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Esther Gokhale's blog

My Favorite Exercises for When You Can't Visit the Gym, Part 1

July, 2020


Making the most of shelter-in by practicing chair pose Gokhale-style in my backyard garden.

Whether you are on the road, in a campground, or just stuck at home during quarantine, you can always exercise. In the daily lead-up to our ongoing Posture 1-2-3 Challenge for alumni subscribers, I often turn to dance as a way to process whatever baggage might have set foot in my psyche that particular morning, and also to get the group moving and warmed up for... Read more

How Joan Baez Got Her Booty Back at Age 79

June, 2020

If you’ve been participating in our ongoing Posture 1-2-3 Challenge for alumni, chances are you’ve seen my longtime student, Joan Baez, who regularly joins in. At age 79, she’s sturdy and beautiful, with shapely legs, toned arms, and a peachy, perky butt. Although we’ve all enjoyed her bodacious pipes for many decades, she hasn’t always been such a well-rounded posture student. In her 20s and 30s, her boombox was highly functional, but her booty was lacking. Learn how a posture upgrade helped Joan develop her glutes, and how you can develop yours, too -- regardless of age! Read more

Do You Need a Custom Desk to Work from Home?

May, 2020
How are you faring? Here in California, we’re still squarely in shelter-in-place mode, settling into “normal-for-now.” Some people, whose professions allow it, are still acclimating to the experience of working from home. How can we optimize our home work environments? I recently had a discussion with a full-time writer. Steve decided to have a new writing desk built to specs, and was curious to get my take on how to make sure his new desk, and home working environment more generally, is supportive of healthy posture. Read on to learn more! Read more

Which Pain Intervention Has Staying Power?

April, 2020


Back, neck, and joint pain may be flaring up for many of us, especially those who have come to depend on palliative interventions such as massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy.

Does it seem to anyone else like the ribbon of life just tangled dramatically? It makes sense to feel this way — we’re living in a rapidly changing world with new information coming our way all the time. One way we may be physically experiencing that change is in our daily pain levels, which can increase due to myriad reasons: working from home on unfamiliar furniture, stress manifesting as tension in the body, eroded sleep quality from anxiety flare-ups,... Read more

Cultivating Healthful New Routines in Times of Uncertainty

March, 2020


Coronavirus is a quickly-developing story, and one we’re doing our utmost to address.

We’ve all had a rough week. The spread of coronavirus has led to major disruptions in our existing routines. Schools in many locations are closed and parents are navigating homeschool and childcare without as much support from teachers and caregivers as they are used to. Students and workers, whenever possible, have had their environments shifted from the physical to the... Read more

Can the Venus of Willendorf Teach Us about Posture?

March, 2020


Thought to have been made around 30,000 BCE, one of the oldest and most famous prehistoric figurines is known as the Venus of Willendorf. Found in modern-day Austria, this late stone-age artifact is just over 4” high and has traces of ocher coloring. Underneath her ample flesh her pelvis is anteverted, placing her behind behind her. Original image courtesy Wikipedia user MatthiasKabel under CC-BY 2.5.

When the weather is cold and wet, or, for our students in the Southern Hemisphere, hot and dry, museums can be very agreeable places to visit. Humidity and temperature controlled as they are, museums allow you to... Read more

Opening Your Heart Space

February, 2020


This bronze figure shows an open chest and “heart space;” his shoulders are well back and his ribcage is anchored. He is part of a fountain in Piccadilly Circus, London, sculpted by Sir Alfred Gilbert in 1893. Referred to (erroneously) as “Eros,” the figure is in fact Anteros, Eros’ brother, who represents a more mature, less capricious love. Original image courtesy Gareth Williams under CC BY 2.0.

“Heart space” is a term used in yoga to describe the upper part of the chest where the heart is located. Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to give some special attention to this region, and explore its relation to your posture and wellbeing.... Read more

How to Improve Your Posture in a Day

January, 2020


Pop-up Courses ensure an excellent teacher:student ratio for lots of direct attention.

Our newly-crafted Pop-up Course fills a gap in our group class offerings. After many years of experimentation, we are excited about this format as it enables more people to benefit from the Gokhale Method.

Why a Pop-up Course?

  • Our highly successful Foundations Course typically takes place over 2-3 days, or longer. Some students struggle to fit its 6 lessons into their schedule. The Pop-up Course takes just one day (plus a 30-minute online private follow-up appointment), thus reducing the time required and keeping scheduling simple.

  • It’s easier

  • ... Read more

What is the Best Ab Exercise?

December, 2019


The abdominal crunch, though ubiquitous, is actually quite detrimental to the spinal discs and nerves. Better to find an abdominal exercise which respects and protects the spine! Image courtesy Jonathan Borba on Unsplash.

Happy Holidays! The dawning of a new year is a time when many people make efforts to establish new habits, many of them body-related. With the desire to improve ourselves often comes a (sometimes unhealthy) heightened awareness of how our bodies and their shapes appear to others. This is particularly true of abdominal muscles. Photoshopped, unrealistic images of... Read more

Humans Learn through Repetition

December, 2019


Learning and internalizing techniques doesn’t always happen immediately — or without assistance from a teacher.

I spent many years developing and perfecting the Gokhale Method Foundations Course. After years of crafting the language, honing the metaphors, and rearranging the order in which techniques are taught, I considered the course well-constructed and comprehensive. I was proud to empower students to be independent in taking their posture journey forward. I was proud to not be peddling products gratuitously, nor to insist students keep coming back for additional lessons. 

The results of this approach were not always stellar. Though some students functioned just fine after one go-round of a full 6-lesson Foundations Course, most students, not surprisingly, needed ongoing repetition to... Read more