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Hands at Heart Center

Blog Summary

When I teach yoga, a few minutes into class I invite students to join me in bringing hands together at heart center in the universal gesture of gratitude and to pause for a moment to take note of something for which they are indeed grateful. “It can be anything,” I tell them. “A person, a pet, this warm sunny morning, the fact that you get to do yoga.” Once they’ve identified that which they are grateful for, I encourage them to allow that spirit of gratitude to inform their practice that morning.

To me, that’s one of the most important moments in the whole class. Because while all the downward-facing dogs and triangle poses are fun and make the body and mind feel good, the opportunity to connect with our sense of gratitude offers rewards beyond simply thinking a happy thought...

MS Fatigue – or a Sleep Disorder?

Blog Summary

I am very tired as I write this blog entry. I would love to take a nap, but I’ve got lots of work to do. This is not unusual for me; why do you think I drink so much coffee? I have written before about the difference between garden-variety tiredness caused by lack of sleep and the intense fatigue many people with multiple sclerosis suffer. Of course, a person with chronic fatigue can also experience regular tiredness, especially when we’ve been burning the candle at both ends...

Confidence

Blog Summary

I am not by nature a particularly self-confident person. I constantly second-guess myself. I never expect people to stop and listen when I speak. I always worry I have a booger in my nose. My friends are surprised when I tell them this. To many of them, I am an accomplished, smart, funny woman who’s done at least an okay job of living life, raising two kids and writing a few books and blogs along the way. But no matter how much I manage to get done, I never give myself much credit...

Weight a Minute!

Blog Summary

As I was closing up the studio after teaching a yoga class yesterday, the man whose accounting office is across the hall and with whom I am friendly popped in to chat a minute. He commented that it looked as though I had lost some weight. I hadn’t been making any special effort to slim down. I explained that I always seem to drop a few pounds in the summertime because I’m so active when the weather is warm. I swim and bike and walk the dog a lot, soaking up the sunshine (wearing sunscreen, of course!). I also substitute for other yoga teachers while they’re on vacation, so I even do more yoga than usual...

Depression and MS

Blog Summary

We’re always saddened when a favorite celebrity dies. But somehow the death by suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams has felt like a sucker-punch to the gut. How could someone so seemingly full of life, someone who lit up so many other lives, have arrived at such a dark place that he’d take his own life? Depression. In the aftermath of Williams’ death we’ve been reminded that he long struggled with depression. We’ve been bombarded with messages urging us to be more aware of mental illness in general and depression in particular, and social media have been replete with videos of people telling us how we might help those in our lives who suffer from this insidious disease...

Household Chores: Pick Your Poison

Blog Summary

In the hierarchy of household tasks, we all have those we don’t mind and those we actually kind of enjoy – or at least get satisfaction from having done. I don’t mind scrubbing the toilets (mostly because I hate a not-quite-clean one) or doing laundry, and I even love doing the white towels in bleach because it’s so lovely to fold them, warm and fragrant from the dryer. I find doing dishes a nearly Zen-like experience, perhaps in part because while I stand at my spacious kitchen sink I can look out the window at the yard, meadow, and woods beyond. On the other hand, I hate to vacuum. I mean, I hate it. Maybe it’s because our old Victorian farmhouse has mostly hardwood floors with area rugs strewn throughout, so you have to keep switching the vacuum from carpet to wood-floor mode. And because both of our dogs are heavy shedders, you have to make extra effort to suck up all those tumbling tumbleweeds – and empty the canister a zillion times...

Don’t Jinx It!

Blog Summary

Me: “Sometimes when my horoscope is really good I don’t allow myself to believe it.”My 20-year-old daughter: “Mom, you are the most neurotic person I know.” That’s an actual conversation that took place in my kitchen this morning. And it wasn’t an unusual one...

Surrendering Control?

Blog Summary

As I have repeatedly noted, yoga has helped me enormously in managing my multiple sclerosis and staying in tune with my body’s abilities. But sometimes it helps me recognize and come to terms with my body’s occasional LACK of ability...

Keep Your Cool

Blog Summary

It’s that funny time of year in New England, when the weather can’t make up its mind. One day will be cool and cloudy, the next scorching hot and sunny. And some days present perplexing combinations of conditions. The other day, for instance, I took a bike ride with a girlfriend. Neither of us quite knew how to dress, as the day was overcast but also quite muggy and buggy. Ugh. For those of us with multiple sclerosis, that kind of situation can pose more than the average amount of discomfort. Many of us find our MS symptoms are aggravated by the heat, and simple decisions such as what to wear on a bike ride can affect us pretty profoundly...

I’m so tired…

Blog Summary

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink…. The Beatles song “I’m So Tired” isn’t about multiple sclerosis. But its lyrics have come to my mind pretty often since I was diagnosed with MS. Outside of an occasional numbness on the right side of my face, fatigue has always been my main MS symptom. And, as anyone who experiences MS-related fatigue knows, it’s not just about feeling tired. It’s about feeling exhausted, beat, and too tired to know what to do next. It’s a defeating and humbling experience...
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