What are the best things to look for in order to stretch sit when you are in places such as a classroom, bar, friends house etc.
There are three things you want to look for in a chair suitable for stretchsitting:
Esther covers stretchsitting in Lesson One of her book, "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back," and also in the first lesson of the Gokhale Method Foundations course.
Of course, most chairs can be modified with towels, blankets, or the Stretchsit Cushion.
I hope this answers your question well.
Norm Brekke, Gokhale Method Teacher, Minneapolis, MN
I also find it hard to modify the chairs. Out of the controlled environmentof home and office, we don't get to choose our chairs and they can be horrible. For example, my relative's apartment only has outdoor plastic furniture for sitting around the table- it's use that, stand, or go home. More tips would be really helpful.
I recomend looking for a chair that has a flat seat pan. That is the seat pan is horizontal and it doesn't angle backwards. When seated, we want our legs to be externally rotated so check that the chair does not have that "hammock" effect which collapses them in. The backrest should allow you to stretchsit, whether on its own or with additional help from a Stretch-sit Cushion or a firm little pillow or such. Ultimately make sure your lounge chair supports your back in its healthy, lengthened J shape.
Hope this helps. Happy shopping!
Aurelia Vaicekauskas, Gokhale Method Teacher, Chicago
My copy of 8 Steps came yesterday. In Lesson 1 Esther is shown using a folding chair to demonstrate the technique. I got a folding chair out last night to try it, but I find that at 5' tall it's impossible to rotate my shoulders back in this chair. The back brace that becomes the chair's front legs is in the way. I've been over the whole house searching for a good place to sit and not found it yet. Although I really don't especially find them comfortable, would a dining chair with a high back work? I should say the back of the chair comes to just below my shoulders and my feet won't sit flat on the floor.
I am so exited you got the book and are ready to practice Stretchsitting!
There are a number of ways you can navigate this problem. You can place a pillow or a folded blanket on the seat pan, to raise you up some to get clearance for your shoulders. Or you could fold a towel and drape it vertically over the back rest and place the Stretchsit Cushion over it (if you have it). If you don't have a Stretchsit Cushion, fold the towel into a thicker layer but narow enough to fit between your shoulder blades and stretchsit into it, your shoulders will have some room to do a Shoulder Roll. If your feet are not reaching the floor, you can place a folded yoga mat under your feet.
With a little bit of tinkering your dining chair and almost any kind of chair could be turned into a Stretchsitting chair. As long as you have something placed against the back rest that can catch and hold your stretched back while you sit. I am attaching a link with videos (they are all the way at the bottom) that take you step by step of Stretch Sitting
If you don't have the Stretchsit Cushion use towels, folded blankets instead.
Hope this helps!