Hudson, MA 01749


Egoscue and Gokhale Methods – Do They Work Together?

Different things work better for different people:

  • Some may prefer a daily exercise routine instead of constantly worrying about a proper body form.
  • Some hate any kind of exercise and may like paying attention to a body position better.

In either case, you have to work on it.

Before you decide, I recommend trying the Egoscue and Gohkale approaches separately first. Pick a few exercises from the Pain Free book and learn a few techniques from the 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. See what appeals to you.
I personally think the best and fastest way to see positive changes in your posture is a combination of the Egoscue and Gohkale methods together.

How combining of Egoscue and Gokhale methods may help?

I personally do my Egoscue exercises daily. I like to exercise and like to have my muscles toned. I want to practice my yoga safely and meditate without knee pain in easy pose. I like hiking, skiing, and dancing. I want to continue doing all these activities without injuries. My goal is to be  independent and stay mobile until I die. For those reasons and more, it does not bother me to invest 30-40 minutes in the morning into my current and future musculoskeletal health.

I used to have all sorts of back, neck, shoulder, and knee pain. Now I am very rarely experiencing any musculoskeletal issues. Even when I do, I deal with it quite quickly and efficiently by doing my Egoscue exercises. The time of recovery is dramatically faster.

At the same time, I always felt there was a missing component in the Egoscue method. It does not teach specifically how to hold the body during the day. Granted, when the posture improves, the way we sit and walk changes automatically. But several crucial questions remained:

  • What is the correct form exactly?
  • How can we self-check if we are on the right track?
  • Can we engage the proper posture muscles while we sit? Or walk, or bend, or exercise?
  • What is the most beneficial sleep position? I often feel the worst after I wake up.

This is where the Gokhale method comes into play. By learning healthy walking, sleeping, sitting, bending, and standing habits we can work on posture improvement every second of the day.
I’ve been applying the new techniques I learned at my Gokhale method basic training for only a week. I already noticed very positive changes:

  • The quality of my sleep is better.
  • When I wake up I feel different – much more relaxed, not stiff.
  • I feel taller. For a short person like me (I am only 5’3”) it is a very positive change.
  • My pronated feet that I had very hard time correcting with the Egoscue exercises feel different. NO ankle discomfort after hiking or long walks.
  • I can position my neck better. As a posture alignment specialist I can objectively see it in the mirror and on the picture below. I can subjectively feel it too.
  • I sit straighter and more relaxed in a chair and in a car. It feels better and my back does not get tensed.egoscue-and-gokhale-combo
  • When I now do my Egoscue exercises, I position my pelvis and spine slightly differently. I noticed that by doing it I have a bigger range of motion in my pelvis. To me, this is most important purpose of combining Egoscue and Gokhale recommendations together.  If you can develop a proper kinesthetic sense while doing corrective posture exercises you’ll achieve results faster.

I am thrilled that I can see all these changes only after a few days. Of course, being a posture alignment specialist, I have a benefit of understanding what I am doing. I cannot guarantee that every person will have the same results. But this experience gives me a hope. Maybe by combining Egoscue and Gokhale techniques we can achieve a perfect posture after all. I am going to try and will keep you posted.

Be Upright.  Be Happy. Live Pain Free.

Click here to learn more about my Upright Posture Fitness Studio in Hudson, MA

Picture of Natalia Dashkovskaya

Natalia Dashkovskaya

3 Responses

  1. I, too, am trying to combine the Gokhale and Egoscue methods. What I’m worried about is that they seem to presuppose 2 different ideal endpoints. Esther speaks of wanting the feet pointed out 10-15 degrees and of having a somewhat anteverted pelvis. The Egoscue method though seems to want feet pointed straight ahead, and its picture of dysfunctional Condition I (with feet pointed out and an anteverted perlvis) seems not too far from what it seems Esther recommends. I’m just worried that by doing both routines I’ll be working at cross purposes. I’d welcome any ideas you have on this. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for a very important and relevant question. When I took the Gokhale method class I was really bothered by the idea of promoting the everted feet and anterior pelvic tilt. While a SLIGHTLY anterior pelvis is considered a norm even by Egoscue, I could not agree with the everted feet. I did a lot of research and came across the work of Katy Bowman, who is a biomechanist by training and is also working on postural alignment. I highly recommend reading two of her books: “Alignment Matters” and “Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief” – they made it very clear to me that feet parallel IS a proper feet alignment, sorry Esther. Katy Bowman’s work on foot health is also very much in line with the work of Dr.Ray McClanahan who is highly endorsed by the Egoscue university. Look him up on the youtube, it will be an eye opener. Returning back to the anterior pelvis and feet position, I use Esther’s recommendations only as an overall picture of proper posture and make it clear that foot position should be different. She is right on target with neutral spine, vertical alignment from the side view, shoulder position, and rib anchor. It’s complimentary to the Egoscue method as I find that Egoscue does not teach what the body alignment should be outside the exercise menus and how to correct it during the day. I still use Esther’s recommendations myself for sitting and standing (minus everted feet). But for me, Katy Bowman’s work put it all together. I even got certified as a Healthy Foot Practitioner after taking her online training course. I hope you will find this helpful.

  2. I found both of your articles comparing the two methods very helpful confirming my own experience. After 5 months of PT, the nervy pain in right buttock was worsening, and after two visits and an MRI the pain specialist I’d been referred to still felt it was a muscle-soft tissue problem. In one session with an Egoscue therapist I got an immediate reduction of pain. (I’d done the Pain-Free book exercises over the years but the ones in the book didn’t address my specific conditions.) The pain doctor’s practice sold Esther Gokhale’s book, which I bought. The Egoscue therapist agreed the approaches were complimentary and after 8 sessions I’m a week into the 6 week Gokhale Foundations class. I am continuing with Egoscue to see if I can avoid knee replacement and regain ability to walk and dance to a reasonable level at age 74. Thanks for your articles.

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