Renee

August 26, 2019

The Yoga of Travel

I’m not a light packer. A weekend getaway requires a giant duffel. Forget shoes, there’s the sack of daily Parkinson’s meds, service dog paraphernalia–bed, harness, food–more food–and of course, my yoga mat. Now, imagine a month-long vacation in a compact RV. Fortunately, James (the RV) feels roomy due to lots of nooks and cubbies (and a wee bit of cramming) to store the four weeks’ worth of supplies. But I forgot about  the extra 165 pounds of Great Dane—and his bed and food, and more food–on board. It wasn’t looking good for unrolling my yoga mat. That concerned me. Vacation time away doesn’t mean time away from yoga. Hours of sitting on James, no matter how glorious the views, would be an open door to lurking rigidity.  No space? No problem, I decided. By pairing upward salutes with seated half dogs in my co-pilot seat, I created a rendition of […]
May 9, 2019

Inhale and Hold for Five

This Is So not Yoga A Promise For more than five years, neurologists have been promising an inhalable form of the Parkinson’s gold-standard medication. No lengthy trials were needed to test the medication itself – the inhaler uses the Levodopa of the Carbidopa/Levodopa combo so many of us already swallow numerous times per day. The delivery system (a puff like an asthmatic’s remedy) however, needed to pass safety and efficacy trials. Early on, the Michael J. Fox Foundation gave two grants of more than a million dollars to the study. Still, the years ticked on. Burger or Bust The reason so many of us continued to be hopeful about the elusive inhaler was because it would send the medication into the bloodstream without having to go through the stomach and intestines first. Maintaining a steady level in the bloodstream is essential – drop too low and symptoms become severe and […]
February 28, 2019

Who’ll Get the Dogs Out?

How businesses like the local coffee shop can help reduce service dog fraud I’m seated at Starbucks with my chai latte (almond milk) grande, scone, extra napkins. My service dog, curled up on his mat beside me, sighs. We’re content in our corner, which has me wondering how it got so complicated.   Not the tea. Green or black, with bagel or brioche, the simple fact is that it is pleasant here. No surprises. Just what this customer wants. An untrained dog running amok would cancel out the pleasantries. Like the diners in a California bistro recently, I’d find another establishment for my tea break. The dog in the booth beside those diners lounged on the seat until a plate of fries arrived, which he then snarfed off the table. I’d also be among the no-repeat customers in a building in Massachusetts where, while on the elevator, a vested mini-dog […]
February 15, 2019

Snowvasana

I know snow. I know that the stinging kind is never good. And while the puffy flakes call out for snowshoes, snowmen and snowball tossing, it piles up. I grew up in Buffalo and spent two decades in New England. I know how to prep and dress for blizzards, play and drive in squalls and clear a path through the aftermath of a Nor’easter. The reason I now live on the other coast derives from knowing snow, from having too much first-hand experience with it. Last week, the flat flakes began floating down from our western skies (“It doesn’t snow here”). It started sticking (“And if it does, it’s no more than a dusting”). Weather reports launched into increasing numbers of inches on the ground and days that schools would remain closed (“If we ever get too much, we wait for it to melt”). Once the sideways snow softened, the […]
February 4, 2019

Saddle Up

I’m baaaaaack. It’s a New Year, the whirlwind transition to a new canine partner is behind in 2018,  and I’m out and about with a second service dog by my side (it amazes me I am fortunate enough to be teamed with a second service dog). Yes, I’m back, complete with the stories. Some of them lean toward sweet and I’m back could be heard in the same tone as though coming home after too-long a journey. Other tales make me cringe and I’m back conjures up images and audio of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Among them, of course:  the inevitable saddle comments. Regardless, I’m back in the saddle again. So, please come back as I continue to share these stories in order to help, hope, educate, advocate, learn.
September 3, 2018

Yoga for Movement Disorders: Teacher Workshop

Join us! There’s room for a few more participants: Teacher Training Workshop September 15-16, 2018 Whidbey Island, WA Earn 10 Yoga Alliance CEUs For more info, click below or email [email protected] yoga teacher training
September 1, 2018

Got Parkinson’s? Get Exercising.

The Wednesday class is back from summer vacation and it’s better than ever. It’s Live! Online! Free! Click here for info. Sponsored by the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation/NWPF. Yoga is good for you. Not only that, it’s fun. It’s also a form of exercise, and exercise is good for you. Especially if you’re living with Parkinson’s. I’ve known it for years. Now studies even say so. Check it out: the Michael J Fox Foundation says so, too. No one should walk their Parkinson’s journey alone. Whether you’re convinced you can’t do yoga or you’re an experienced guru (or anything in-between), if you’re living with PD, yoga can help relieve symptoms. Join this live, online class with viewers from around the globe (including the instructor) who are living with PD. You’re not alone. See you on Wednesdays!
August 29, 2018

Don’t Just Sit There, Meditate

Here are a variety of insights on beginning a meditation practice. I was honored to be among the contributors to this Clever Yoga posting click here to go to post. Please be sure to read through to the end – I’m the last one. Speaking of meditation, it’s been a wild summer, from the wildfires charring my neighbors in British Columbia to all-that-was-normal gone wild here at home. These are the crazed days when there’s no time for yoga. There’s so much to do, to tend to, and only so much “on” time with Parkinson’s. But, the crazed days are when I find I need yoga the most, to re-center, to relieve stress, especially before it triggers more  symptoms. While I still dread “off” times, I’m learning to use them to practice some yoga. Rarely have I enjoyed the quiet breath work of pranayama or the immobility associated with meditation when I […]
April 27, 2018

It’s Time

 Sir Thomas greets each morning with a romp and rip through the yard, his tail high and happy. Dinner continues to be met with a lot of wagging. As does breakfast. As does snack time. As does the opening of the plastic container with leftover ham in it. Recently, however, by day’s end, the spring in Tommy’s step has sprung. Late  afternoon, he’ll saunter up beside me and I notice that I have to slow my pace to his. It might just be that my mighty boy is telling me he’s getting tired. Perhaps that’s what the ‘tire’ in retirement means. The word conjures up images of golf clubs, very white sneakers and dinner reservations by 5:00 pm. The actual definition is retreat, withdraw, leave service. So, when should a service dog leave service? Google the question and hundreds of varying recommendations appear on screen, none of which derive […]
February 14, 2018

Be My Valentine, Vote No

    If you have a service dog and want to continue to have your access rights backed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you’d best phone your Representative in Congress. Today. The ADA grants access to all Americans. Movie theater, bank, café, laundromat: all Americans can enter. The “ADA Education and Reform Act” (H.R. 620) places business interests ahead of all Americans. ‘Reform’ means change toward improvement. The ADA is good, no change needed as it provides equal access. This reform bill, however, is not. It will re-form access requirements. Disabled and can’t get access to a public place? Write a letter of complaint. That’s a change, alright. Don’t let it happen. Please call your rep and ask that this bill be stopped from ever becoming law. Ask that it be stopped from even going to the full House for a vote (the House Judiciary Committee meets Thursday morning). […]