Ep. 80 Memory As The Precious Gift of Meaning: A 90 min Level 2-3 Yoga Class

30 May
Mom and Dad love the baby

Remembering our little gift 🙂

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! 😀

Dr. Dienstag’s article is a fantastic read . If you are interested in listening to the entire interview with Dr Dienstag you may check it out here.

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

downward facing dogone legged downward facing dog with hips squaredstraight legged lunge

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Surya Namaskar C Variation (without vinyasa)

urdhva hastasana transition into uttanasana uttanasana ardha uttanasanaLunge with bent leg downward facing dogLunge with bent leg uttanasana ardha uttanasanatransition into uttanasanaurdhva hastasanatadasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana


plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Parsvakonasana/Virabhidrasana II

Parvakonasana with forearm on thighparsvakonasana prepParsvakonasanawarrior II



Chattarunga (hold)

chattarunga dandasana



Side Angle Pose/Warrior II

Parvakonasana with forearm on thighparsvakonasana prepParsvakonasanawarrior II


plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Trikonasana/Triangle with side angle arm






plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Virabhidrasana I (with arms interlaced behind the head)


Warrior I (with arms interlaced behind the head)



Eagle arms in Tadasana/Uttanasana with Garundasana arms

Baby Dancer



Pigeon Prep

Ekapadarajakapotasana prep with thigh stretch

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana with a thigh stretch

Downward Facing Dog on tip toes/Plank on tip toes/Upward Facing Dog/Downward Facing Dog

chattarunga dandasana on tops of the feet

Uttanasana vinyasa to Tadasana

Urdhva Dhanurasana with or without blocks at the wall x 3

urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-1-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-misaligned-stage-1-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-2-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-misaligned-stage-3-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-3-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-4-medium.JPG

Knees to Chest


Supine Twist


Downward Facing Dog





One Response to “Ep. 80 Memory As The Precious Gift of Meaning: A 90 min Level 2-3 Yoga Class”

  1. Barbara Kuhl June 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Elsie, you may not remember me but just wanted to say hello !!!! – so much LIFE has happened since I last saw you in L.A. – your baby is beautiful and your website is so INSPIRED! Absolutely great….I am living in Munich, Germany at the moment and am so excited John F. is on his way here for a workshop next week, plus am doing a TT with him in Paris, where Marc Holzman has moved to, for the moment….seems like L.A. has been on the move….
    Take care and keep doing what you’re doing, it’s bee–ooooo—tiful!
    barbara kuhl

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