September 25, 2013

See You in Montreal (WPC Renewal Room for Yoga)

September 30, 2013

MJFox Show Post-Miere Hit

Thanks to all for the fun and support at the MJFox Post-miere party! Though we gathered two days following the airing of the new TV series, the Saturday afternoon time made it easier for people to come and celebrate. The Thursday time was late (after 8:30! meds wane!) and it was on a school night (after 8;30! my eleven-year-old whines!)  Special thanks to Matt and Alison of Brassiere 28, of Andover, MA, for hosting on a weekend. While people gathered to watch, laugh and share stories, the front room of the restaurant glowed from both the sun streaming in and from the spirit within. As a special treat, Bruce Cook, MD, announced that he’d asked Michael if he could phone us during the celebration (unfortunately, he was in a plane at the time of our event).  Dr. Cook is a neurosurgeon and Michael was his patient. Bruce and his wife, Karla, shared a few stories […]
December 3, 2013

Yoga, Parkinson’s and a Pair of Pink Gloves

Despite my attempt at a yogic, peaceful approach to life, there are moments when I simply want to haul off and hit something. Hard. Maybe even several times. Yoga helps. But so does boxing. Whether I’m waiting for a dose of meds to kick in, fumbling to zip up a jacket or passing on the scrambled eggs because the protein will interfere with the next dose of meds, the argh moments of life with Parkinson’s disease build up throughout the day. It’s incredible how the frustration dissipates when I take it out on a punching bag. Studies show that exercise is beneficial to PD. “Forced” and challenging workouts such as boxing can be even more helpful. According to the Cleveland Clinic, activities such as boxing ease symptoms and are neuroprotective. Besides the tension release and fitness factor, there’s another bonus. Boxing is actually fun. Seriously, try on a pair of […]
January 26, 2014

Nightly News

During my childhood, the Chanel 7 news opened with the same line every night: “It’s eleven o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” When I couldn’t sleep, those words wafted into my room from downstairs where my father watched local and then national coverage.  I remember I’d squeeze my eyes tight and hug my Raggedy Ann close. I didn’t want to hear sad and tragic stories as I lay in the dark. Besides, it was so late, I’d thought. I should be asleep. At the same time, I could settle in beneath the blankets. Not only did my parents know exactly where I was, the awareness that other people also weren’t asleep comforted me. With Parkinson’s, my wakeful hours have shifted to that window between 4:00 and 6:00 am, when it is no longer night but still too early to be day. Not sleeping during those nondescript hours can […]
March 1, 2014

Snowga

It’s snowing. If I noted this in late December, my voice would lilt out ‘snowing,’ like birdsong. The words might even be prefaced by a “Look” or an “Ooh.” Evergreens dusted in white embody the postcard view of holiday time in New England. Were it mid-January,  ‘snowing’ would come out as a question. How many inches? Will school be closed? Can we go sledding? A warm weather fan, I admit I shift my stance a bit and suit-up. Nothing quite matches playing in fresh, puffy snow. Come March, the weight of  ‘snowing’ is as wet and heavy as a clump sliding off the roof. No more white stuff. I’m done with shoveling. Uncle. From one standpoint, it’s simply cold precipitation. From another, when will spring arrive? Yoga suggests we not only welcome the differing viewpoints, we step back and notice them for what they are: viewpoints. Rather than get caught […]
March 30, 2014

Yoga and Parkinson’s

Thank you to Helaine of the Parkinson’s Unity Walk for the honor of posting a guest blog. The motto for the Parkinson’s Unity Walk is ‘Make Every Step Count.’  I might add ‘Make Every Breath Count’: Click to view blog post on Unity Walk site:  Yoga and Parkinson’s
June 1, 2015

I’m Back with a Twist

Life happens. Still, I practice yoga. With a teenager in the house (translated: grocery shopping and parenting have shifted to overdrive, much like his hormones), speaking engagements, and an upcoming move to the other coast, I need to practice yoga. Add that my Parkinson’s clocks in at a full decade, it’s no surprise that life has interrupted my writing and posting about yoga practice. The shift in my practice reflects the changes in my symptoms, (which includes less “on” time). During the increasing “off” times, I turn to yoga. I’ve learned a great deal about how the body moves, adjusts, compensates, peters out. I’ve added modifications in classes, slowing not in approach but in this awareness. I talk it through to students, wondering at times if I’m talking too much. The answer came last week after a wordy explanation of a twist. The synergy in lengthening and contracting seemed an […]
June 8, 2015

Let Music Move You

Tony Bennett belting out a ballad? Bonnie Raitt being bluesy? During a yoga class? Yes, yes, and yes. The music wafting through the keyhole during one of my classes isn’t what one expects to hear from a yoga studio. Read more    
June 21, 2015

Grapefruit Yoga

During class one morning, a woman asked if I could define yoga in one word. I considered the array of descriptions, musings and translations. After a deep breath, I answered, “Awareness.” The word-nerd in me smiled at the perfect match I’d made: Awareness. It’s recognizing the moment for what it is. It’s focusing on how we move. It’s aligning mind and body. I was so satisfied with my response that I shared it with other classes, interspersing Awareness tidbits between poses. “Bring attention to the moment,” and “Witness each bend and reach,” plus “Notice the ‘aha’ moments.” So much we can do with awareness! Early one day, my phone chirped its appointment-reminder tone. I checked it, checked the time and rushed to find footwear and brush my teeth. I didn’t remember making an 8:00 a.m. doctor appointment for that day, but that’s what had blinked at me from my screen. […]
July 29, 2015

Opting for Art

In combination with moving to the other coast, it made sense to purge, downsize, cleanse as well. Who needs all this space, all this stuff? All that’s involved with simplifying is actually quite complicated. The closer the moving date gets, the more I’m relying on yoga to soften the edges of all there is to do. The saying, “We’re human beings, not human doings” doesn’t shorten the packing lists or clean the house for showings. Then again, nothing I “do” will make the perfect couple step forward, people I’ll feel good about handing my house to, folks I can trust will continue to feed the birds. Nothing I “do” will make my meds work better so I can “do” more. In areas where I have no control, “doing” more isn’t going to grant me control. Yoga practice brings me back to an awareness that I can control how I respond. I […]