fbpx Esther Gokhale's blog | Gokhale Method® - Primal Posture™ for a Pain-Free Life
Sign up for our Positive Stance™ Newsletter

Esther Gokhale's blog

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

Home Exercises Part 3: Cat-Cow

August, 2021

This is our third 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 “Cat-Cow,” a common exercise for mobilizing the spine.

Cow is one of the “holy cows” of conventional exercise. Done on all fours, it puts the spine into extension (swaying). It is paired with Cat , which puts the spine into flexion (rounding). Alternating between these postures is widely considered to be a good or even necessary exercise for mobilizing the spine. Read more

Old Family Photos Are a Great Posture Tool: Part 1: Upper Body

July, 2021

If you are fortunate and have photographs going back three, four, or even more generations, you likely possess a compelling tool for posture improvement. How and why exactly are these images so useful?


Abraham Lincoln with his youngest son, Tad, 1864. Wikipedia

The invention of photography allows us to look back in time as far as the 1840s. It is rare to possess family... Read more

Home Exercises Part 2: Crunches

July, 2021

This is our second 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 crunches, a common abdominal exercise.


Crunches are often seen as a better targeted and safer 
abdominal exercise than sit-ups—but there is still a downside.

Crunches are done lying down on the floor, face up, knees bent with feet on the floor, and with the hands placed behind or to the side of the head. They involve using... Read more

Balanced Walking in Older Age

June, 2021

We assume in our culture that aging will necessarily be accompanied by a loss of height, increasingly stooped posture, loss of muscle strength, and a precarious inability to balance. But is this really the inevitable trajectory? Here we look at why this occurs and focus on how a healthy gait can help us maintain good balance throughout life, including into old age.


Walking sticks and poles help prevent falls but are poor compensation for loss 
of natural stability and balance from the feet and buttocks. Unsplash
... Read more

Home Exercises Part 1: Cobra

May, 2021
This blog post is the first in a series featuring some common home exercises. Over the coming year we will put several popular exercises under scrutiny to examine how they stack up—or not—against the principles of healthy posture.  The 1960s to now Some exercises remain very persistent in fitness folklore, handed down through the decades in fitness regimens and by personal trainers and gym instructors. However, just because an exercise attains iconic status does not guarantee it is a healthy exercise.  Read more

Are Muscle Imbalances and Asymmetry Causing My Back Pain?

March, 2021
Many of the questions I hear from students are about concerns they have due to left/right asymmetry in their bodies. People will often see a clearly visible asymmetry as the root cause of any dysfunction and pain. This strikes me as a natural and understandable assumption—but my experience as a posture educator leads me to think there is more to consider here than meets the eye.  Read more

Which Shape is Your Spine?

April, 2021

SCIJ isn’t a very memorable acronym, but the shapes of the letters do accurately represent the four most common spinal shapes. In this blog post you will discover which SCIJ category you belong in, what changes you might want to make, and the first baby steps to improve your spinal shape. Read more

Prime your Spine with Primal Head-loading

February, 2021
We Gokhale Method teachers love our head cushions! I find there is nothing better than head-loading, even with a light weight, to evoke a taller stance, help straighten out excessive neck curvature, and strengthen the deepest of our neck muscles.  The realization that head-loading must have once been a ubiquitous activity hit home in my research travels to Burkina Faso in the 1990s. I began sharing the benefits of head-loading with my students, and devised the Gokhale™ Head Cushion to make it an accessible and convenient exercise.  Read more

Beating Depression with Exercise

January, 2021

It’s no secret that depression and anxiety are rampant these days. So many people worldwide are feeling the effects of the ongoing pandemic, and dealing with its many, varied results, not to mention other stressors. It can seem that there is so little in our lives that we can have influence over, exacerbating feelings of powerlessness and depression.

In addition to the range of standard therapeutic interventions like psychotherapy and medication, there’s something all of us can adopt that will help boost our mood: adding exercise to our routine. Read more