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Desk Work: Sit? Stand? Both?

July, 2013
In the modern debate about whether to sit, stand or jiggle behind your desk all day, there is little examination of how we might improve our base positions as opposed to escape them. “The best position is the next position” exemplifies the common admission of hopelessness in finding any healthy base position. In my view, all base positions have merits, and done with good form in moderation, are healthy and sustainable. Let us examine how we might improve each of our desk positions. Read more

Airplane Seat Solutions

A Stretchsit cushion helps fill the unhealthy C shape found in many airplane seats, or even better, facilitates gently stretching the spine.
May, 2014
The summer is upon us and many of us will be traveling in buses, boats, cars, and planes. I have spent a lot of time on planes and have observed people in discomfort all around me. The shape of airplane seats varies from airline to airline, but all of them have a curvature that forces the spine into an uncomfortable C-shape. In this season of airline travel, I’d like to share some simple tips to protect the spine and reduce muscle tension during an airplane flight. 1) Fill the C The concave shape of airline seats puts pressure on the spinal discs and is the starting point for muscle tension. Fill the lower part of your seat with pillows, blankets, sweaters, or ideally a Stretchsit® Cushion to create a flat plane along which you can lengthen your spine. Read more

The Story of the Stretchsit® Cushion

April, 2017

Earlier in the history of our company, we didn’t intend to create any posture products and thought education alone would be sufficient. We still stand by our philosophy that education is the most important ingredient in restoring primal posture.  


Posture braces, seat cushions, and shirts are not able to take the place of hands-on coaching to establish posture ideals or healthy ways of getting to those ideals. The Gokhale Method trains people on the look and feel of healthy posture; now you can choose aids wisely to support you.

... Read more

Sitting: Is It Hurting You?

May, 2017

Sitting has been much maligned in the last decade. News sources love to dramatize the issue, and you can find many alarming headlines—such as, “Sitting will kill you, even if you exercise” from CNN in 2015. The debate about the various risks of sitting and possible ways to mitigate them is raging, and articles and research range from “sitting is the new smoking” to “sitting isn’t actually bad for you.”

 
Sitting: is it bad for you?

In the last few years, some research has seemed to backtrack or qualify the fears of the past, making a distinction between sitting for work versus sitting in front of the TV; news articles have begun to note the higher risks of sitting for those who are obese or inactive, and the potentially minimal risks of sitting for otherwise healthy... Read more

How to Sit on the Floor, Part 1: Cross-legged Sitting

March, 2019

This is the first post in our multi-part series on floor sitting. For Part 2 on squatting, click here.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor is common in many cultures around the world, and has become popular in some segments of modern Western societies.

 


This Druze woman who I met in Israel has sat cross-legged all her life. She runs a hospitality business — all the food is laid out on the floor and the guests sit along the periphery of the room. She is at ease in this position for extended periods with her back remaining upright and relaxed.
 


In this temple in Bhubaneswar,... Read more

Glidewalking: Sitting’s Long-Lost Counterpart

August, 2019

 


Mother and son in a tribal Orissan village demonstrating excellent walking form. Notice that their heels remain on the floor well into their stride.

Do you have tight psoas muscles? Do you suspect the cause is too much time spent sitting in your daily life? There’s a complementary activity that helps counterbalance the time we spend sitting: walking — or, more specifically, glidewalking. Glidewalking helps balance our sitting in numerous ways — walking is dynamic versus sitting which is static. Yang balances Yin, viewed in the framework of traditional Chinese medicine. One underappreciated way in which walking can balance sitting pertains to the psoas muscle.

... Read more

How to Choose a Backrest

January, 2022
This blog post is about sitting with a backrest, which could be the back part of a chair, or something added to the chair for additional support and comfort.  Support and relief Virtually any backrest will give relief that a tired back will appreciate. Support is certainly preferable when we sit for longer periods of time to enjoy reading, TV, a movie, or, if we are lucky, live theater.  With the trunk slightly inclined against a backrest, there is less compressive force due to gravity acting on the spine. In addition, the trunk stabilizer muscles get a break. When we are driving or traveling by plane or train, a backrest also confers additional protection from vibration or any untoward impact.  Read more

The Secrets to Pain-Free Sitting, Part 1: The Inspiration behind a New TV Show

June, 2022

People are sitting poorly and continue to blame sitting for their back pain. We believe the solution to this problem is more urgently needed than ever… and that the solution is now more readily available than ever, given one of the Gokhale Institute’s recent projects. I am excited to tell you about The Secrets to Pain-Free Sitting, a pledge show we made with producer Frank Zamacona for American Public Television (APT). 

Sitting has become a problem
In recent years people have become confused about and even afraid of sitting. Sitting is considered problematic in our society, both because it is associated with an unhealthy level of inactivity, and because it is generally done with poor posture, leading to discomfort and pain.  Read more

Family Cycling: That’s How We Roll

July, 2022
Cycling has been a passionate sport and hobby of mine for decades. I am no longer a professional bike racer; I am now a mother and Gokhale Method® teacher. As a result, I have become more observant of what can “go wrong”, posturally speaking, when riding a bicycle. And I work to improve my posture as I pedal. For example, it takes vigilance to keep my shoulders back and my head aligned with my torso. I now know how cycling can enhance my form, and vice versa. I also enjoy modeling key posture principles to guide my daughters and partner so that they too can be comfortable and healthy on a bicycle. Cycling is a part of family life In this blog post I would like to share with you some of the cycling activities and posture tips that have benefitted us as a family. Prior to parenthood, my partner and I raced and trained together for many years, traveling to quite a few states and even abroad to indulge our passion. When our daughters were born we decided that, at least in our busy city, Somerville, MA (the most densely-populated city on the Eastern Seaboard, USA!), we would get about with them on bicycles instead of driving. Read more