Spring is in the air! As the temperature rises, we go for lighter footwear, exchanging our shoes for sandals, or going barefoot. It may have been a while since our feet had so much exposure - what can we do to benefit our feet and put a little spring into them? Read more
This is the second post in our multi-part series on floor sitting. For Part 1 on floor sitting, click here.
Why squat? Squatting isn’t something we do much in industrialized societies beyond childhood, but if you can do it healthfully, it is an eminently practical posture for resting the body while keeping the backside elevated off the ground and the clothing clean, as this woman from Orissa demonstrates.
This woman from Orissa demonstrates a healthy, full squat with foot arches intact and a long, straight spine.
It is also the posture used for toilet activities in places with floor toilets, a trend which has recently made its way to the industrialized realm in the... Read more
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
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
Welcome to the second blog post in our 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. If you missed Part 1, you can catch up here.
Reactivate your feet
When it comes to advice about running, the feet often get overlooked as the subject immediately turns to shoes. While shoes are an important subject (spoiler alert! Part 3 is about shoes), I prefer to start with that miracle of bioengineering that actually does the work—your feet.
Our feet become very passive from walking on flat, featureless surfaces rather than natural, more undulating terrain. They are also constrained, misshapen and deconditioned by less-than-ideal footwear, which, sadly, includes many running shoes on the market. Read more
Welcome to the third blog post in our series on running. My name is Michelle Ball, and I am a Gokhale Method® teacher in Tasmania. I am a lifelong runner and am passionate about sharing my experience with beginners as well as seasoned runners and everyone in between. Even if you don’t run, but do wear shoes, this blog post is for you!
Active feet come first
When it comes to advice about running, our feet often get sidelined by the subject of shoes. If you missed Part 2, which is about how to build healthy, active feet, we recommend you catch up here. Read more
Using the word “eccentric” might sound like I’m about to write about muscles behaving in weird ways that are different from usual muscle behavior!
But what I’m referring to, eccentric muscle contraction, is often pronounced ee-sen-trik, not ek-sen-trik.
How muscles contract
Eccentric muscle contraction is the reverse of the concentric contraction that we typically associate with muscle training. For example, the dumbbell curl that makespops up the bicep prominent as you lift the weight towards your shoulder is a concentric contraction. The muscle contracts and shortens. But lowering the dumbbell back down again, which requires the muscle to lengthen, also takes Read more