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  • How to stand and walk properly?

    I've read all about running properly, but what about walking and standing? I realized that when I stand I tend to keep the weight on the balls of my feet and lean forward slightly. Should I be leaned back and keep the weight on my heels more? Also my idea of standing properly was perfectly straight, pelvis tucked in, back straight, shoulders pushed way back and down, knees locked. My friend told me not to lock my knees. When I asked him about walking he said people are supposed to lean back more, as thought a line was running through them from top to bottom pulling them slightly backwards. He said that your shoulders will fall into place when you lean like that too. ?

  • #2
    Check out Esther Gokhale (sp?). She wrote a book entitled "8 Steps to a Pain-free Back". She did research on posture among more traditional cultures and came up with the reasons those cultures don't have back problems like in the US. That book should answer most of your questions.

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    • #3
      Thank you!

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      • #4
        I saw a YouTube presentation by her, and she is great. And just requested the book from my library...

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        • #5
          Oh, and regarding walking posture--I read a book called Chi Walking that described basic good posture as a straight line connecting hips, chest, and head (though with natural spinal curvature), but when you walk, that line leans forward a bit, so that your feet are naturally moving under your center of gravity which would otherwise fall. I've tried it, and it is very natural and easy. My tendency was to lean forward too much, which put strain on my lower back--or stand up "straight" with no forward lean, which makes you have to work too hard on the legs. Funny that when it's right it's just completely natural feeling and you don't have to think about it...now I mostly just check to make sure there isn't tension anywhere (shoulders, low back).

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          • #6
            Esther at Google

            Originally posted by Tom B-D View Post
            I saw a YouTube presentation by her, and she is great. And just requested the book from my library...
            Here's a link to a youtube video of Esther giving a presentation at Google:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE

            I agree, her work is wonderful. The DVD is a great companion to the book!

            Amazon.com: Back Pain: The Primal Posture Solution DVD: Zamacona Productions, Esther Gokhale: Movies & TV
            Last edited by kmarie6; 03-14-2012, 07:28 PM.

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            • #7
              As mentioned above, I would definitely suggest you check out the book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. You can also find more information on the method as well as free online classes, courses, etc that are offered at Gokhale Method Institute |. I'm a teacher of the Gokhale Method, and primal standing and walking are very much a part of it! I will actually be at PrimalCon this year to give a presentation on posture - I hope to see some of you there!

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              • #8
                The Alexander technique is also a school of thought you may be interested in checking out: Alexander Technique: The Insider's Guide
                || 2/28/12 || 5'6" || 144 lbs ||
                My goals: 125 lbs, 27" waist, fat-free, shapely, muscular legs
                AND to be able to do my very first pull up!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kmarie6 View Post
                  Here's a link to a youtube video of Esther giving a presentation at Google:

                  Authors@Google: Esther Gokhale - YouTube

                  I agree, her work is wonderful. The DVD is a great companion to the book!

                  Amazon.com: Back Pain: The Primal Posture Solution DVD: Zamacona Productions, Esther Gokhale: Movies & TV
                  Watched it and it was fascinating! Becoming a customer as soon as possible!

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                  • #10
                    I posted before about the "Chi Walking" book, but just got Gokhale's book--and it's amazing. It's a definitive guide. She has done the research on cultures that don't experience back pain, analyzed standing, sitting, lying, and walking positions and their effects on the vertebrae and muscles, and clearly spells out what you should do for back health. I just wish I lived in the Bay Area so I could go for consultation...hopefully the DVD will do it. Nothing like having experienced eyes on you when trying to change old habits!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                      Check out Esther Gokhale (sp?). She wrote a book entitled "8 Steps to a Pain-free Back". She did research on posture among more traditional cultures and came up with the reasons those cultures don't have back problems like in the US. That book should answer most of your questions.
                      I also watched the Google authors talk with Esther. It's very much in line with the philosophies embraced here on the forum.
                      I'm going to order a copy of her book. Anyone that hasn't seen her presentation yet should check it out.

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                      • #12
                        Ok, while it's great that there are people engaged in your question, you MUST REMEMBER to take advice like this with a pinch of salt. Why? Because not everyone carry themselves the same. The best idea for achieving the ideal posture would be to visit a physiotherapist who know their stuff. What people always forget is that posture has a lot to do with the spine. You know what's in the spine? Your nervous system. Your spine will not just straighten out when you try to stand straight. I've seen a physiotherapist for about a year now trying to correct my posture, and though I'm nearly there now, a lot of things happened in my head and body because I advanced too quickly. If you're not able to 'rest' in a position, do not force yourself.

                        That being said, I thought I would throw in my own two coins on the subject. The trick to standing straight is having the spine carry the right of your skull for you. When done correctly, you should be able to balance every part of your body on the part of the body that comes just beneath it. For example, the feet will rest on the ground. But your knees will rest on your feet, and to achieve a good balance in your hip bone you must first have a correct knee posture so that your hip bone can rest on it. Start from the bottom and work your way up. As far as I understand it, once you achieve balance in your hip bone, it will be much easier for the rest to fall into place. From there, remember that your shoulder blades should be flexible and not glued to your rib cage. They should move with your arms, and also with heavy breathing as the rib cage expands. They should also be fairly low on your back - if you can pull them down by more than a few cm, chances are they should be further down even in resting position. Do not, however, force any of this to happen. My advice would be to take up jogging and try to feel the motion of your shoulderblades to begin with. Take it easy with this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Raphaella View Post
                          I've read all about running properly, but what about walking and standing? I realized that when I stand I tend to keep the weight on the balls of my feet and lean forward slightly. Should I be leaned back and keep the weight on my heels more? Also my idea of standing properly was perfectly straight, pelvis tucked in, back straight, shoulders pushed way back and down, knees locked. My friend told me not to lock my knees. When I asked him about walking he said people are supposed to lean back more, as thought a line was running through them from top to bottom pulling them slightly backwards. He said that your shoulders will fall into place when you lean like that too. ?
                          Esther Gokhale's book is pretty good. In this google talk, she only talks about sitting.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by js290 View Post
                            Esther Gokhale's book is pretty good. In this google talk, she only talks about sitting.
                            This isn't entirely true. She's speaking to a seated audience, so the "moves" she has them do are seated, but she speaks quite a bit on standing, lifting, bending, shoulder placement, head position etc...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                              Check out Esther Gokhale (sp?). She wrote a book entitled "8 Steps to a Pain-free Back". She did research on posture among more traditional cultures and came up with the reasons those cultures don't have back problems like in the US. That book should answer most of your questions.
                              Thanks for that suggestion! Just ordered the book!
                              Turnstone's world - not really a journal...


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