my second Yoga for Parkinson’s session is coming to a close, and am I ever going to miss those ladies! I’ve had such a wonderful time with them, watching them move with more grace, balance, and awareness as the weeks went on- so inspiring.

some things that have stuck with me along the way…

  1. for some, there is a greater struggle between effort and ease. People with Parkinson’s who are rigid, masked, tremor, or dyskinetic spend so much time in “effort”, not willingly but because of the disease. So to see even the slightest bit of ease (i.e. jaw, forehead) and relaxation (i.e. relax shoulders down back) is truly amazing … a little savasana goes a long way (and this goes for everyone)!
  2. sometimes it doesn’t matter what you are doing (i.e., asana, work, etc.), but who you are doing it with (i.e., community, “sangha”). maybe the best thing you get out of your yoga practice is to connect with others who are walking the same path as you, whatever your path is i.e. yoga, Parkinson’s, parenthood, loss etc.
  3. gracefulness (in every sense of the word) happens when you least expect it, so let go of any expectations and be fully present in to the moment!
  4. it’s all yoga, baby! no matter whether you’re trying to hold warrior I, climb a stair, or stay focused on a difficult task at hand. By being mindful and approaching it with breath and awareness means it’s all yoga to me!

so even though this chapter is over for now, there’s always new opportunities… like being involved in Kripalu’s A Wellness Retreat for People with Parkinson’s and Their Care Partners. I think this will be a source of support and strength for so many people with Parkinson’s, and am so grateful to be able to volunteer and support the staff and facility offering this in June!

“My experience at the Kripalu Retreat was life-altering. I was newly diagnosed with PD and had many questions. During the week, I learned everything I needed to know, from the importance of exercise to the benefits of medication to helpful advice on lifestyle adjustments to information on current research and studies…Mainly, it was wonderful to spend the week with my two daughters and for the three of us to be a part of a positive, healing community in such a beautiful setting. Since my return, I practice daily some aspect of the newly gained knowledge and advice. Thanks to Kripalu and the National Parkinson Foundation staff for being so accessible to us and providing this opportunity. It was GREAT!”
—Emily S.

much love to everyone walking your own path.

one step at a time

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  ~ Martin Luther King

how true is this?

As I struggle to find my balance in a steady stream (often overflowing! maybe, a wild river?) of papers, data, and deadlines (still May 15th!), love, yoga, teaching, social, and quiet I know that I am moving forward… and that you have to do ONE step at a time!

And when I find I’m making excuses or saying “I’m too busy”…

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

… so what are you waiting for? Make it count! much love.


i’m still here

I’ve been pretty absent lately… partly due to that overwhelming feeling you get when things are coming to an end or a change is happening. Somehow my drive to keep up with all my projects is gone. Lately, I’m feeling focused on writing my dissertation (though without much excitement it seems), enthusiastic about my PD yoga class,  but seem to be looking for excuses to avoid writing on this site.

It’s not that I’ve given up on everything and been hiding from the world… it’s more like anything that currently seems non-urgent has fallen by the wayside. Even my desire to get on my yoga mat and practice has been wavering. Yes, the mornings are early, but I know how good it feels to take that time for myself and practice yoga… but lately that is not enough to get my butt in gear. And even simply leaving the house can sometimes make me feel like I have to put on a brave face and a smile.

My wonderful friend Jay reminded me a few weeks ago in her own blog, Grace & Grit Yoga that…

sometimes getting your shit together really means letting your shit fall apart as big as it needs to for as long as it needs to in the ways that it needs to until you realize it’s together in a new and phenomenal way that is beyond your wildest imagination for what together could actually look like for you.

and that it may just be a messy process from the outside, and one in which some things, like this blog, get left behind.

So, what now? Well, it’s starting with giving myself permission. What that means to me is removing the guilt. Permission to sleep in if I really need rest, permission to stay in, permission to take a break. Knowing that everything doesn’t have to be done NOW or all-at-once. I’m trying to slow down and trust that it will all get done. I have a looming deadline for my PhD dissertation (MAY 15!), ongoing yoga class that needs prepping, my own yoga practice, social connections to maintain, teaching assistant duties, and the list goes on. This is where my mono-tasking really goes to work.

And some more great advice from Jay:

There are things that are impossible, things that are possible but better left for another time, and things that are absolutely necessary. Learn to discern what fits into the latter category and give yourself a break when that’s all you get done.

Well, that means giving my full attention to writing, but taking a break when I need it (rest, yoga), and keeping my commitment to my PWPs-who-yoga every Tuesday, because to be honest that is a highlight of my week 🙂

so, just so you know. I’m still here, and in my own way wading through all that life throws at you, and trying to take it all in one thing at a time. much love.