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Which Pain Intervention Has Staying Power?

April, 2020


Back, neck, and joint pain may be flaring up for many of us, especially those who have come to depend on palliative interventions such as massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy.

Does it seem to anyone else like the ribbon of life just tangled dramatically? It makes sense to feel this way — we’re living in a rapidly changing world with new information coming our way all the time. One way we may be physically experiencing that change is in our daily pain levels, which can increase due to myriad reasons: working from home on unfamiliar furniture, stress manifesting as tension in the body, eroded sleep quality from anxiety flare-ups,... Read more

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

Cultivating a J-Spine with Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

February, 2020

As a student and teacher of yoga and practitioner of the Gokhale Method, I choose yoga poses that make good use of my time. “Chair pose” is well worth the time investment. In fact, it has become one of my favorite strength-building postures. It is useful for cultivating a J-shaped spine. It helps increase gluteal tone. It helps to pattern healthy hip movement. It is strengthening for the legs and spinal stabilizers. And, last but not least, it allows a yoga practitioner to smoothly transition between a standing forward fold and mountain pose — without compression of the intervertebral discs.

... 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

Posture in Old Lithuania

January, 2020


Harvesting rye with scythes in early twentieth-century Lithuania. Original photograph Balys Buročas, 1923.

The Gokhale Method has improved my understanding of how posture correlates to our health and physicality. The method is based on healthy body architecture and has been informed by movement patterns from populations without back pain, those shared by our ancestors worldwide. This inspired me to take a look at my own forefathers in Lithuania, especially their posture while laboring in the fields. 

Memories of my youth
I was born and raised in urban Soviet... Read more