Living with Parkinson’s

October 16, 2010

Gentle Yoga and Parkinson’s

Some pairings go together naturally: dark chocolate and red wine; my dog and her tennis ball; Starsky and Hutch. But when did ‘gentle’ and ‘Parkinson’s’ become synonymous? Look at the local gym or online. Classes, books, DVDs list Gentle and Yoga alongside Parkinson’s and a litany of other disorders, as though slowing down the pace and setting a chair on the mat is an elixir for anyone with a neurological condition. Meet Joe. He’s a marathoner. At 60, he started competing in ultra marathons. He has lived with Parkinson’s for more than 30 years. Chris is a cyclist. He recently rode a century – 100 miles in one day. His route was a particularly hilly one. Doug rode across Alaska solo this summer. Both live with PD; both are in their 50s. Pam dances, David runs. We walk, swim, and hike. Speaking of hiking, the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland is […]
October 28, 2010

Gratitude Additions

Maple trees Fuzzy slippers Leeks Watercolor paints Tuesdays and Fridays, yoga class days
November 23, 2010

SSP and SFP

No, these are not new Parkinson’s terms. Nor is it yoga lingo. SSP SSP is my humble anacronym for Shameless Self-Promotion, which does actually involve yoga and Parkinson’s: After many hours filming and editing, I’m happy to announce the release of the Companion DVD to Yoga for Movement Disorders. Here’s a description: Companion DVD Yoga for Movement Disorders This DVD guides viewers through a series of yoga poses and sequences designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s or other movement disorders. The two-hour video includes: Warm-up series Morning flow Afternoon flow Evening flow Sun Salutation Standing and seated variations of each Tips concerning balance, posture, tremor Resource list Expanding on the award-winning book, Yoga for Movement Disorders, this DVD can be used as a companion volume or as a stand-alone guide. The author is a Registered Yoga Teacher who specializes in adapting traditional poses for people with movement disorders. A stroke […]
November 28, 2010

Gratitude Haiku

Post Thanksgiving thanks for friends and family, throughout, despite, and regardless of the disease that has joined in these circles of warmth and support: Like Autumn leaves, we swirl and  gather toghether a pile of blessings.
December 30, 2010

Open Door Policy for the New Year

Sculptures depicting Janus, the Roman god of doorways, show it with two faces peering in opposite directions: backward and forward. In January, which is named after Janus, we do just that. This is the traditional time to be poised in the corridor between old and new, recalling what was as well as watching for what will be. Many yoga poses involve opposites. We lengthen the spine through the crown of our heads and ground our selves through our feet. We stretch up while pressing down into the mat. It is as though we’re reaching our fingertips toward the future while planting our heels in the past. Reflection and planning are necessary parts of our lives, but each day – each moment – is a threshold, an entry, a gate. A New Year of living with a movement disorder translates into twelve new months stretching before us with known and unknown […]
January 17, 2011

Shell Shock

I think I’m in love. The way he moves with a dignified slowness, each step a concentrated effort, draws me to his side. Small obstacles cause a moment’s hesitation, but he makes it past them. Sometimes by backing up before turning, sometimes by stumbling onward. Not entirely graceful, but I admire how he forges ahead with a certain determination. I can relate to it. It amuses me how he eats with gusto. Not always the tidiest diner, scraps of a salad remain on his chin a bit before he wipes them away. And given options at dinner, he reaches for the sweet items first. Why munch first on lettuce when mango and kiwi are available? I can so relate. Did I mention that he also prefers warm temperatures and particularly enjoys basking in the heat following a good meal. Oh, how I can relate. My affections came as a surprise […]
February 14, 2011

Valentine Wish

Life is the Sacred mystery singing to itself, dancing to its drum telling tales improvising playing and we are all that Spirit our stories all but one cosmic story that we are loved indeed that perfect Love in me seeks the Love in you and if our eyes could ever meet without fear we would recognize each other and rejoice for Love is life believing in itself MANITONGQUAT
March 1, 2011

PD Oscars

Oscar night sends quivers of anticipation among many Hollywood fans. Who will be deemed the best? The best to translate a role into someone we care about?  The best at supporting the lead performers so they shine? The best at directing through the everyday ups and downs with the bigger vision in mind? Dubbing myself the awards committee, I hereby announce the winners for this year’s PD Oscars: Best Actor: You. To each of you whose daily performances require a study in movement, speech and reliance on the true aspects of your character, this PD Oscar is for you. The world is your stage. From getting through the grocery store despite freezing to maintaining a social life even when the meds are off,  you put your best efforts into the complex role of living with PD. Best Supporting Role: The APDA With its presence in nearly every state, a national information […]
April 3, 2011

Ironing

“Let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, blessings.” –  H. W. Becker Busy happens. Many proverbial irons roasted in life’s fire for me these past weeks. I tried to stay mindful in my approach to each, not neglecting any of the rods, not letting any one of the tips get singed. While stoking each, I noticed an interesting pattern. Tending to my writing life, I focused on my young adult novel to have something to share at the weekend retreat with my critique group. Poring over the plot line, sketching out characters, I produced a couple of rough drafts of the beginning chapters. Also heating up for attention: a few yoga presentations. The past two months included several opportunities to introduce yoga to a variety of  groups living with PD. I planned for each talk […]
April 27, 2011

April Showers

April, even in these last days as we edge toward May,  showers each day with so much. Admittedly, the start of the month held little magic with its umpteenth snowstorm here in New England. Yet, the white clung to the trees just long enough to admire before melting in the promisingly warm sun.  It came as a gift of a reminder that what we dread can hold beauty and that all things change with time. Travel to New York City brought much better weather and an invitation to the annual Team Fox dinner. The evening’s events centered  on thanking Team Fox fundraisers. What a sprinkling of delights! A sense of pride swelled for our efforts — Team Fox’s  New England Parkinson’s Ride raised more than $100,000  for the Michael J. Fox Foundation in 2010. We’re dedicated to doing it again in 2011 (I’ll be posting a link to sponsor me and […]