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How Not To Do Yoga

April, 2022
This blog post explains how some common yoga injuries occur and how applying the principles of healthy posture to yoga postures replaces this scenario with movements that are good for your body. Yoga postures and back pain Growing up in Mumbai, India, my Dutch mother was a student of BKS Iyengar and the Satyananda yogis, and keen for me also to learn yoga asanas, or postures. I practiced, and, being reasonably athletic as a child and already trained in Indian classical dance (Bharata Natyam), did not find it particularly difficult to choreograph the back bends, forward bends, and twists that were asked of me. I became a yoga model, demonstrating postures alongside visiting swamis’ presentations to induce the audience to sign up for upcoming yoga courses. Read more

How to choose running shoes. Running: Part 3

March, 2022
Welcome to the third blog post in our series on running. My name is Michelle Ball, and I am a Gokhale Method® teacher in Tasmania. I am a lifelong runner and am passionate about sharing my experience with beginners as well as seasoned runners and everyone in between. Even if you don’t run, but do wear shoes, this blog post is for you! Active feet come first When it comes to advice about running, our feet often get sidelined by the subject of shoes. If you missed Part 2, which is about how to build healthy, active feet, we recommend you catch up here. Read more

The Virtues of a Hard Copy Book in Digital Times

March, 2022
It has been 14 years since my book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back came out in hard copy. For years I had wished I had a book to send to those people who called me from the East Coast or Midwest. These were often relatives or friends of people I had worked with in California, who were suffering terrible back pain and needed help. And so I got writing.  A book to solve back pain Although there was clearly a huge need for a book to solve back pain, I was still surprised to find I had written a bestseller. It reached number two on Amazon.com following our American Public Television program in 2011, and number three following the New York Times article (paywall) naming me “The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley” in 2013. It has now been published in 12 languages (Croatian later this year), and sold over 250,000 copies. Read more

Old Family Photos are a Great Posture Tool: Part 4: From Abroad

February, 2022

This is the fourth blog post in our series on old family portraits and photographs. Previously we have looked at how antique images can inspire us to improve our posture in the Upper Body, Lower Body, and Small Bends. Here we are going to focus on how old family photos from abroad make a special contribution to our posture knowledge.

Photographs as historical evidence
Antique photographs are often notable for the healthy posture they capture. Even images taken well into the twentieth century are likely to show healthier posture than we see around us today.
In the US you have to go back several generations to reliably find images of healthy posture, and usually even to a time when photography was not widely available due to its elaborate processes and cost. Had the first immigrants to North America settled later, we would have much more photographic evidence of their intact posture. As it is, we have rare but valuable examples from the 1840s onward. Read more

Success Story: Julia Leete Rabin

March, 2022
ALL OF ME In December 2020 I received an email from Gokhale Method® offering a five-day trial period of exercise classes and dance parties with posture lessons. Every day for five days! I was thrilled to receive this email and joined on January 1st. From day one I knew I had found something very special. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I swam to stave off the pain I felt in my back and hips. But when the virus struck I wasn’t able to swim. Eventually my back pain returned to being constant. This showed me that being dependent on an external circumstance, swimming in this case, to feel good, could not give me everything that I needed to heal. Read more

Running: Part 2: Meet Your Feet

February, 2022

Welcome to the second blog post in our series on running. This series is designed to be useful to beginners and would-be beginners, as well as seasoned runners and everyone in between. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here. 

Reactivate your feet

When it comes to advice about running, the feet often get overlooked as the subject immediately turns to shoes. While shoes are an important subject (spoiler alert! Part 3 is about shoes), I prefer to start with that miracle of bioengineering that actually does the work—your feet.

Our feet become very passive from walking on flat, featureless surfaces rather than natural, more undulating terrain. They are also constrained, misshapen and deconditioned by less-than-ideal footwear, which, sadly, includes many running shoes on the market. Read more