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How to Improve Your Posture in a Day

January, 2020

Pop-up Courses ensure an excellent teacher:student ratio for lots of direct attention.

Our newly-crafted Pop-up Course fills a gap in our group class offerings. After many years of experimentation, we are excited about this format as it enables more people to benefit from the Gokhale Method.

Why a Pop-up Course?

  • Our highly successful Foundations Course typically takes place over 2-3 days, or longer. Some students struggle to fit its 6 lessons into their schedule. The Pop-up Course takes just one day (plus a 30-minute online private follow-up appointment), thus reducing the time required and keeping scheduling simple.

  • It’s easier to work in with travel plans, family demands, or taking time out from work.

  • Corporations, universities, and other hosting organizations favor one-day offerings, because of their simplicity and because their workers are busy!

You cover a lot of material in your courses. How do you keep students from feeling overwhelmed in the Pop-up Course?

One of the reasons it took so long to craft this course is precisely the challenge of how to teach all the basics needed to make a big impact (imprint new posture habits, reduce / eliminate aches and pains, etc.) without exhausting and overwhelming our students. The solution includes the following:

  • Layers: we vary the topic frequently, switching easily from sitting to standing to walking to sitting to walking and so on…. We don’t belabor any one technique to a point of mental or physical fatigue. Students revisit these everyday positions with ever-widening context and layers of experience.

  • Variety: we frequently change the “channel” or teaching mode: we go back and forth using images, explanation, technology, and hands-on cues, while weaving in snippets of research, anthropology, and historical data to back up the practical endeavor. In this way we engage all types of learners and give students many ways to get inspired, enjoy themselves, and recall the principles.

  • SpineTracker™: after lunch the class gets a fresh energy boost — all students use SpineTracker, our unique 5-sensor wearable with an iDevice. We first record baseline readings of the student’s sitting, standing, and bending postures. Later, we record their learned stacksitting, tallstanding, and hip-hinging postures. Students can then practice to match, master, and even surpass these improved targets. SpineTracker is really pretty cool. Students get inspired by seeing their spinal shapes improve as they implement their newly learned posture techniques. The technology also enables students to track future progress.

  • Fun! We weave in active exercises to make the endeavor more fun and energizing. These Posture Pauses also serve as practical suggestions on how to break up a long work day.

Students enjoy seeing their progress with the help of SpineTracker, our proprietary wearable technology.

There’s only so much anyone can learn in a day. Is there student support after the Pop-up Course?

  • Absolutely! We’ve discovered that the 30-minute, one-on-one online follow-up session — a private video call, using either a computer or a smartphone, between the student and one of our qualified Gokhale Method teachers — is an important part of the Pop-up Course. It encourages people to read or re-read 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back (included with the course), watch the DVD (also included), gather their questions, and generally keep the techniques on their radar. Having had hands-on guidance in class and experienced the techniques, the book and DVD are so much more meaningful than otherwise. Against this backdrop, it’s striking how much can be covered / refined / revisited in a 30-minute, one-on-one Zoom video consultation.

  • For all students, no matter which Gokhale Method training they have had, we encourage a maintenance program. We offer a subscription-based Online University program for alumni of our Pop-up Courses and Foundations Courses that includes regular online group instruction and Q&As with me, as well as an extensive collection of videos on all sorts of topics including workouts, yoga, dance, daily activities, parts of the body, general posture education, and more — all with a Gokhale Method filter. I’m currently leading a live, daily Exercise Challenge for the New Year, which is included with Online University membership. Our local teachers also offer affordable classes for small groups of alumni as well as private follow-up sessions.

A glimpse into our well-developed Online University offerings.

  • In addition to the book and DVD becoming especially good resources after the course, the Stretchsit® Cushion (provided to each registered participant of the Pop-up Course) enables stretchsitting while also serving as a reminder to do the technique. Some students buy our Gokhale™ Head Cushion and/or Gokhale Pain-Free™ Chair to serve the same dual role of reminding and enabling students to use good posture.

The Stretchsit cushion, included in the price of the Pop-up Course, serves the dual role of reminding and enabling healthy stretchsitting posture.

  • Students often find Posture Buddies in the Pop-up Course to practice with after the course is over. Sometimes students bring a good friend / colleague / family member to the course with them. We encourage this because these students have shared experience and posture reminders built into their lives, which is a great help.
  • Our Institute sends our Positive Stance newsletter every 2 weeks to teach or remind all subscribers, including our alumni, of different aspects of posture. Each newsletter includes a new blog post on a posture topic, as well as a special promotion. Subscribers are also invited to free online teleseminars, as well as special video discussions I have from time to time with other thought leaders. Until the day when we are all surrounded by healthy posture and implements, as is the case for the model populations we derive inspiration from, we do our best to remind our subscribers and students to improve the way they move in the world.

The group format of the Pop-up Course builds camaraderie and is perfect for bringing a Posture Buddy to learn with.

What is the cost of the Pop-up Course?

The Pop-up Course costs $495 per person and includes 6 hours of group instruction, a lunch hour with posture discussion, a 30-minute online 1:1 Zoom video follow-up session, a PDF of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, our DVD program Back Pain: The Primal Posture Solution (streaming), and a Stretchsit Cushion.

How can I bring the Pop-up Course to my city?

It takes a largish room and some eager students for a Pop-up Course to be successful. The course is delivered by two expert teachers; at present I am the lead teacher for all Pop-up Courses. If you already have 10 or more committed people, or can spread the word effectively, that makes it easier for us to schedule a course. If you would like a Pop-up Course in your company or city, please let us know here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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I recently completed a pop up course taught by Esther Gokhale in Austin, Texas. It had been my goal to attend one of her courses for almost 8 years now.  However, I was not able to travel and be away for the longer courses; so this one day course met my needs.  It was my birthday gift to myself and the best present I have ever received.  It was wonderful having Esther's guidance as she was very hands on.  I finally had the opportunity to have the techniques come to life as we experienced the opportunity to learn kinesthetically. I would rather be proactive and learn the proper way to sit, lie, stand, walk, etc and practice these in my daily life now rather than be reactive and try to fix pains with other more expensive medical procedures in the future.