Native Wisdom for Modern Spines
The Gokhale Method (pronounced go-clay)
Often the most powerful changes we can make are the most simple. Esther Gokhale, a biochemist, acupuncturist and yoga teacher, studied the habits and posture of native and ancient people to discover how we can move with the same strength and pain-free ease.
Manual labor in traditional cultures, past and present, doesn’t result in the kinds of back problems that we have with our western, modern lifestyle. To me, this is a fascinating thought, and it makes so much sense to learn about what traditional people naturally do that’s actually very different from what we’re taught about posture.
Esther’s method focuses on the position of the pelvis, which she says should not be tucked under as we’re told. She observed ancient Greek statues, ancient Indian figures, native people, and modern young kids before they’ve started school – they all have less spinal curve than we see in modern adults, and the rear end really in the rear! Also, the cervical curve is relatively flat.
Alexander technique is another excellent method for improving posture, but that focuses on the upper body. Esther’s method focuses more on the position of the pelvis, as this is where we ground ourselves, and then it’s easier to adjust the upper body from there. She says that we can learn to adjust our posture in ways that elongate the spine and take pressure off the discs, bringing great relief for many kinds of back problems.
And her method doesn’t take years of training, but can be learned in her workshops or even from her book. I began feeling better already just from watching her 1-hour presentation on youtube.
Again – most of what we’re taught about posture is wrong, and what a refreshing experience to discover some very simple adjustments we can do ourselves that can make a difference!
Watch a wonderful 1-hr presentation given by Esther to Google employees.