Whether you are just beginning to meditate, or looking for ways to connect to mindfulness in the middle of a busy day, it can be helpful to have brief meditations as touchstones. Here are two brief guided meditations. They both focus on awareness of the breath and body sensations, and anchoring attention in the present moment. The 10-minute meditation also explores bringing mindful attention to common symptoms of PD, such as tremor and pain.
Below are links to four audio recordings, comprising a complete three-hour workshop on "Mindful Movement for Parkinson's" done at "A Living Arts Centre" in Denver, Colorado on October 25th, 2015.
The recordings are given in the order in which we did them, starting with the "Opening meditation" and ending with the "Mindfulness body scan."
The lessons build on each other thematically, and you may hear me make reference to a prior lesson from time to time, but they are also intended to stand alone.
Apologies for occasional microphone static - I was using a new microphone and didn't realize how much sound it would pick up from my clothing!
In this 33-minute episode done sitting in a chair, we explore the four cardinal moves of the spine: folding (flexion), arching (extension), side bending, and rotation. These fundamental spinal movements are the basis on which all of our movement is built - standing up, walking, lifting, turning, and so forth. Clarifying the cardinal spinal movements is a great way to make all the movements of daily life easier and more enjoyable.
Can you sense most of your 24 vertebrae? How much range of movement might you gain if you could? To be able to sense one's spine and its movement is one of the fundamental bases of safe, effective, and enjoyable movement. In this classic 20-minute lesson, we explore mobility of the spine, pelvis, and hip joints - essential areas for balance and strength. The lesson is done lying on the back.
In this 38-minute lesson, done lying on each side and on the back, we explore spinal rotation - the ability of the vertebrae to rotate or twist. We also look at how deep breathing - which involves muscles related both to breathing and spinal posture - can increase the ease and range of spinal rotation. The lesson ends with some walking, exploring how healthy spinal rotation can become a conscious part of walking and swinging the arms. This lesson was taught as the second lesson during a Mindfulness for Parkinson's workshop, so it would make sense to do it after having done the lesson "Mobility of the Shoulder Blades."
A ten-minute lesson exploring spinal movement while sitting in a chair.
In this 18-minute guided meditation, we develop a non-interfering, present state of mind, we explore awareness of the breath in different parts of the body, and we use the breath to lengthen the spine. Can be done sitting in a chair or on a cushion.