A group of around six PWP attend a yoga class on a weekly basis. (The others also go to a different class on another day, with a different instructor. I don’t, not because it would feel like we were being unfaithful to our tutor, who I shall call Clair, because that’s her name, but because I’m trying to fit two trips to the gym.)
Clair is very patient, always aware of our Parkinson’s imposed limits, strengths and preferences, trying to adapt her teaching to encompass various problems we face such as aching and shaking legs, tremulous arms or even total shut down. She explains what each position is called and it’s aim. From our lessons I was surprised to discovered that there are many different forms of yoga, fourteen (I just googled it) and they all have their unique selling points. Some are recent variants dating all the way back to the 1990s
Anyway back to our class. I think it is an Iyengar based class as we use blocks, bolsters and chairs. Apart from two things Clair always remembers that I am there. However each week, when we walk on tiptoe, arms stretched up and she tells us to ‘imagine we are wearing our highest pair of high heels.’ Hmm, helpful for the ladies, me -. not so much. The other slip is during a torso twisting movement when she to tell us to feel the movement “where our bras run across”. Again helpful for the ladies…
Last lesson we tried a form of meditation where in our head she wanted us to comment on what we felt or could hear. Well The commentators in my head scrambled to get behind the mic. They commented on my posture (“he’s letting his head slip down to the left, that’s the result of his lack of core strength”), on the sounds outside (“and the birds are tweeting away, like Donald Trump on acid, but more tunefully and making more sense”) on the sounds inside the room (“there is some slow and heavy breathing, will they snore?”).
I mentioned the commentators and she told me to stop them being negative, they had to be neutral, just reporting what happens. So I’ve been giving them every opportunity over the last few days, pointing out in neutral terms when they fail to be neutral. Next lesson should be fun!


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