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Home Exercises Part 5: Squats

January, 2022

In this blog post, the fifth in our series scrutinizing popular home exercises, we are looking at squats. Is it a beneficial exercise, and how does it stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture?

Squats are a popular and effective exercise designed primarily to strengthen the front of thigh muscles (quadriceps), stabilize the knee joint, tone the butt (gluteus maximus), and also work the back muscles. Read more

How to Choose a Backrest

January, 2022
This blog post is about sitting with a backrest, which could be the back part of a chair, or something added to the chair for additional support and comfort.  Support and relief Virtually any backrest will give relief that a tired back will appreciate. Support is certainly preferable when we sit for longer periods of time to enjoy reading, TV, a movie, or, if we are lucky, live theater.  With the trunk slightly inclined against a backrest, there is less compressive force due to gravity acting on the spine. In addition, the trunk stabilizer muscles get a break. When we are driving or traveling by plane or train, a backrest also confers additional protection from vibration or any untoward impact.  Read more

Fixing my Posture Fixed my Pain

December, 2021
I am a 45-year-old software engineer living in California. I grew up and lived in India until I was 37. In my mid-twenties I developed lower back pain and right hip pain, and I recollect having a series of MRIs and medical traction but obtaining nothing more than temporary relief. I also went for Indian massage therapy, which did effectively relieve the pain for some years. Read more

Running: Part 1: Introduction

December, 2021

Welcome to our first blog post in a new 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. 

Running is primal

Running was a defining feature in our development as a species. We are built to run. As children, almost all of us enjoyed this facility. You may believe that you are too injured, too old, or too uncoordinated to consider jogging—and you may be right—but I would still like to invite you to bring running onto your radar as something to work towards.  Read more

Home Exercises Part 4: Low Planks

November, 2021

This is our fourth blog post in the series where we put popular exercises under scrutiny to examine how they stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture. Here we are looking at “low plank,” a whole-body exercise that particularly develops abdominal strength and trunk stability.

Our model for the photographs is Eric Fernandez, our Gokhale Exercise teacher who teaches the Gokhale Method in the Philadelphia area. Read more

Old Family Portraits Are a Great Posture Tool: Part 3: Hip-hinging in Small Bends

November, 2021
The healthy posture and positive change that antique images can bring to modern people are potentially transformational. In Part 1 of this series we looked at how learning from old photographs can benefit our upper body posture and in Part 2 the lower body. Here we are going to focus on what antique portraits can teach us about small bends. The historical paintings for this post come from collections associated with Leland and Jane Stanford, famous for their business acumen, political influence, railroad building, and later, philanthropy as founders of Stanford University in California.  Read more