Empowering Lives: Yoga for Parkinson’s

 

At Warrior Flow School, we're thrilled to introduce our inaugural Yoga for Parkinson’s series featuring Renee Le Verrier.

Understanding the Parkinson's Journey

Adrian: Renee, you mentioned the scarcity of resources for those navigating Parkinson's for an extended period. Can you elaborate on the contrast between someone newly diagnosed and those like you, with nearly two decades of experience?

Renee: Certainly. Initially, the diagnosis often triggers denial and shock. Individuals are still quite able-bodied but may encounter challenges as they're not yet on medication. Neurologists term the first 10 years as the "honeymoon time." However, the subsequent decade sees a faster progression. Exercise and social connection are pivotal in slowing this process. Now, my focus is on adapting yoga for the advanced stages while continuing to inspire newly diagnosed individuals to practice yoga. Everybody can do yoga!

Mind Benefits of Yoga in Advanced Stages

Adrian: You mentioned that, for you, the benefits of yoga in these later stages are more psychological. Could you share how yoga at this stage is aiding your mental well-being?

Renee: Absolutely. Yoga comprises eight branches, with the physical aspect often taking the spotlight. Yet, in advanced stages, other limbs become crucial. Being present and mindful, especially through breath, helps me embrace the present moment. It's about connecting with the new body and navigating through changes. It's a mental practice as much as a physical one.

Inspiration for Newcomers

Adrian: For those newly diagnosed or hesitant to explore yoga, what advice would you offer? How does yoga help in the early stages?

Renee: I often say, "I have Parkinson's; what's your superpower?" Yoga is a potent tool in this journey. It aids in adapting to the changes, connects with the body, and helps maintain functionality. It's about finding the new normal with acceptance.

Encouraging Those Reluctant to Try Yoga

Adrian: For someone who has been with Parkinson's for years but hasn't tried yoga, what encouragement would you provide?

Renee: Yoga is about learning, and prior experience is not necessary. It's not about looking a certain way but adapting the practice to your needs. Shorter, more frequent sessions work well. It's about finding workarounds and not feeling pressured to fit into a stereotype.

Practicalities of the Free Series

Adrian: Renee, tell us about the structure of the four-part series and the props participants might need.

Renee: The series comprises 90-minute sessions, combining class and workshop elements. Participants need a chair (preferably two), space near a wall, blocks (or large books), a strap (or bathrobe belt), and optionally, an exercise ball. We focus on making yoga accessible using props easily found at home.

Adrian: To wrap up, why should people join the series, and how will it benefit them?

Renee: The sessions offer a blend of yoga practice, learning, and Q&A, catering to everyone from beginners to those with advanced Parkinson's. It's an opportunity to understand the focus, purpose, and adaptations tailored to Parkinson's. It's about empowerment and learning how to continue the practice at home.

Author

  • Adrian Molina

    Adrian Molina, a prominent figure in community organization and mental health advocacy, dedicates his life to fostering connections and effecting positive change, particularly among marginalized groups. With a background in social service, including work in homeless shelters and maximum security prisons, Adrian emphasizes the importance of mind-body practices in healthcare and law enforcement. As the founder of Warrior Flow, Adrian offers trauma-informed yoga education worldwide, targeting those in community outreach and the medical field. He's a passionate mental health advocate, volunteering with crisis hotlines, serving as an ambassador for NAMI, and training for various programs focused on suicide prevention and child abuse. Adrian is also working on a memoir exploring themes of mental health, resilience, and growth. Adrian's influence spans globally, inspiring hope and change in countless lives. Click link below to learn more about Adrian’s work.

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