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How Correct Posture and a Holistic Approach Helped My Osteoporosis

February, 2021
I am a small-boned, postmenopausal woman with osteoporosis. I first showed signs of osteopenia (the precursor to osteoporosis) 10 years ago and agreed with my physician to take a Western medicine called Boniva. After a year of nasty side effects, I discontinued the medicine and decided to try to pursue other options. I researched and experimented and eventually found a routine comprised of nutritional supplements, weight-bearing exercises with a trainer twice a week, and walking as much as possible. This routine seemed to help a little but was complicated by an undiagnosed fissure in my L5/S1 lumbar disc. At the time, I was in chronic pain and in constant fear of having a back spasm with each weight-bearing exercise. I did my best, but the gusto I needed to push through these exercises soon evaporated. Read more

Prime your Spine with Primal Head-loading

February, 2021
We Gokhale Method teachers love our head cushions! I find there is nothing better than head-loading, even with a light weight, to evoke a taller stance, help straighten out excessive neck curvature, and strengthen the deepest of our neck muscles.  The realization that head-loading must have once been a ubiquitous activity hit home in my research travels to Burkina Faso in the 1990s. I began sharing the benefits of head-loading with my students, and devised the Gokhale™ Head Cushion to make it an accessible and convenient exercise.  Read more

Beating Depression with Exercise

January, 2021

It’s no secret that depression and anxiety are rampant these days. So many people worldwide are feeling the effects of the ongoing pandemic, and dealing with its many, varied results, not to mention other stressors. It can seem that there is so little in our lives that we can have influence over, exacerbating feelings of powerlessness and depression.

In addition to the range of standard therapeutic interventions like psychotherapy and medication, there’s something all of us can adopt that will help boost our mood: adding exercise to our routine. Read more

Is Just Showing Up Enough?

January, 2021
A common saying in the United States is “Showing up is half the battle.” I would prefer that to read “Showing up is half the game.” This distinction notwithstanding, the saying speaks to the big difference between giving something a try and opting out of participating at all. But does this lowest-common-denominator approach predispose us toward laziness? And does it cheapen the earnest efforts of others? People make a big deal about perfectly adhering to routines, attending classes (or in pre-COVID times, the gym) daily, etc. As it turns out, however, the imperfect, fuzzy-edged effort has a great deal of value. Learn why in my latest blog post! Read more

How to Not Fail at Your New Year Resolutions

December, 2020

With the approach of the New Year, many people are thinking about resolutions, but the truth about most New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t stick. Or they don’t stick for long. This isn’t on account of personal failure. According to Stanford behavior scientist B.J. Fogg, author of the NY Times bestseller Tiny Habits, the problem is how we humans approach habit formation in the first place. All-or-nothing thinking, such as framing struggles as “failure” and anything short of “perfection” as unacceptable, is a hard line to take with ourselves. Struggling with a new habit is very common and perfection is by its nature unachievable, so identifying with our "failures" ends up preventing growth and keeping us in our comfort zones...or ruts. So what can we do about it? Read more

“I had no idea that the Gokhale Method would change my life:” Teacher Kathleen O’Donohue’s Story

December, 2020

Who knew that learning to walk well could change the course of one’s life — even in one’s 60s? I was inspired to teach the Gokhale Method after experiencing welcome relief from chronic hip pain by learning how to glidewalk. My hip had bothered me since a miles-long walk in my late 20s though it wasn’t severe until later on. While in my early 30s, I had experienced back spasms requiring bed rest, with spasms and back pain for at least 6 weeks. Fast forward to the day I picked up that fateful Gokhale Method flyer in my mom’s doctor’s office, when I was in my 60s. I guessed that Esther’s book would educate me as well as the folks I worked with, but I had no idea that the Gokhale Method would change my life. Read more