I don’t think that I can truly convey how moved I was when I heard Dr. Dienstag relay his experiences leading a creative writing course for people who had been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s. What gripped my heart was the importance of the patients physically writing down memories and as they left the class, gifting the physical memories to the teacher, as the majority of those folks would forget those memories the next time that they came to class.
That absolutely hit me.
They entrusted their memories. They gave them away, never to have them back.
Remember and Celebrate
I had never viewed memory as something alive and tangible. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever thought about memories as ‘gifts.’ As I thought about this concept I realized that when I remember something from my childhood or come across a scent I hadn’t smelled in a long time, or find an article of clothing I haven’t worn in a long time, it is like receiving a gift. Those memories are gifts I get to open every time I encounter them. They always serve to remind me of what I give value to in my life.
One answer that emerged from the Lifelines group is that we should surround people who are forgetting with acts of remembering. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease are in danger of forgetting that they can still remember, as are those of us who work with people with Alzheimer’s. – Dr. Dienstag
Something affected me about this sentence. Yes, it is about folks that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but did you catch the last little bit of that quote:
as are those of us that work with people with Alzheimer’s.
To me that means everyone.
Then it becomes about something completely different.
How about you? Are you in danger of forgetting that you can still remember? Are you surrounding yourself with acts of remembering?
This episode’s online yoga class is a Level 2-3 class.
The yoga class is a journey of imprinting your mat with those memories. Writing your desires, your deepest wishes, your meaningful longings with your body, NOW. May we acknowledge and gift them NOW, as the blessing of memory is just that, a blessing.
The class itself is more energetically paced than usual. The first half of the class involves lots of standing poses and vinyasas. It is also accompanied by yours truly chatting up a storm (imagine that!) 😉 I was deeply inspired by the subject matter. My energy grounds as the class goes on, as the quiet grows.
Something else to note about the class: I ran out of batteries for my H2 Zoom recorder during savasana, so you will have to bring yourself out of the pose on your own! 😀
This class was recorded at BYS Yoga Studio in Pittsburgh on May 13, 2010
Remember to listen to the podcast to get the 15% off coupon code for Prancing Leopard Organics my magical sponsors 😉 and go shopping!
The Sequence of Yoga Poses for this online yoga class:
Downward Facing Dog/Eka Pada Downward Facing Dog/ Spiderman Lunge
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Surya Namaskar C Variation (without vinyasa)
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Side Angle Pose/Warrior II
Trikonasana/Triangle with side angle arm
Virabhidrasana I (with arms interlaced behind the head)
Warrior I (with arms interlaced behind the head)
Eagle arms in Tadasana/Uttanasana with Garundasana arms
Ekapadarajakapotasana prep with thigh stretch
Downward Facing Dog on tip toes/Plank on tip toes/Upward Facing Dog/Downward Facing Dog
Uttanasana vinyasa to Tadasana
Urdhva Dhanurasana with or without blocks at the wall x 3
Knees to Chest
Downward Facing Dog