Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wellness Wednesday: Life-Changing Wellness Seminar

About ten days ago I went to a really intense wellness seminar in Seattle. We all know about diet and how important it is to eat healthfully to have a good quality of life. We all know about exercise and how we need to keep moving in order to be able to stay mobile and healthy as we age. However, we often forget posture. I know that I did.

I have been plagued with back, neck, knee, and foot problems for years, so I had high expectations for this seminar from the Esther Gokhale Wellness Center. I was taking Gokhale Method 101, based upon the book I'd recently read, "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Food (Remember When It Didn't Hurt)" by Esther Gokhale. This method is based upon how people throughout history have stood, have moved, and stayed healthy without all of the problems we experience in our post-industrial society. It is full of amazing pictures--a beautiful book that I've written a review of for Amazon here. If you go to the book on Amazon, you can use the "Look Inside" feature and see so much of the book (scroll down and you will see that there is a huge exerpt of the book, including pictures, that the author has made available).



Even if you just look at the pictures, I think you'll be impressed. You can actually see how differently people used to sit, stand, lie in bed, work, bend over, walk, and more.

I have begun integrating this posture practice into my life. Three days of classes were so very helpful, and now I need to follow up at home. The really good thing is that although there are some optional exercises for people like me (super out-of-shape with weak muscles)--for the most part this practice is done in the process of life itself and takes no extra time--while you're sitting, driving, moving about the house, working, playing, etc. There is also almost nothing to buy; there is an optional cushion that can help you stretch your back, but a towel or other support can be easily substituted instead. Also, there are free classes, online classes, and more.

This is not simply one person's ideas, but a new movement--a movement to help us return to some of the wise ways of our ancestors that led to health. It's really cool. I took a class in Seattle for which there was a fee, but my health problems are debilitating and I needed something intense and immediate to prevent much more money from being spent on other solutions.

Here are some pictures so that you can see some early changes in my way of moving. This picture is BEFORE, sitting normally (and up straight--I usually slump) on the edge of a chair:



This picture is two days later, after 9 hours of posture instruction:



This picture is BEFORE, standing normally. Note the swaying out in the upper back:


This picture is AFTER, standing normally. Note the straightness in the upper back:


No body cares too much about posture per se, but everyone cares about the benefits that good posture can bring. So if you'd like even more resources about this posture practice, here they are:

Can't Exercise at Work? Try StretchSitting (this is an article describing a particular posture practice in a bit of detail)

Video of Esther Gokhale talk at Google (this is a longer talk given for those of you who are very interested--it's wonderful though!)

Preview of book (8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back) on Google

Great book review along with picture of Esther Gokhale (the founder) bending as she sits (you can really, really see how Esther has an unconventionally healthy back)


I plan on continuing with this for a long, long time. I look forward to the health benefits that will ensue!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Giveaway from Maui

Yes, I am behind...but I hope today you won't care. I am giving away a lovely pair of silver Peruvian opal earrings* made by Cathy U'u of Kachi Jewelry of Maui. The earrings were handmade on Maui by Cathy herself. I bought these in March with the intention of them being a gift for my loyal blog readers (this is YOU); most of my readers are female, but the ones who are male would I'm sure love to win them to give to a special female in their life.

This giveaway is of substantial value, so I would like to give the to anyone who has ever left a comment on my blog before today. If that is you, leave another comment of any length below, and I will choose a winner sometime in May (I'm not sure when yet so enter today!). I'll close the contest when I get a good amount of my regular readers on board.

In case it's hard to tell from the picture, they are for pierced ears. They look like they might be heavy but they are not; they are very light! They remind me of the ocean and of the Maui sky.

~somewhat lame picture taken by Me of earrings with gift bag on my tv tray 




*NOTE: Ang says that Peruvian opals are reported as "helping to quiet the mind, ease stress and to help ideas flow freely".

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sacred Life Sunday: Life = Hope



Just remember that as long as there is life, there is hope.

There is always hope.

I have been deeply touched in the past several days not just by Chani's passing, but by the attempted suicide of a friend's family member, and by the unexpected and sudden passing of another friend's family member. I have been thinking about them a lot. Life is so precious, so fragile, so fleeting.

And so I'm reminding you (and me) again to tell those we love how we feel about them...

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark