March 7, 2013

When I Grow Up

As a kid, whenever an adult asked me what I wanted to be, I answered – much to my mother’s dismay – A jockey. I, with Secretariat’s victories taped to every inch of my bedroom walls, envisioned my future filled with checkered silk jerseys atop a thoroughbred. My mother, an avid reader, had a more literary career in mind for me, snug in a button-down sweater surrounded by books. Neither of us would have pictured the grown-up me in leggings on a yoga mat. Could they be any more different: racetrack, library, studio?  Plot them out and they’d be separate points on a triangle, equally distant from each other in every way. There are, however, similarities: None are get-rich-quick life choices. Each means no need for expensive suits or uncomfortable shoes. All can be done during regular hours without ever having to be on call. The three derive from one common […]
December 8, 2012

Yoga Mudra Plus One

Move over Mudras, there’s another to add to your list. In yoga, Asanas are poses we move our bodies into to energize or trigger relaxation. The Mudras are gestures that, in unison with the breath, also balance our energy.  Mudras are like yoga with our hands. From Anjali Mudra to Varaha Mudra, the gestures each involve touch. Whether it’s the tips of fingers pressed into one another, knuckles making contact or the back of the hand against a palm, each has a positive effect on our mood and on clearing our minds. For those of us with movement disorders, the full-body experience of yoga may be daunting at times when meds are waning or fatigue takes over. Or, it’s simply one of those off days. That’s when the Mudras can be particularly beneficial.  We need only to breathe and place our fingers in various positions to reap the calming or […]
November 23, 2012

It’s a Miracle

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” – A. Einstein In this season of lists, must-do’s, purchases, I listen for bells. From the Salvation Army ringers to the sh-shing of a cash register, these familiar sounds can be our guides to stop for a moment. To take a breath. How yogic. How necessary when living with PD. In “Peace Is Every Step,” Thich Nhat Hanh suggests we use the sound of bells to remind us to notice. To stop for a moment, take a breath and notice all the little miracles. Let the microwave beep, an elevator ding, someone’s car-locking beep all feed into this pool of reminders. Tis the season of bells and miracles.