Resting Deeply Quickly

These two recordings are from a "Mindful Movement for Parkinson's" workshop in Denver, Colorado on January 17th, 2016. The theme for the workshop was "resting deeply quickly," and we looked at rest from various angles - how to rest from mental stress or exertion; how to adopt restful yet intentional postures lying on the ground, for refreshing breaks during the day; and how to reduce one's effort in movement, letting go of unnecessary muscular work that can cause tiredness over time.

Cardinal Spinal Movements

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.

The Spinal Chain

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. 

Spinal Rotation

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."

Mobility of the Shoulder Blades

In this 40-minute lesson done lying on the back, we explore the range of movements available to the shoulder blades. With gentle movement, we try to "unglue" the musculature that binds the shoulder blades into a fixed position in relation to the spine on so many people, thus hindering movements like reaching, carrying objects, and turning the steering wheel of a car. This lesson was taught as the first of a two part series at a Mindfulness for Parkinson's workshop, with the second being "Spinal Rotation."

Sit to Stand

In this 47-minute lesson, we practice a movement done many times a day in everyday life - going from sitting in a chair to standing, and vice-versa. By clarifying the biomechanics and skeletal anatomy of the movement, we learn how to come up from sitting in a balanced and easy way. This is a great lesson for improving balance, coordination, and strength! This lesson requires a chair, preferably one that is flat or at least that the seat does not incline backward. You'll need to be able to sit toward the edge of the chair. If your knees are higher than or equal in level to your hips when you sit on the chair, put a cushion or two on it to get your hips higher than your knees. You'll also need a mat or blanket to do parts of the lesson lying on the back. Lastly, for an excellent video demonstration of this lesson CLICK HERE.

Balance #1: Hands, Feet, and Hips

In this 43-minute lesson done lying on the back, we develop the self-image of the feet, seeking a sense of width from spreading the toes and visualizing width in the sole of the foot. By refining our awareness of the bony structure of the hands, the structure of the foot becomes a bit clearer. After simulating walking while lying on the back, we come up to test out the sense of wide feet in walking.