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Lessons I Learned from My Travels: Burkina Faso

January, 2018

OUAHIGOUYA, BURKINA FASO

 

The cradle of mankind is also the cradle of healthy movement and posture.

It has become increasingly clear from the archaelogical record that Africa is the cradle of mankind. In modern times, Africa is the place that has the best-preserved primal posture. Visitors marvel, appropriately, at the carriage of women carrying large loads on their heads, and at the elegant gait of men and women as they traverse long distances to go about their business. It’s a wise move to follow behind someone who you perceive to have good posture / movement mechanics, turn your brain off (and sometimes on) and let each part of you—legs, torso, neck, arms—mimic the corresponding part in your “teacher.” This was a technique I used to learn many details of healthy movement.

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How to Sit on a Sofa with Good Posture

January, 2018

One regular challenge you are likely to face in your posture journey is the battle against the oversized sofa. Here are some tips to help you maintain good form and stay pain-free when relaxing on a sofa.

Want to avoid the habitual curled, tucked position that most couches seem to encourage? Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash.

 

Stretchsitting

Your first line of defense against a deep, soft couch should be stretchsitting. This will make your seated time therapeutic as well as relaxing. Some couches, made of fabric with some degree of friction and having seats that aren’t too deep, may not be difficult to stretchsit on. If you’re lucky, you can simply hook yourself up against the back of the sofa. However, many couches are too deep to allow... Read more

Are Your Clothes Helping Your Posture?

December, 2017

Students of the Gokhale Method sometimes find that their new upright, relaxed posture makes clothes fit better. Tailored clothes, however, sometimes fit worse, restricting motion and bunching up in awkward places. Here are some items to watch out for, and how to test their fit:

 

Jeans - Cut to Tuck?

Tucking the pelvis is so widespread in modern societies that most jeans and pants are designed around this posture. Fashion models tuck, teenagers tuck (sometimes highlighting this stance with sagging pants!), and even fitness instructors tuck and teach their students to tuck.

Jeans cut to fit a tucked pelvis are more symmetric front to back. They lack room for well-developed glutes (buttock muscles). The belt line tends to be horizontal. The fabric over the groin/hip area lacks a crease, and tends to fall in a vertical plane between the abdomen and the front of the thigh.

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Reading Without Pain

December, 2017

The weather is colder (even here in California) and most of us are spending more time indoors for warmth and entertainment. I especially like to spend time reading in bed, where I can pile on the blankets and enjoy the coziness of fall and winter. If you experience pain or discomfort—especially in your neck—when you read in bed, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Any time you are sitting or lying down can be an opportunity to decompress the vertebrae in your back. To keep the right shape in the spine, build a staircase of pillows to support your lower back, mid-back and neck


Using a combination of thick and thin pillows makes it easy to build a comfortable slope or staircase.

Lying down with just your head and neck on a plump pillow pushes your head forward relative to your torso. This... Read more

Holiday Poem

December, 2017

Written by Lori Szalay, Gokhale Method Teacher

 

Here’s a little story I’d like to tell,

Some of you may know it well…..

 

Twas the day of the Foundations Course and all through the room,

Backs, necks, shoulders and much more were aching and there was a feeling of doom.

The stretchsit cushions were attached on the chairs with care,

A Posture Poised Teacher was there with knowledge to share.

 

The students knew they would learn to stretchlie to be comfortable in their beds,

As visions of a pain-free life continued to dance in their heads!

With compressed spines, slouchy shoulders and many with rounded backs,

Each had their own concern yet all eager to learn the posture modification facts.

 

When they lengthened their spines and used the stretchsit cushion for traction,

They sighed with... Read more

Announcing SpineTracker™, the New Gokhale Method Wearable!

November, 2017

Our new and exciting SpineTracker wearable is available for use! Our participating teachers use this technology to help you:

  1. Store baselines of the shape of your spine in sitting, standing, and bending

  2. Understand the connection between your movements and changes in the shape of your spine

  3. Establish a target shape for you to aim for in training your posture

  4. Discover techniques, exercises, and activities to help you improve your target shape

  5. Track your changes over time, using graphics and quantitative measurements

  6. ... Read more