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L5-S1

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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Why Keep the Body forward in Warrior I Pose?

August, 2020

A general tenet of the Gokhale Method approach is that micro-level adjustments can lead to macro-level results. Like the world we live in, the human body is a complex, interconnected system. So it is not surprising that attainable tweaks in how we use our bodies can have beneficial effects on our function and well-being.

Yoga is no different. If you have an established yoga practice, you’ve probably discovered for yourself that small adjustments are not so small in the aggregate! Learn the specifics of why I make this particular adjustment to Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I) in my latest blog post. Read more

How Not To Do Yoga

April, 2022
This blog post explains how some common yoga injuries occur and how applying the principles of healthy posture to yoga postures replaces this scenario with movements that are good for your body. Yoga postures and back pain Growing up in Mumbai, India, my Dutch mother was a student of BKS Iyengar and the Satyananda yogis, and keen for me also to learn yoga asanas, or postures. I practiced, and, being reasonably athletic as a child and already trained in Indian classical dance (Bharata Natyam), did not find it particularly difficult to choreograph the back bends, forward bends, and twists that were asked of me. I became a yoga model, demonstrating postures alongside visiting swamis’ presentations to induce the audience to sign up for upcoming yoga courses. Read more

Running: Part 5: Anteverted Pelvis

August, 2022
Welcome to the fifth blog post in our series on running. My name is Michelle Ball, and I am a Gokhale Method® teacher living in Tasmania. I am also a lifelong runner and am passionate about sharing the benefits of healthy posture with the running community, be that beginners, seasoned runners, or anyone in between. Even if you don’t run, but do want an active and pain-free body well into old age, this blog post is for you! What is an anteverted pelvis? Pelvis refers to the bony pelvis, and means basin, or bowl, in Latin. Anteverted means tipped, turned, or inclined forward, from the Latin ante to go before or in front, and vertere to turn. So we are referring to a pelvis that tips forward. Read more

Outer Corsets and Inner Corsets

September, 2022
I have often written about the elegance of people in bygone years. The women, sometimes corseted, show striking deportment. The excesses of nineteenth-century fashion understandably gave corsets a bad name. Extreme tight lacing had some terrible effects, imposing some drastic anatomical remodeling: The stomach and liver are crammed down, with the ribs compressing into drooping S-loops. The neural spines of each vertebra, the little projections that stick up from the central body of each bone, are also pushed out of place. Normally they stack nicely one atop the other in a neat midline ridge, but in long-term corset wearers these spindles of bone jut to this side or that. Science writer Brian Switek in Skeleton Keys: The Secret Life of Bone. Read more