What would you say if I compared the similarities of boxing with yoga? No, not Boga or Yoking, I mean all-out punching a heavyweight bag, whacking hand-held pads, striking a speed bag. Both take concentration, a kind of focus that takes us out of our busy minds of to-do-lists and what-ifs and connecting with where we are and how we move, whether it’s in a yoga studio or a boxing gym. What would you say if evidence showed that boxing and yoga — exercise itself — helps relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease? No classes nearby? No one to play tennis with, or run or box or practice yoga together? What would you say if a new program helped keep exercise fun, social and feeling good? Check it out: Power Through Project
I routinely call on AAA to help ensure that my yoga class will be moving. In fact, in a new class this week, AAA led us from the mat to the art box filled with construction paper and glue sticks. There were no tow trucks or spark plugs involved. This AAA stands for Awareness, Ahimsa and Allowing. In other words, in each class, we move and we watch. We notice, we’re kind, and we let go, We see it in each other’s eyes. Awareness For example, instead of perfecting triangle pose, we step back and witness. How does a wide-legged stance feel? Notice if bracing one foot’s outer edge against a wall makes a difference. Becoming familiar with our various body-part shapes and what shape they’re in defines yoga practice. To see the sun is to praise your own eyes. Rumi Ahimsa We don’t stop to identify, judge or bemoan […]
TO DO: _√__ Register for the World Parkinson Coalition’s (WPC) 2016 Congress in Portland, Oregon. _√__ Get Sir Thomas a spiffy new vest for the occasion. ____ Blog about the Parky for the WPC. Check. Check. Hmmmm. When I first heard about Parky, my really? radar triggered. But, I’m a blogger for the WPC, I need to hone in on the really! qualities of this 10-inch, floppy plush toy, not the fact that it looks like the dog’s favorite chewie. A stuffed raccoon (really?), Parky is the WPC’s mascot for their upcoming Congress, the Parkinson’s conference of conferences. The organizers invite everyone affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD) from everywhere around the world to a summit of shared stories, current findings, breaking news, latest treatments, song and dance and so […]
I click the Like icon routinely on friend’s Facebook posts or their comments on mine. It’s a rare moment, however, when my internal Like button gets pressed and that immediate, undeniably warm sensation whooshes in and says, Yes. Good. Life is better because that person is here living it, too. In yoga, our awareness opens us, teaches us to step back from our egos and witness the Like in all. Well, I’m not there, yet. Maybe after the election. In the meantime, there are people such as Meg Bernard. I haven’t met her, have never spoken with her, don’t know where she lives. Still, she has a message and such likeability worth sharing. Almost makes me want to staple her name to a stick and stand on the street corner urging you to read Meg’s blog (click to read her blog) and cast your ballot for more people like her.
I live with a teenager. When he speaks, a one-word grunt is typically accompanied by a shrug. On the rare occasion that a full sentence streams out aloud, it’s riddled with middle-school speak. A combination of texting abbreviations and lingo known only to eighth graders streams out with a tone that emits coolness. The word-nerd in me isn’t satisfied with the coolness factor of the delivery and tries but often cannot parse the meaning. Since there is no Teenage Awareness Month and April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, I offer the meaning behind a few PD catch phrases. “I have Parkinson’s, but it doesn’t have me.” “Parkinson’s: Fight back.” “Parkinson’s is a word, not a sentence.” Each seems an upbeat summary of what it takes to live well while living with the disease. I’ve used them. But on closer inspection, they’re much like the language of my son with more meaning […]
Ever notice a baby when another baby enters the room? There’s an instant look of recognition, a ‘Hey, I know you` connection. For some, the grin is hard to contain, others stare for a while first. Either way, they’re drawn to each other. This happens to me when I meet someone living with Parkinson’s, whether a new student in my yoga class, a chance encounter at a café or amidst many at a conference. Like babies, regardless of how caring and understanding our caretakers are, in that instant, we know that the only other one in the room who gets babyhood (or PDhood) is the baby. The camaraderie of the Parkinson’s community has provided me with resources from book reviews to diet tips, made me laugh, introduced me to people whose paths I’d not have crossed otherwise, given me cause to reach out in support when a bad day got […]
I know where I recognized that dread, that weight, that sour taste that defined this morning after the election. I woke to it the morning after my diagnosis. Egads. I grieved — occasionally still do — and I got out from under the weight. Time to do it again with yoga and: My EGADS approach to Parkinson’s ^(11/9/16) Life Exercise (yoga is good) & eat well (that includes pie) Give a compliment (once in a while, I give one to myself) Aaah moments (find three each day; in difficulty, refer to above: pie) Do something for someone else Step outside (breathe) And remember – quoting my friend, Cindy – until there is a cure, there is community.
Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love. – Gandhi he words of Gandhi, Einstein, John Lennon profess love in the face of evil, hate, injustice. They are beautiful words, inspiring words. But I can’t do it. Maybe I need more yoga. Love – as in tenderness, fondness, caring, respect – connote community, warmth. The words coming out of Washington do not. Alternate facts. Brrr, are we on the set of 1984? Cha-ching. Cold cash transfers from people and planet programs into a network of pockets of a few old boys. Even the pink blanket of hope spread by the Women’s March cannot ward off the chill of the indifferent, soulless support of last week’s icy executive […]
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 […]