We set a high bar for our six-lesson Gokhale Method Foundations course. We expect our students will
- Sit, stand, walk, lie, and bend in new (old!) and better ways
- Experience significantly less pain and more function
- Expect more from their body and life.
- Use the word “life-transforming” somewhere in their evaluation forms.
Even with this high bar, a student sometimes surprises us with the extent or speed of their progress over the course. Abigayil Tamara is one such student - here is her story.
My Experience With the Gokhale Method
~Abigayil Tamara, MA, MSW
I looked into the Gokhale Method after someone in a grocery store told me how much it had helped his mother.
My back issues began over 34 years ago, in 1983. I was given epidural injections. When I reached the point where I was unable to sit down, I had my first back surgery, a laminectomy on L4/L5, L5/S1. After the surgery, I used a walker for many years. In 2009, I had a second back surgery, a fusion at L4/L5, L5/S1. My third and fourth back surgeries In 2013 and 2016 involved removal of previous hardware, and fusion of L1-S1. Besides walkers, canes, and mobility scooters, I also had a service dog with a harness that I used for balance and support. Over the years I have worn a number of braces including two substantial back braces and braces for both legs. My back issues had resulted in burning in both calves and feet, and bursitis in both hips with pain extending down my right leg. I have had numerous tries of Physical Therapy, the most successful being Aquatic Physical Therapy in a warm water pool. Since my last surgery I have seen three Physiatrists and two Internists, one with an Anesthesiology specialty, in my search to heal my back, resolve severe pain, increase my functionality, and be able to stop wearing the brace I had worn for over ten months following the last surgery.
With my history, I wasn’t sure that the Gokhale Method® was going to be able to help. I attended the Free Workshop, and then had a consultation with Esther Gokhale. I found her extremely knowledgeable, and able to immediately offer help for my situation. She taught me how to engage and develop my Inner Corset. I then started the Foundations Course individually with Monisha White. After the first session with Monisha I was able to discontinue use of my back brace and haven’t needed it since. With Monisha’s help I was able to continually improve my posture, with Stretchsitting (I love shoulder rolls), Stacksitting, Tallstanding, Stretchlying (side and back), Glidewalking, Hip-Hinging, and wonderful Kidney-bean shaped feet. Because my back was very stiff and painful, lying down and going to bed had been extremely difficult activities. Once I learned Stretchlying, lying in bed was very comfortable, and I looked forward to getting into bed.
Having spent years as a teacher and in helping professions, it is always wonderful to find others who are passionate about their subject matter and able to teach in a way that enables others to absorb the information and apply it in their lives. This has been my experience with the Gokhale Method®. Demonstration, visuals, positioning my body, review, practice, and homework involving reading and exercises continually reinforced the information.
With the conclusion of the six session Foundations Course, I am engaging in continuation of the learning. It is important to me to build on current knowledge, to continually practice, stay engaged with others on this journey and learn new information. I am a senior with years of having a compromised back. I was amazed that in a short time with the Gokhale Method I was able to make significant changes to enhance the quality of my life. I am hopeful that others will learn this information and avoid the many years of suffering that characterized my life. I am very appreciative of Esther Gokhale’s work, and grateful for the many methods she has developed to help others.
The difference in neck curvature between the two is particularly marked
Note the strong improvement in shoulder and head placement
Abigayil will now build up the flexibility and strength she needs to deepen her bend, instead of compromising her spine above her fusions to reach the ground
Notice how much stronger and more confident Abigayil appears while standing, after!