My introduction to the Gokhale Method came through my massage client Susan, a former competitive figure skater and modern dancer who had experience with several forms of bodywork. When she excitedly told me about a wonderful article she had just read in the NY Times about the Gokhale Method, I listened. The whole concept of posture re-education as a means to become free of pain made sense, but with so many different approaches and techniques already out there, I just filed it away to look into later. My “later” came much sooner than I expected. In a few weeks Susan came back for her regular massage and shared with me that she was taking the Gokhale Method Foundations course and how helpful it was. What I noticed right away in our session were the changes in Susan’s body. The most pronounced improvement was in her lower back. Her spine and pelvis were much more balanced and open, and her hamstrings were no longer tight and congested. I literally felt like I was working on a different person. And what was even more impressive, these improvements persisted over the weeks. I signed up for the course to learn more.
Another unexpected benefit of taking the course was the improvement of my overall health. I noticed that my tension headaches decreased and my functionally shorter leg evened out. All of the sudden I found myself with extra time on my hands since I didn’t need to lie down to nurse headaches. I had more energy. Also, I no longer needed to trim and hem my “long” pant leg.
Before I was introduced to the Gokhale Method, the concept of good posture was confusing. To sit and stand up straight with shoulders pulled back was tiring and very uncomfortable. Popular guidelines on how to attend to the lumbar and cervical curves, and how to walk did not help me. The Gokhale Method clarified posture for me. I learned that good posture is mainly relaxed, very comfortable, and more important, it taught me how to get there. Now if I feel a headache coming on, it’s a cue to check my head and neck position, and to lengthen the back of my neck. If my pant leg starts to drag on the floor, I know to work my glutes more in glidewalking…
It has been my experience that massage sessions with clients who are working with the Gokhale Method are richer and much more effective.
So yes, healthy posture is an ongoing project for me but having the right tools has made it very empowering and rewarding. Practicing my posture helps me center myself - I feel grounded and find I move more gently and mindfully throughout the day.
-Aurelia Vaicekauskas, LMT and Teacher, The Gokhale Method
*****For information about a free introductory workshop or to sign up for a Foundation Course (six lessons) with Aurelia in Chicago, please visit Aurelia's Gokhale Method page. Next session begins at Tribe on June 22!*****
Aurelia, who was born in Lithuania, studied painting and drawing in The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA). She has always been drawn to exploring the inner workings of the human body, including its wisdom and ability to heal. These interests led her to massage therapy, Ortho-Bionomy and the Gokhale Method. She is thrilled at how the Gokhale Method can flow into any activity as well as supporting order and balance inside one’s body and out. She loves experiencing this ease in her everyday life and wishes to share it with others.
*All images printed with permission from Aurelia Vaicekauskas and the Gokhale Method Institute.