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How Not to Be a One-Trick Pony as a Pain Intervention

September, 2020
Many back pain interventions could be described as having a single, dominant approach: cortisone injections into inflamed tissue, insertion of acupuncture needles to open flow in meridians, “adjustments,” medications for reducing pain, etc. Of course, each of these interventions has complexity and nuance in theory and practice, but the vast majority of existing interventions have a single focus. To put it somewhat crassly, they could be described as one-trick ponies. And I’ve wondered if this is perhaps related to why most approaches to back pain are so ineffectual. What sets the Gokhale Method apart? Read more

Q&A with Eric Fernandez of Our New Program, Gokhale Fitness with Eric

September, 2020
Our new Online University program for alumni, Gokhale Fitness with Eric, has been delighting participants three times a week since it began earlier this month. When starting a new exercise class or fitness activity, it can be encouraging to learn more about the instructor’s background. To this end, I recently sat down with Eric to ask him a few questions about what he brings to the table for Gokhale Fitness with Eric. Read more

Why Keep the Body forward in Warrior I Pose?

August, 2020

A general tenet of the Gokhale Method approach is that micro-level adjustments can lead to macro-level results. Like the world we live in, the human body is a complex, interconnected system. So it is not surprising that attainable tweaks in how we use our bodies can have beneficial effects on our function and well-being.

Yoga is no different. If you have an established yoga practice, you’ve probably discovered for yourself that small adjustments are not so small in the aggregate! Learn the specifics of why I make this particular adjustment to Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I) in my latest blog post. Read more

How (and Why) to Keep Your Neck Tall

August, 2020
Neck pain is extremely widespread. It doesn’t help that most ergonomic furniture is not only unhelpful, but even counterproductive (the Herman Miller Aeron chair won the “cool” race in corporate America, and it’s my least favorite of all). We’re also surrounded by people who model poor (usually slumpy) posture with forward head — and whether we know it or not, it’s in our DNA to mimic what’s around. And last, but not least, our lay and medical experts have adopted a particularly counterproductive set of posture guidelines, including “chin up,” “chest out,” “stand up straight,” do crunches, tuck your pelvis — all of which harm the neck among other parts of the body. How can we learn to prevent neck pain? Read more

My Favorite Exercises for When You Can’t Get to the Gym, Part 2: Toning the Gluteus Medius

July, 2020

Exercise is wonderful not only for keeping us strong and healthy, but also for relieving stress and anxiety. Now that gyms are shut down again here in California, home exercise is even more important than ever before. In today’s installment, we’ll focus on an exercise I’ve devised over the years designed to isolate and strengthen the oft-overlooked gluteus medius. This muscle is almost always underdeveloped in people who’ve been raised in industrialized cultures. But it is an important player in gait, running, and athletics. It also helps with balance and fall-prevention as we move through the world, no matter our age. And it’s “behind” all the peachy, perky behinds out there in the world! Read more

My Favorite Exercises for When You Can't Visit the Gym, Part 1: Chair Pose

July, 2020
Whether you are on the road, in a campground, or just stuck at home during quarantine, you can always exercise. I’ve been dancing since I was a young child, so I have a very strong bias for dance as a way of exercising, but I also like to change it up with other types of exercise. It turns out that we have a lot of options, even when we can’t access the gym. Chair Pose (Utkatasana in Sanskrit) is a great example of an at-home, equipment-free exercise which can strengthen a variety of muscles in very little time. You don’t have to spend forever and a day in Chair Pose to reap its benefits. This makes it a perfect fit for our busy lives. Read more