June 6, 2013

Bad Yoga. Bad.

E. W. Jackson is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia. According to the Huffington Post, his agenda items include yoga warnings: Yoga may leave unsuspecting people vulnerable to satanic possession…. In a post for the National Review on Wednesday, Betsy Woodruff highlighted some quotes from Jackson’s 2008 book Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True. Among them was one about the hazards of yoga. “When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana,” Jackson wrote in his book, according to Woodruff. “The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want.” So THAT’S where I got Parkinson’s. Stoopid, […]
May 9, 2013

Teacher Training Smile

It brings a big, goofy — though intensely genuine — smile to recall the recent yoga teacher training at TriYoga Boston.  I sense — no, I know — that each one of the individuals there signed up not simply for the certification but because their hearts led them to the program. Their hearts then led them back home to places around the U.S. to spread newfound knowledge and understanding of how to match the needs of students with Parkinson’s. This adds a glow to my big, goofy, intensely genuine smile. At the time, we were halfway into the program when the news of the marathon tragedy pierced the peace of the yoga studio. My thought then still holds true: Humanity shone despite all that shattered that Monday. I can genuinely smile as I breathe in the memory of a compassionate circle of people who gathered at TriYoga for the sole […]
April 28, 2013

Group Hug

“A hug is a universal medicine, it is how we handshake from the heart.” –Anonymous     I propose that Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month closes with a hug.      Hug family, friends, dogs, friend’s dogs. Consider the benefits. Studies show that hugs lower blood pressure, increase levels of hormones that trigger happy states of being and reduce the affects of  stress. In the average embrace, both huggers lean toward each other: O O /= =\ When the average embrace ends (determined, typically silently, by both participants), both return to upright and part: O O |    | Happy hormones for all. Except for those of us with a movement disorder; the research clearly did not include in their trials people living with PD. When someone raises both arms and leans toward me for an embrace, my state of being turns to fear. I’m not entirely steady (physically, that is) […]