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.