. Here are some possible mechanisms:
1. After restoring their primal posture, students are out of pain, feel better, and indulge in the natural human impulse to move and go back to an active life. Read more
Humans have really large butts. Your cat or dog, by contrast, has a very tiny bottom. Chances are you’ve never stopped to think about how unique your own derriere is. Primate species are unique in having distinctive buttock anatomy—our buttocks allow us to sit upright without resting our weight on our feet, the way our pets do. Human buttocks, which are particularly muscular and well-developed, empower us to be bipedal, and propel us forward in walking and running. Read more
Having some asymmetry in our bodies is natural and by no means a problem… for example, the majority of us are either strongly right- or left-handed, and if we play soccer we soon discover that we have a preferred foot, too! This study shows that pelvic obliquity (often caused by legs of a slightly different length) is present in equal measure in people both with and without Lower Back Pain, and doesn’t seem to be a contributing factor to the problem of back pain.
A famous example of someone who had a big leg length discrepancy was Bruce Lee. It didn't hold him back very much! To quote him, "I became a martial artist in spite of my limitations. My left leg is almost one inch shorter than the right. That fact dictated the best stance for me – my right foot leading. Then I found because the right leg was longer, I had an advantage with certain types... Read more
Norm, a hydrologic analyst and author now 82 years of age, originally hails from Alberta, Canada. When Norm was 16 years old, he accepted a summer job in Lake Louise (also known as Lake of the Little Fishes by the local Stoney Nakoda people), a location in the Canadian Rockies so known for its rugged beauty that it is frequently included on lists of “Wonders of the World.” This breathtaking landscape formed the backdrop for Norm’s lifelong love affair with the outdoors. Decades later, Norm still speaks of Lake Louise with understated reverence.
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, where Norm first fell in love with... Read more
Mother and son in a tribal Orissan village demonstrating excellent walking form. Notice that their heels remain on the floor well into their stride.
Do you have tight psoas muscles? Do you suspect the cause is too much time spent sitting in your daily life? There’s a complementary activity that helps counterbalance the time we spend sitting: walking — or, more specifically, glidewalking. Glidewalking helps balance our sitting in numerous ways — walking is dynamic versus sitting which is static. Yang balances Yin, viewed in the framework of traditional Chinese medicine. One underappreciated way in which walking can balance sitting pertains to the psoas muscle.