One day in my boxing for PD class at Rock Steady Boxing, I noticed how many of us were moving at full speed, even when asked to slow down. Maybe it is because of the same medication that causes us to gamble, shop non-stop or exhibit other compulsive behaviors. For those of us who are not slowed down by PD, it seems that we are always trying to win a race. Even if there is no race.
Our boxing instructors tell us to slow down, that we take too many punches when at the punching bags, but those words seem to fall on deaf ears. Even those who can barely move when they walked into class are trying to beat the bag to pulp. Those 3 minute rounds are exhausting, but apparently if we stepped back from the bag once in a while like we are supposed to, we would not expend so much energy. Think about watching a title fight – the boxers do not constantly throw punches as each other. They dance around each other, throwing well placed jabs at the right moments.
And the race is on for other activities as well. I have been taking piano lessons for several years as therapy for PD. Music is wonderful for the brain and playing the piano actually works both sides of the brain at the same time. Each hand is playing something different, which means that your neurons on both sides of the brain must pay attention to get it right. But somehow, my neurons don’t get the message that I should play a new piece slowly to learn it and master it. So once again, it is full speed ahead. My piano teacher just sits and shakes his head at me when I can”t slow down.
Yoga seems to be the only activity where I actuallly can relax and slow down. But I havefound that I can’t do slower forms of yoga. Vinyasa flow classes are best for me because I need to keep moving. But fortunately, there is a pattern to yoga classes that actually forces you to slow down at the end and relax…….Shavasana has actually become my favorite yoga pose. For those of you who don’t know yoga terms, Vinyasa flow classes begin with fairly vigorous poses and movements, which get your heart rate up as well as work on balance and strength. Shavasana, or Corpse pose, is the reward for all of that work, when you get to lie on your back totally relaxed for a few minutes in a darkened room with quiet music in the background.