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Blog

Grateful for My Garden

February, 2018

When I first came to this country in 1975, I had gardening on my mind. My family in India had just moved from Mumbai to Pune, where it became possible to plant a garden, and my mother was full of plans for this new adventure. Her excitement was infectious and I also became keen on gardening. As an exchange student, I started a garden in my host family’s plot. Later, when my husband and I moved to Stanford, I cultivated a communal plot at Escondido Village. In our first condominium/home, I spent several years working the very clay soil that is the legacy of every Bay Area homeowner. My efforts came to a standstill when I herniated my L5-S1 disc in the ninth month of my first pregnancy. Not only could I not think about gardening, I was also unable to pick up a cooking pot, sleep, or, worst of all, pick up my baby.

It took me several years to figure out what had caused my problem, how to solve it, and develop enough confidence to have two more children. With the additions... Read more

My Gokhale Method Experience

February, 2018

I have been practicing massage therapy and bodywork for over 19 years. I believe in the value of massage and love my work. But over the years I noticed many clients kept returning with the same, or related complaints/injuries, over and over again. And this happened even though they diligently performed PT exercises, stretched, practiced yoga etc. I felt there was something missing, something that could help clients retain the benefits of therapeutic work and maintain their good health. For me that answer came when I learned about the Gokhale Method®, a postural re-education method created by Esther Gokhale, author of the bestseller 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back.

My introduction to the Gokhale Method came through my massage client Susan, a former competitive figure skater and modern dancer who had experience with several forms of bodywork. When she... Read more

Lessons I Learned from My Travels: Burkina Faso

January, 2018

OUAHIGOUYA, BURKINA FASO

 

The cradle of mankind is also the cradle of healthy movement and posture.

It has become increasingly clear from the archaelogical record that Africa is the cradle of mankind. In modern times, Africa is the place that has the best-preserved primal posture. Visitors marvel, appropriately, at the carriage of women carrying large loads on their heads, and at the elegant gait of men and women as they traverse long distances to go about their business. It’s a wise move to follow behind someone who you perceive to have good posture / movement mechanics, turn your brain off (and sometimes on) and let each part of you—legs, torso, neck, arms—mimic the corresponding part in your “teacher.” This was a technique I used to learn many details of healthy movement.

... Read more

How to Sit on a Sofa with Good Posture

January, 2018

One regular challenge you are likely to face in your posture journey is the battle against the oversized sofa. Here are some tips to help you maintain good form and stay pain-free when relaxing on a sofa.

Want to avoid the habitual curled, tucked position that most couches seem to encourage? Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash.

 

Stretchsitting

Your first line of defense against a deep, soft couch should be stretchsitting. This will make your seated time therapeutic as well as relaxing. Some couches, made of fabric with some degree of friction and having seats that aren’t too deep, may not be difficult to stretchsit on. If you’re lucky, you can simply hook yourself up against the back of the sofa. However, many couches are too deep to allow... Read more

Are Your Clothes Helping Your Posture?

December, 2017

Students of the Gokhale Method sometimes find that their new upright, relaxed posture makes clothes fit better. Tailored clothes, however, sometimes fit worse, restricting motion and bunching up in awkward places. Here are some items to watch out for, and how to test their fit:

 

Jeans - Cut to Tuck?

Tucking the pelvis is so widespread in modern societies that most jeans and pants are designed around this posture. Fashion models tuck, teenagers tuck (sometimes highlighting this stance with sagging pants!), and even fitness instructors tuck and teach their students to tuck.

Jeans cut to fit a tucked pelvis are more symmetric front to back. They lack room for well-developed glutes (buttock muscles). The belt line tends to be horizontal. The fabric over the groin/hip area lacks a crease, and tends to fall in a vertical plane between the abdomen and the front of the thigh.

... Read more

Reading Without Pain

December, 2017

The weather is colder (even here in California) and most of us are spending more time indoors for warmth and entertainment. I especially like to spend time reading in bed, where I can pile on the blankets and enjoy the coziness of fall and winter. If you experience pain or discomfort—especially in your neck—when you read in bed, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Any time you are sitting or lying down can be an opportunity to decompress the vertebrae in your back. To keep the right shape in the spine, build a staircase of pillows to support your lower back, mid-back and neck


Using a combination of thick and thin pillows makes it easy to build a comfortable slope or staircase.

Lying down with just your head and neck on a plump pillow pushes your head forward relative to your torso. This... Read more