These VerticAlign blog posts contain information about different exercises and stretches that can assist with posture and alignment. These particular posts FEATURE Zeena Dhalla’s favorite blog entries. The exercises featured aim to help reduce back pain, neck pain, hip pain and knee pain. Each movement can be used to help build core strength, overcome an anterior pelvic tilt (arched back), posterior pelvic tilt (flat back) or kyphosis (hunchback) posture. Each exercise has a detailed description to help the reader understand exactly how to do it properly. Exact form is ideal for doing each of these movements. It’s important for the client to know exactly what to do, and how to do it. It’s also important to know what ORDER to do these movements in. Clients can use these descriptions to do workouts at home. Exercising at home is a powerful way to help overcome pain and feel better. Daily movement to improve posture will make you look slimmer, taller and leaner.
I had the extreme privilege of interviewing Esther Gokhale, a world renowned posture guru and founder of the Gokhale Method.
Esther is a mastermind at teaching people how to decrease daily pain, without taking time out of their busy schedules for countless hours of chiropractic appointments or massages. She teaches simple and effective techniques that can be integrated into your everyday life: how to sit, stand, bend, and sleep. Esther’s book, “The 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back” has sold over 150,000 copies and her posture workshops and classes can be taken worldwide.
I am a huge fan of her work and her philosophies , and I was excited that she chose to “geek out” with me and discuss all things posture.
Ever heard of the “Paleo Diet” that emphasize eating natural foods from prehistoric times? Similarly, Gokhale promotes a “primal” posture, where our spines are lengthened, the lumbar curve is emphasized heavily (she calls it an anteverted pelvis), and the glutes are strong and highly developed. Michaelangelo’s David is used as an example of what our spines should look like: straight at the top part of the spine, with a curve right above the buttocks.
Gokhale’s techniques have produced testimonials from clients who have gone from chronic daily pain, to a pain free life. It doesn’t take hours of exercise therapies, or loads of painkillers, but rather focused attention on how your body is positioned throughout your day. Her book does highlight a few exercises that can be done daily to build a stronger body and to maintain the new postural positioning.
Before speaking to Gokhale, I spent some time thinking about how the Gokhale method might integrate with a myriad of exercises classes available in in today’s fitness world. I was also curious what her thoughts would be on the explosion of mobile phone usage, and how this has contributed to the increase in back and neck pain. She addresses this, and much much more in our 30 minute talk.
This is a MUST WATCH video, especially if you have back or neck pain. It will change how you sit, how you work on your phone, and how you choose to exercise.
Here are some highlights of the interview that might interest you:
2:13 Esther describes the 2 most popular sitting positions and why they are detrimental to you body.
8:25: What is the proper way to hold your ce
ll phone and position your neck while working on your phone? She demonstrates this for us.
10:23: Esther does the Samba on camera!
12:45: What is the big issue with the popular Pilates “hundred” exercise? Listen and find out.
15:32: Esther tells us how she was a model in Mumbai, India and how it affected her back.
23:15: Are posture braces and posture shirts good for you? Should you invest in one?
25:48: Why parents should NOT be putting their children in an umbrella stroller.
The information in this video is invaluable… check it out, and comment on YOUR favorite part of the interview.
My favorite was the section on Pilates… I wanted to reach through the screen and hug her for her amazing insight!
If you prefer to READ the interview instead, visit HERE for the transcription.
Hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I enjoyed filming it.
Attention all parents! This post is geared towards moms who have recently had babies. Have you considered the impact of your pregnancy and baby on your posture?
I had the pleasure of sharing some tips on how to exercise with your new baby, work on your posture, and shed some baby weight, all the SAME time.
The site Work. Kids. Wine. (awesome name!) featured this article, and I’m sharing with you just in case any moms out there want to stand taller, and look leaner, in less time than it takes to drive to your Pilates class.
Check it out here. There are even pictures of me with a baby strapped to my chest demonstrating exercises. Here is a SNEAK PREVIEW!
It’s here: a simple 5 minute solution to solving that ugly and painful hunchback posture you might have noticed in the mirror. You know you don’t want to look like this guy:
It’s time to stop looking like a lazy slouch. It’s time to stop feeling all that neck pain. And it’s time to stop being confused about what you can do to make it all better. The 5 minute solution will get you started on a specific exercise plan that you can easily do from your home or office any time of the day.
Fixing hunchback posture, which is technically known as kyphosis, can be complicated. I’ve broken it down into a few simple points and explained exactly why it’s necessary to do these particular moves, in this particular order.
Stretch your lats. The latisimus dorsi muscle connects the lower part of the spine to the arm (via under the armpit). It’s a broad shaped large muscle on the sides of the spine. It’s responsible for many actions of the arm (extension, adduction, horizontal abduction). Most importantly, I want you to visualize it this way: if you’re in a hunchback (rounded) position, the distance from your spine to your armpit area shortens. If you sit up tall and pull your shoulders back, it requires length in the muscle. Therefore if this muscle is tight, it will need to be stretched before you can optimally get upright.
Stretch your chest. The pectoralis major muscle in a fan shaped muscle across your chest (under the breast for women). This one is easy to visualize… if your shoulders re rounded forward, that means your chest is concave, therefore those muscles in the front are shortened. Stretching these is not only one of the most important things you can do on a daily basis, it also feels good immediately.
Increase mobility in your mid back. The tightness from hours of being in a hunchback posture will cause immobility in the mid back area. This particular part of the spine (thoracic) doesn’t have as much extension (arching backwards) as the lumber (lower) or cervical (neck) spine. However whatever extension it does have should be preserved. It’s important to learn how to extend from this part of the back (arch back a wee bit) and find mobility again.
Increase strength in the muscles around the scapula. If you to hold a squat, you need to have strong legs. The exact same thing works for your posture: if you want to hold the scapula in retraction (pulling them together behind you) then you need to build up the muscles in this part of your back.
So how do you achieve all this? Sure you could run the gym after work every day or at crazy early hours of the morning to get some seated rows and lat pull downs in. Most of us don’t have time for this. But in just 5 to 10 minutes a day, you can see and feel immediate results from “The 5 Minute Solution to Back Pain” PDF that you can get delivered in your email box immediately.
I’ve hand selected the best 5 exercises that can accomplish the most results in the least amount of time. They are easily done in a space by your bed, by your desk, in your kitchen or in your bathroom (for real!). All you need is a doorway and a foam roller. If you don’t own a foam roller, it’s time you should, and you can purchase one here at my favorite supply store Perform Better (you want the 3 foot long, 6 inches round model).
This simple one page document will streamline the confusion of what to do, and avoid you wasting your time with exercises you don’t need. Sign up to receive this fast and easy solution that anyone can do, anytime, anywhere. You will also receive a link to the video I created with the exact same exercises. This video is only 1 minute long and will give you a quick visual on how to perform the exercises properly.
Send me your email address below so I can send you this valuable information. Join the posture geek revolution and get started on fixing that achy back!
P.S. If you do the routine 2 times a day, you will see amazing results. Just 10 minutes a day is all it takes to look immediately better and feel less pain!