Esther Gokhale has been involved in integrative therapies all of her life. As a young girl growing up in India, she helped her mother, a registered nurse, treat abandoned babies waiting to be adopted. This early interest led her to study biochemistry at Harvard and Princeton while later, acupuncture at the San Francisco school of Oriental medicine.
After crippling back pain during her first pregnancy and unsuccessful back surgery, she began her lifelong crusade to find a solution to back pain. Her studies at the Aplomb Institute in Paris and years of research in Burkina Faso, India, Portugal, and elsewhere led her to develop the Gokhale method which she has been teaching at her Palo Alto wellness center for over 15 years, and gives lectures for the ancestral health symposium, TEDX, google, and many more large organizations interested in posture’s effect on health, wellness and work.
When did we ever stop paying attention to our primal posture? Even if someone does remind us to "stand up straight" or "sit tall," we either become easily distracted or we fail to have good posture and end up over-exerting ourselves.
Other cultures have shared good posture techniques for generations. They know how to bend, sit, and stand with a strong body. But our modern culture has lost something along the way. We're not the same active hunter-gatherers that our ancestors once were long ago. We've lost our primal instinct today because we either work at a desk for hours on end or we're doing other sedentary activities all day.
We're naturally born with excellent posture and mobility, but as we move on in life, we tend to lose our good posture habits.
On this episode of Wellness Force, we'll discuss how our modern culture has affected our posture and what we can do to fix it.
Combining her experiences and knowledge about the human body, Esther has dedicated her life to changing our modern culture. With each workshop, lecture, and class, she is teaching us how we can achieve primal posture for wellness.
Esther Gokhale is the creator of The Gokhale Method as well as the author of the book, 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain. Esther and her team have helped many people with back pain and decreased joint mobility all throughout the USA and the rest of the world.
Not only does Esther teach us that it is possible to improve our posture and mobility, but she reminds us that without either, good health and wellness would be difficult to achieve.
Just as nutrition and fitness are important for our bodies, so is excellent posture and mobility.
"When you have good posture, then your every day life and activities become both your exercise and therapy." - Esther Gokhale
"When we focus on pointing our chins up, it usually leads us to tense up the muscles in the back of our neck. This tension in the back of the neck is not healthy. Our chins want to elongate and point down towards the ground." - Esther Gokhale on why we shouldn't focus on pointing our chins up to try to achieve good posture.
"When you have good posture, then your every day life and activities become both your exercise and therapy. Every bend and step becomes a rep or a stretch. You're also taking care of a lot of your exercise needs. With poor posture, not only are you missing out on those stretches and strengthening repetitions, but you're actually creating wear and tear on your joints." - Esther Gokhale on how good posture can benefit our bodies while poor posture hurts it.
"On average, people have great posture design and structure. However, it's up to the culture to either nurture and support this primal architecture that we're born with or to destroy it. Good posture can be destroyed with poorly designed furniture, directions such as "stand up straight, chin up," and even those electronic notifications that remind us to fix our posture." - Esther Gokhale on how good posture can decline because of culture.
"Culture is critical to posture and my life mission is to change the culture. My long-term goal is to create a healthy posture culture for modern people. It's possible and we have such an advantage to change our posture." - Esther Gokhale on her mission to help modern culture improve its posture.
"We blame sitting for our health problems, but it's actually incredibly gentle for the body. Of course you shouldn't just sit like a lump or sit with unhealthy posture in badly made furniture. However, if you sit well for moderate periods of time in half-decent furniture, sitting is really gentle for the system. It's so easy on the joints and our architecture." - Esther Gokhale on how sitting can be beneficial for our bodies with the right circumstances.
"Corporate jobs tend to keep people at their desks and don't allow them to move. Dance or movement breaks would be beneficial for the employees." - Esther Gokhale on how corporations can include movement as a part of their employees' work day.
"A lot of people will only make an extreme change when they're going through extreme pain. But this is an opportunity for everyone to get involved and be proactive. Proactive health is so much easier than reactive health." - Josh Trent on how we can take advantage of the Gokhale Method to actively improve our health.
"Culture is critical to posture and my life mission is to change the culture." -Esther Gokhale
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