Living with Parkinson’s requires flexibility.
Yes, yes, a yoga instructor would of course make such a statement. Even as — or especially as — rigidity tries its finest to win the physical battle against my Warrior poses.
But armed with an upward-facing dog, I stand my ground. Really. A real dog.
That’s where the flexibility comes in. Dogs are pets, right? Guide dogs are for the visually impaired, yes? Service dogs are for, well, service, like opening doors and such, isn’t that true?
Right. Yes. And true. But some dogs are also trained specifically for the ever-stiffening, balance-challenged among us. These four-legged companions can extend the physical capabilities that we need to draw on in the various roles of our lives so we can stay active in those roles, from work to parenting to the arts to teaching yoga classes. In being flexible and open, I find I’m fighting for what can be rather than simply against this disease. And in doing so, I’ve discovered a way to, well, remain flexible.
I’ll keep practicing my down-dogs. I’ve also been matched with a service dog. His name is Sir Thomas. This is our story.