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Put Your Best Self Forward

December, 2014

Melissa White, second violinist in the
Harlem String Quartet, uses
tallstanding while performing on the
national public radio program,
"From the Top".

Do you have an important event coming up? Appearing calm and collected can be challenging at such times, especially if we are feeling anxious or nervous. Let the Gokhale Method help you glide into your next presentation, interview, or social gathering with ease and confidence. Recent studies show that maintaining an elongated spine with your shoulders rolled back allows more testosterone to flow through your body, which might be just the boost you need to not only appear, but also feel and be unfettered and focused.

An aligned structure allows your muscles to naturally relax and lengthen, which goes a long way toward feeling comfortable in your own skin. Gokhale Method students consistently report on their increased energy and improved confidence and appearance after implementing the Method in their lives. Here are a few tips to look and feel your best:

Tread Lightly

Glidewalking eliminates the excess wear and tear on your joints and can provide a smoother, more confident stride. Rather than landing heavily with each step, engage your glutes to soften the step of your forward leg. Glidewalking is a regal, stately way to make an entrance and walking with a light step will also lighten your mood!

Esther and African villagers glidewalking in Burkina Faso.

Stand Tall

Next time you find yourself in a room full of people, use tallstanding to boost your self-confidence. Place your weight over your heels, antevert your pelvis, anchor your rib cage and elongate the back of your neck. You'll feel more secure and those around you will regard your stature as confident, trustworthy and reassuring. Your positive stance will effortlessly add weight to your words.

Women suffragettes used their tall, confident stature to help convince the
public that women, as well as men, should have the right to vote.
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Just Breathe 

Begin any presentation or conversation by taking a few deep breaths. Cultivating deep breathing in your chest and back nourishes your spinal tissues and hydrates your discs. A larger lung capacity can also give you the stamina you need to withstand challenging situations or long workdays. Take 10 long, sustained, deep breaths throughout your day and notice the difference in your energy, concentration and mood.

Though she was never able to see herself in a mirror,
Helen Keller maintained her regal posture throughout her
life. Her speeches on living with disabilities inspired
the world. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

We've all got valuable contributions to make to our fellows and our planet. Here's to putting our best selves forward!



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Hello Esther! I am currently reading and practicing your book and loving it...I am so hopeful I can learn this and become a practitioner of your method to teach my massage clients! I was wondering if you could help me with a basic question please. I have pronounced lordosis and am confused about what to do when you say "antevert" the pelvis. If my pelvis is already tilted forward, how can I find that "home base" to create the J shape? thank you for your invaluable contribution to our health!

Hello Esther! My apologies if you are recieivng this message twice. I can't tell if my original one went through.

I am an LMT in NY and NJ very much enjoying your book and looking forward to becoming certified in your method to help more people! One basic question I have is pertaining to the pronounced lordosis I have (along with weak abdominals, gluteus medius, and tight quadriceps as a result) When you're directions say antevert the pelvis, what should someone like me do who already has too much of a sway back? How can I find the balanced position to help create the J shape? Thank you for your work and I look forward to following you!


Lisa Fairman

Hi Lisa, 

It's important to make a distinction between pelvic anteversion (curve at L5-S1) and a swayback (curve higher up in the lumbar spine). My recommendation is to first work on your swayback (by tucking your ribcage, not your pelvis). When you have sorted out your sway, it will be apparent whether or not you need to introduce curve at the L5-S1 juncture. Stretchlying and stetchsitting are useful for helping sort out a sway; stacksitting and stetchlyng on the side are useful to introduce L5-S1 curve. There are other useful techniques to help with these transitions, but you're best-off finding a Qualified Gokhale Method teacher to show you how to proceed. Good luck!

Just wanted to add to this section on Breathe some ways that you can also improve your sports performance further by using some of the wisdom of our ancestors. Deep breathes can give a relaxing stretch to the back and I have fully enjoyed the discovery of this practice at the recent foundations course in Portland! Some other things that Ive started practicing that I've found increases my performance and health are nasal breathing and breath holding. I have no affiliation to endorse the Butyeko method, but have been reading about it and have started to apply it in my life in a similar way to 8 steps to a pain free back. I highly recommend Patrick McKeown's book the Oxygen Advantage as a wonderful complement to the 8 steps book! Thanks!