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Man's Best Friend for Posture, Part II

June, 2018

In the first installment of this story, we discussed some physical movement patterns that can be supported or reinforced by owning / walking / observing dogs. Here, we touch on a few more benefits from having a furry pet!

Carrying and Lifting

As a dog owner, you will find yourself needing to lift well. It may be to carry bags of dog food, a pup, or perhaps a much-loved elderly or sick dog. By following the postural principles of the Gokhale Method, you can do this without strain or fear of injury. The most important techniques for this context are hip-hinging, inner corset, and maintaining a healthy shoulder structure.


Carry your pet with shoulders back, close to your body. Photo courtesy Pixabay.


Projecting Authority

I have noticed that people who do agility training or show their dogs competitively tend to have better posture than average. I see this as a result of the higher level of physical fitness they maintain by working with their dogs as well as how they instinctively project to their animals the calm authority required for success.


Better posture conveys calm authority to your dog. Photo courtesy Pixabay.


Dogs in Art

Old paintings are of great value as historical records. Paintings featuring dogs give particular insight into the history of various breeds of domestic and working dog. In this charming nineteenth-century portrait we are also drawn to observe the dignified posture of the seated man, who stacksits with far more ease than is common today.


Portrait of a Sacramento Indian with Dogs, 1867, by German-American artist Charles Nahl (1818-78). Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


I hope our blogs on dogs have inspired you to explore new ways to develop your posture specific to our longest-standing relationship with another species. If you would love a dog but can't currently commit to having your own, consider walking a friend’s or neighbor’s dog — this could be a great arrangement for all concerned!


In the comments section below we encourage you to share any dog-posture stories / disasters / successes.

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 Hi, I have been working alot on Bending from the book and Im already seeing the benefits its had on me. Although, In reading about this man and how with this bending form without pathology doesnt accompany back pain I was wondering if I could get any tips on how to bend this way with changing my midline groove. It would be really appreciated as I would be able to preserve my knees more for the rest of my life.