As the summer sun mellows and fall approaches, this is my favorite time of year to go hiking. Hiking brings so many benefits, from lifting your spirits and relaxing in nature, to catching up with friends and spending quality time with family.
The physical health benefits of walking are well documented. Choose your terrain well, and hiking provides great cardiovascular exercise for all ages. If you have a sedentary job, walking around town can be an important part of what helps you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Read more
On our website, the top searches include, "glutes," "walking," and "butt." So I thought I'd take this chance to say a few words on the subject.
"Callipygian" is an English word of Greek origin. It means “of, pertaining to, or having beautiful buttocks”. The word, (pronounced kal-uh-PIDGE-ee-uhn), is derived from the Greek word “kalli” meaning beautiful, and “pyge” from the Greek word for rump or buttock.
One of the great strengths of the Gokhale Method is that you learn it doing practical activities, like sitting and walking; you then practice it during your day-to-day life. Regular tasks like driving the car and household chores, and leisure activities like gardening and playing sports, become not only safe and comfortable, but actually therapeutic. If you are fortunate enough to live with a dog, you have a very special opportunity to hone your posture skills.
Daily dog walks are great training for your posture! Photo courtesy Pixabay.
Firstly, you will probably be walking your dog every day — maybe twice or even three times a day. The regular nature of this activity is a huge boon for establishing good postural habits. The assured minimal frequency of 1-3 times a day is... Read more
Cecilia* didn’t expect to develop disabilities in her early 40s. She had led an active life, working as an academic in a competitive field and enjoying intense activities such as rock climbing, camping, hiking, kayaking, Iyengar yoga, Crossfit, and running. She even flew glider planes for fun. In her own words, she has an “extreme personality” — she pushes herself hard in life and seeks out challenging situations, whether working or playing.
Cecilia describes herself as an “extreme personality” and once enjoyed such intense outdoor pastimes as rock climbing, among others. This all changed once she began a law degree and bar exam preparations. Photo courtesy... Read more
Norm, a hydrologic analyst and author now 82 years of age, originally hails from Alberta, Canada. When Norm was 16 years old, he accepted a summer job in Lake Louise (also known as Lake of the Little Fishes by the local Stoney Nakoda people), a location in the Canadian Rockies so known for its rugged beauty that it is frequently included on lists of “Wonders of the World.” This breathtaking landscape formed the backdrop for Norm’s lifelong love affair with the outdoors. Decades later, Norm still speaks of Lake Louise with understated reverence.
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada, where Norm first fell in love with... Read more
Mother and son in a tribal Orissan village demonstrating excellent walking form. Notice that their heels remain on the floor well into their stride.
Do you have tight psoas muscles? Do you suspect the cause is too much time spent sitting in your daily life? There’s a complementary activity that helps counterbalance the time we spend sitting: walking — or, more specifically, glidewalking. Glidewalking helps balance our sitting in numerous ways — walking is dynamic versus sitting which is static. Yang balances Yin, viewed in the framework of traditional Chinese medicine. One underappreciated way in which walking can balance sitting pertains to the psoas muscle.
Everyone in this 1957 photograph reflects effortless elegance and poise. Their shoulders rest toward the back of their torsos, and their necks and backs are elongated. My mom and dad are on the left.
Despite recent complaints of leg and knee pain at night, my mom resisted Gokhale Method instruction. At 95 years old, she said she was too old to change.
However, I could see that certain activities increased her pain. In the end, she consented to instruction — and subsequently reported diminished leg pain and increased stability in walking. Read more
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
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