Hi there, Im 28 and I'm new to the method, and quickly learning all that I can about Esther's primal posture methods. I've been working on rib anchors and it's revealing that I have a hunch in my upper back when I do this.
In the post re: sway back, she suggests shoulder roll and neck lengthening. Are there any other tips? Once I anchor the ribs, I'm still left with a hunch and shoulders tilted forward, so it's a position that I can't maintain. Perhaps it will just take time to correct all these things, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do in the meantime to help it along. I've ordered the book, but I'm eager to get started as this method has already helped some other issues I've had.
I apologize if my question is redundant and has been discussed already. I've combed through the blog and other forum posts already. I can post a photo if that would be helpful.
1 hour 33 min ago
09/05/2014 - 6:51am
Hello Mel – It’s great to sense your enthusiasm and recognition of the value of this method for you!
I think once you get the book and start from the beginning, you’ll learn how the techniques work together. You wouldn’t do a rib anchor without attention to the rest of the body. After doing the rib anchor, a shoulder roll and neck repositioning will probably undo your hunch. However, the shoulder roll and rib anchor tend to oppose each other. After you do the rib anchor to undo a sway, a shoulder roll can tend to reintroduce a sway. Sometimes you need to go back and forth a bit between these two moves.
The rib anchor is a challenging move for a lot of students, especially at the beginning. I know when I started, most of the movement was coming from just rounding my upper back muscles. After some practice, I noticed that I wasn’t using my back anymore and was successfully isolating the internal oblique muscles attached to the lower border of the ribs. So you might just need more time and practice. There are exercises for engaging the rib anchor starting on page 198 of the book. You also will benefit from watching some of the Gokhale Moments videos on the website: http://gokhalemethod.com/videos/gokhale_moment. Look for the ones called Rib Anchor, Hair Pull and Shoulder Roll. After looking at the Rib Anchor video, you may even find that you are simply overdoing the movement.
The best way to learn the method is to take the Foundations Course, or at least to have a consult with one of our teachers to make sure you’re on the right track with what you pick up from the book and videos.
If this isn’t a sufficient answer for you, do feel free to post a photo with your questions.
Thanks for writing!
Gokhale Method Teacher
6 years 2 weeks ago
04/21/2017 - 3:15pm
Thank you for the helpful answer, Doreen. Yes, the rib anchor is indeed the more challenging part of this, for me anyway.
My experience has been similar to yours. When I wrote the post, I was also rounding in order to achieve the rib anchor. After a few days, I was amazed to get a feel for my internal obliques pitching in to help and the awareness of those deeper muscles.
However, now I'm at the point where I find it difficult to sustain a rib anchor for long as Im using my internal obliques to achieve it. Do I just keep working on strengthening them by doing rib anchors often or should it be more natural?
Thanks for your help,
1 hour 33 min ago
09/05/2014 - 6:51am
Hi Mel - I like your report of noticing your internal obliques getting on board, and after only a few days! Isn't it cool how the body picks up on this stuff after a little practice?
Using muscles in new ways definitely takes work, and you are changing long-standing habits of posture. Be patient with yourself! If you are a person who has had a persistent sway in the low back, you'll benefit from practicing the rib anchor as often as you reasonably can. Accept that it takes time to build new habits and strengthen muscles, and give yourself credit for every time you do engage the rib anchor. Be kind to yourself - give yourself a break when you need it. Our advice is to go for something that's somewhere between what you've been used to doing and what's ideal. Esther often says, "Do your due diligence, and then relax!"
Thanks for writing -