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Gokhale Method Success Story: Michael Ram

October, 2021

I developed excruciating lower back pain in 2001. I was a tennis player, downhill skier, and a marathon runner. I was also under a lot of financial pressure in a stressful job as a consumer class action lawyer. 
My doctor diagnosed me with a  herniated disc at L4-L5. He said that a piece of my disc was sitting on the nerve. I tried everything to stop my pain but nothing worked. In January 2002 I underwent a  laminectomy which removed some of the vertebral bone next to the herniation to make room for the nerve root. Read more

Home Exercises Part 4: Head Rotations/Circling 

October, 2021

This is our fourth blog post in the series where we put popular home exercises under scrutiny to examine how they stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture. In this post we are looking at head rotations/circling, an exercise that is often suggested to ease stiffness and mobilize the neck.

Neck pain—causes and solutions

Although not often considered in physical fitness and exercise regimens, the neck frequently becomes a problematic area for people in our culture. At that point, we look to mobilizing, stretching, and strengthening exercises to alleviate pain and stiffness.    Read more

Old Family Photos are a Great Posture Tool: Part 2: Lower Body

September, 2021

Rediscovering ancestral posture can be fun! In our online 1-2-3 Move program we have had several “Show and Tells” during which participants share old family photographs. The inspiration for healthy posture and positive change that these pictures bring to their descendants, as well as to the online community, is powerful. 

In Part 1 of this series we looked at the upper body. Here we are going to consider what our forebears can teach us about healthy alignment for the lower body—specifically, what needs to happen with the pelvis, legs, and feet.  Read more

My Rounded Upper Back Responds to the Gokhale Method

September, 2021

Here I am in September 2017 when I began the Gokhale Method—sitting and bending over:

I have kyphosis. My upper back is curved from the shoulders to the bottom of my ribcage. The exact cause of my kyphosis is not known. There are two types of kyphosis: Scheuermann’s and postural. In Scheuermann’s disease, the normal bone growth in the vertebrae is interrupted during adolescence leading the spine to develop wedge-shaped vertebrae which result in a rounded curve in the thoracic spine. I believe I may have been diagnosed with Scheuermann’s Kyphosis at some point, but I don’t know for sure. I would like to think of it as postural because that word opens up more room for change.

I was born with my left leg and foot turned inward. I wore several different braces on my leg and my foot until the age of five. I became a shy and inhibited child, and I remember not wanting to be seen. Read more

Hypermobility

September, 2021

Flexibility in the body is generally regarded as a plus, and most people want more of it. Flexibility is seen to enable a wide range of motion, avoid muscle pulls, and spare wear and tear in overly tight joints. But like most things in life, you can have too much of a good thing. In this blog post we are going to look at why excessive mobility has a downside and how healthy posture can mitigate that.

An exceptional range of motion makes for a very “bendy” looking body. Enter the age-old art of the contortionist, a mainstay of acrobatic troupes, circuses, and fairs, which for centuries have enthralled and appalled audiences in equal measure. 

... Read more

Feet Out or Straight Ahead?

September, 2022
When it comes to foot position, feet parallel is often regarded as the ideal in our present-day culture. Standing with the feet apart, pointing straight ahead, is also seen as the starting point of a normal and healthy gait. Walking then proceeds along two parallel lines, like being on railway tracks.  From a Gokhale Method® perspective, a healthy baseline position for the feet is angled outward 5–15°, or “externally rotated.” Why is there such divergence of opinion—and angle?  Most people learn and then teach feet straight ahead Feet straight ahead is the model learned and perpetuated by most professionals who are trained in anatomy, whether they are fitness coaches, yoga teachers, Pilates instructors, physical therapists, podiatrists, family physicians, or surgeons. Training regimens, gait analysis, shoe design, and equipment such as elliptical trainers and step machines are also based on this belief.  Read more