happy (belated) anniversary

so, with all the planning for my trip and everything else I have going on, i forgot an important day…

february 6th

happy one year blog-birthday!

thanks for keeping me company for the last 12months and watch for new changes as we continue to grow! much love.

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Tutorial: the mighty lion

This week I want to introduce a mixture of a yoga pose with pranayama (breathing) called “Lion’s Breath” or “Lion’s Pose” (Simhasana).

 

Person’s living with PD may experience what is known as a “masked face“. This can include; lack of blinking, lack of expressions associated with emotion, smiling, frowning and grinning. In addition, someone can experience hypophonia (softened speech), difficulty clearing the throat, and speech/swallowing issues. Drawing attention to the muscles in the face, neck and surrounding throat can help to regain a sense of control of facial and related movements. Lion’s breath is a great way to emphasize facial movements more than you would in day-to-day experiences. Also, there is constriction of the throat muscles, which can be very beneficial.

Benefits:

  • Alleviating tension in the chest, neck and face
  • Release emotional tension, frustration, resentment and negativity
  • Is said to improve speech, mainly word pronunciation and alleviate stutters
Contraindications:
  • If knee injury sit in a chair or use supports under your knees (blanket) and sits-bones (block)

How:

  • Come to your knees *note: place a blanket under your knees if you need a little extra cushion or sit on a block to elevate your hips, finally sitting in a chair works too!
  • Cross the right ankle over the back of the left and sit back on your heels
  • Sit tall and spread your palms wide on your knees or thighs
  • Inhale deeply and lengthen the spine, spreading the shoulder blades apart and spreading the fingers wide (like lions’ claws!) feel your face relaxed
  • Open your mouth and eyes wide, sticking your tongue out and reaching it down for the chin as you roll your eyes upward (think Gene Simmons!)
  • Exhale out your mouth and contract the muscle in the front of your throat so you make a loud “ha” sound, like a lion’s roar.
  • Repeat 2-3 more times, then switch the cross of your feet, and practice again.

As you exhale, imagine releasing negativity and fatigue, and Yogic texts say that lion’s breath combats disease. Give it a try, and see if you don’t at least feel your face and neck engage, some lightness, and perhaps a bit more positivity … just ask Gene! much love.

it’s that time again…

so, it’s marking time…

Exercise Physiology lab reports (Simple Reflexes)...

it’s marking time every week (almost). It’s not that I mind… it’s just that I’d rather…

drink some coffee

make some homemade soup (… and thanks for the idea pip!)

squash, chard and chick pea soup

or snuggle with this guy.

In other words, procrastinate.

But, I really trying to keep focused and do some “mono-marking”… supplemented with LOTS of breaks 🙂 These guys put a lot of effort into their lab reports, and the least I can do is give it my full attention… plus, any coffee/soup spills mean bonus points! much love.

child’s play

**SPOILER ALERT **

I’m doing a wonderfully-restorative class tomorrow for my Yoga for Parkinson’s disease workshop. We are going to  support our bodies in really nurturing poses to help restore and renew… the reason we are going this is “fatigue”

What is FATIGUE?

Fatigue is typically experienced as a state of being tired, weary, exhausted and without energy … like you are moving through molasses!

Fatigue not only saps us of the energy we need to step out the door and interact with other (thereby, increase our social isolation), it can also undermine our ability to cope with day-to-day challenges, whether we have PD or not.

Fatigue is a common complain among persons living with PD and is reported to be just as disabling as some of the motor (tremor) and non-motor (sleep) symptoms. Fatigue in PD can be a result of the disease itself or caused by medication used to manage symptoms.

Yoga is way to manage fatigue as it combines movement, rest and stress reduction with the cultivation of prana (life force energy) and the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and renew response). A deep sense of rest can be experienced from extended holdings of restorative poses, such as childs, supine bound angle, knee down twist, and savasana.

Tomorrow we will spend some time in childs pose (balasana)

Benefits
  • Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue
  • When supported can relieve back and neck pain
Contraindications
  • If previous knee injury (especially patellar ligaments), be extra careful with knee placement and depth of the pose
How
  • Kneel on the floor with your big toes together and knees at least hip-width (mat-width) apart.
  • Inhale a tall spine and exhale relax your torso between your knees
  • Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and nestle your hips down onto the inner thighs
  • Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
  • Let the middle of your forehead (third-eye) rest on the ground to allow for a slight inversion to enable blood to flow to the brain, OR
  • Use bolsters to support the upper torso, and laying a blanket along the sacrum helps to guide the hips gently deeper into the thighs
  • If you difficulty sitting on your heels, place a rolled blanket between your calves and thighs for extra support
  • Inhale into your back body and feel your torso rising toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the spine.
  • Exhale and release the torso a little more deeply into the fold.
  • Stay in balasana anywhere from 30seconds to 3 or more minutes

so fight fatigue and find some time to curl into balasana… and relax, it’s only childs play! much love.

time to eat! … and mindful kitchen time

As some of you know, we were flooded out of our apartment for TWO MONTHS in the fall

the reflection is due to the 3inches of water on our bedroom floor

We were pretty lucky, insurance covered any damages (minimal!), stored our belongings and paid for our “accommodations” during those two months… Levon got a kick out of the big hotel bed and friendly staff 🙂

We were lucky to have the excuse to treat ourselves to some great meals out in Kelowna (RaudzWasabi! Minstrel Cafe!)

not in kelowna (Seattle, actually)... but one of our dinners (feast?) 😉

… but it got pretty old after a while and we really started to miss our own prepared food… not knowing where the ingredients came from and how it was put together started to decrease how much I enjoyed “meal time”.

Now, typically I’m not the chef in the house…

ahhh Darc's bread

pizza-man

Darc's hand-cut fresh pasta, yum!

but since Darc has been learning some new (financial) skills and has been busy in the evenings, I’ve tried to do my part in the kitchen. I have to tell you, it felt a little bit stressful at first (how would I compare? what do I even want to eathow would talk on the phone? … see “Meaningful Conversations”)

But, with the help of weekly produce delivery (thanks Urban Harvest Organic Delivery!), I’m starting to enjoy the process…

i’m taking the time to chop (though, Darc would agree I’m not so great at wielding a knife!), peel, and be creative! It’s a nice break from my to-do list, school work, and other commitments… I’ve been putting my mono-tasking skills to use (VERY tough in the kitchen!) and it’s been a fun process 🙂 … and the reward you get from putting in the time and energy makes my belly happy (and I think Darc’s too). So grab a bowl, spoon and spend some time in the kitchen, you’ll never know what you’ll whip up by doing one thing at a time! much love.

a plate of spicy cabbage on spaghetti squash and a bowl of carrot/cabbage/beet coleslaw (...yes, we got a big delivery of cabbage we needed to use up!)