General Shoulder Roll Question

BlueFire
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General Shoulder Roll Question

I was on the wonderful Zoom call the other day.  I have been practicing shoulder roll, but find that within a few minutes of setting my shoulder back, I am, by necessity reaching forward to do something,  I totally get the FEEL of the "T rex arms" that Esther describes  and understand the concept of not allowing the shoulder to roll forward; however I feel restricted and impractical holding my arms by my sides—

Is it that I KEEP replacing them in the backward position, and adjust my car, my computer, etc. — al the things I will be doing for a while in the same position??   It seems it is inherently GOOD to move around to reach, to turn, to get up from the computer and MOVE. . . .  

Again, I am guessing the bottom line here is to do this when I know I will be sitting in roughly the same position for a time???

 

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Hi - Thanks for writing!  The shoulder roll has been my favorite part of the Gokhale Method, so I hope I can answer your questions well enough.

There is nothing that says you shouldn't move around.  Moving is indeed good! It's common when we first start trying new posture habits that we feel stiff or wooden.  It's important to get the hang of getting into the improved posture position -- and then relaxing!  We might come a little out of the position when we relax, but it will still be better than our old habit. We tell our students to aim for something in between what they've been used to and the ideal.  We won't get to ideal without time and practice, but meanwhile, we are still getting many benefits.

So, yes, in my experience, you do just keep redoing your shoulder roll as you think of it throughout the day. When you are reaching forward for something, try to keep your shoulder back. This is illustrated in many of the 8 Steps pictures, including the Ubong tribesmen on page 19.  The man on the left is gesturing forward with his right arm but keeping his shoulder back.  When you are going to be sitting for a while in one position, like in the car or at your computer, yes, you adjust your seat so that your T-rex arms will reach -- and then relax!  Sometimes you will move around to do something, and then you just redo your shoulders when you become aware that they have meandered forward and you're rounding your upper back.  What I've found over a couple of years of practice is that my default position most of the time for my shoulders is now rolled back.

Does that help?  Write again if you have more questions, and keep practicing and enjoying these simple and powerful techniques!

Doreen Giles

Gokhale Method Teacher

BlueFire
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07/13/2017 - 12:55pm

Thanks, Doreen!  Yes, that helps.  However, I guess it feels anatomically correct -- and GOOD -- in a way in my body to reach with the shoulder.  I think it is just that I am highly body aware -- so I am just experiencing a new way -- I will keep feeling into it.  Thank you again!  I can see that over time, a new "neutral" postion will result.  

 

 

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