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Esther Gokhale's blog

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5 Common Posture Myths

January, 2017

Myth #1

Posture is a trivial thing my mother used to pester me about only so that I would look presentable.

Actually, posture is key to optimal health. Just as a building needs a solid foundation and structure to remain strong in wind, rain, and earthquakes, so does your body. Proper alignment of the organs, bones, and muscles improves circulation and breathing, boosts the nervous system, supports organ function, promotes muscle relaxation and stress reduction, enhances athletic performance, reduces risk of injury, and accelerates healing from injury.


These young girls are getting an early start on learning posture to improve their appearance. Good posture is also key to optimal health.

Myth #2​

The pelvis should be tucked to... Read more

How to Modify Your Car Seat For a Pain-Free Ride

December, 2016

Most of us spend a good deal of time in our cars, commuting, chauffeuring kids around, doing errands, or if we’re lucky, heading out to an adventure spot. Much of this time is spent being physically uncomfortable, especially if the car was manufactured in the last decade. There seems to be a downward spiral of poor posture and design that reflects poor posture - which in turn worsens posture. How can we break this cycle?


The industry standard for human form reflects the average in society: shoulders forward, S-shaped spine, and forward head. Car seats are designed to fit these features.

... Read more

Don’t Forget the Forgetting Curve! (Part 2)

December, 2016

When we first learn new information, we create shallow neural pathways in our brain that can quickly disappear. To retain information for the long-term requires reuse. Beyond the learning techniques referred to in Don’t Forget The Forgetting Curve (Part 1) (mnemonic devices, association, and multi-channel learning), re-engagement with the material is crucial in deepening the related neural pathways. Some aspects of re-engagement that play a big role in mitigating the effects of the forgetting curve are:

Repetition
Recall
The Halo Effect


Repetition is one form of engagement that is built into the Gokhale Method Foundations Course. Each technique is taught repeatedly in the course, and in... Read more

Don’t Forget the Forgetting Curve! (Part 1)

December, 2016

As a posture teacher, I am very aware of my students’ tendencies to forget the finer points of the Gokhale Method. The longer students wait between classes or refreshers, the more they’ve forgotten. Although there’s always room to improve our teaching methods, forgetting is and will always be a natural phenomenon that accompanies any kind of memory acquisition.

 

According to nineteenth century psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus and his theory of the Forgetting Curve, people have a steady rate at which they forget material over time. After learning new material, we forget the majority of what we have learned within 24 hours; we forget even more in the following days.

... Read more

In Yoga: Bend Back, Don’t Swayback!

November, 2016

Not all backbends are created equal. Healthy backbends happens at the lowest lumbar level (L5-S1); unhealthy backbends happen higher up in the lumbar spine.
Cecily Frederick doing a back dive
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Posture Lessons Learned from Cats

November, 2016
1. Take frequent breaks to stand up and stretch
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Crowdsourcing Nominates Posture Modification As Best Lower Back Pain Solution

November, 2016

We’re very excited to announce recent validation of the Gokhale Method and Postural Modification by the world’s first crowdsourcing platform for medical interventions, www.healthoutcome.org.

 


Health Outcome homepage showing the highest and lowest rated solutions for Lower Back Pain

 

On this groundbreaking website, members of the public share what interventions they have tried for a... Read more

Is Your Stretching Regimen Helping or Harming You?

October, 2016

Stretching is a common prescription to help with back pain. At https://www.healthoutcome.org, the world’s first crowdsourcing platform to rate medical interventions, stretching is the 6th most commonly used intervention, after physical therapy, NSAIDs, heat, rest, and cortisone injections. On a scale from 0-5, stretching (rated 2.6) is the 5th most highly rated intervention after Postural Modification (3.8), Yoga (3.1), Supplements (2.9), Weight Loss (2.8), and Meditation (2.7).

 

Back pain caused by tight muscles is common

 

The Gokhale Method considers... Read more

Acting and Posture: How Do Actors Stack Up?

October, 2016

Human beings are creatures that copy each other. We especially copy our movie stars - and movie stars are paid to copy us. Movie stars and stage performers have always both reflected and influenced cultural norms. With the advent of TV in the 1950s, this cycle of influence became especially strong. Many people watch TV on a daily basis, and actors have a major influence on our clothing fashions, speech habits, and importantly, our posture. Because the posture of actors is well-preserved in millions of reels of celluloid, this medium provides an interesting study of changing postural trends over the past century.

 


 

... Read more

These Glutes Are Made For Walking

Khaddi Sagnia, World Athletics Championships in 2015 - ©Diego Azubel / EPA
September, 2016
Humans have really large butts. Your cat or dog, by contrast, has a very tiny bottom. Chances are you’ve never stopped to think about how unique your own derriere is. Primate species are unique in having distinctive buttock anatomy—our buttocks allow us to sit upright without resting our weight on our feet, the way our pets do. Human buttocks, which are particularly muscular and well-developed, empower us to be bipedal, and propel us forward in walking and running. Read more