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Couple at gymMany individuals who have cerebral palsy, like Maysoon ZayidJosh BlueJohn Quinn, and Ryan McGraw, have all practice yoga to improve balance, coordination, stability and movement while strengthening the mind.

Yoga is a mind and body practice that originated from ancient Indian philosophy. It focuses on slow, controlled movements aimed at stretching and relaxing your muscles. By holding certain poses for a specified amount of time, yoga can improve posture by relaxing and strengthening the muscles around the spine.

30-year-old Ryan McGraw has cerebral palsy and practices yoga in the suburbs of Detroit. He said, “Of course, we’re not going to look like the people on the cover of yoga magazines posing perfectly when we’re doing yoga. But we don’t have to do the poses in the way that everyone else does as long as we find a way that works for us that gives us the same benefits.”

While the physical needs of people with disabilities vary, there is one constant: Everyone, regardless of their physical capabilities, needs to find some way of staying as fit as possible. Individuals like Ryan believe that yoga may be the solution for people with cerebral palsy.

“It improves strength, coordination and flexibility,” he said. “Those are the physical issues a person with cerebral palsy has to address.”

Erin Feeny, a young adult with cerebral palsy, spends an hour each week practicing yoga. Her mother, Louise Feeny, believes yoga has helped her daughter with digestion, trunk control, stamina, and breathing. When Erin was able to blow out birthday candles for the very first time on her 19th birthday, Louise said it was thanks to yoga.

While no official clinical trial has been conducted on the effectiveness of yoga for cerebral palsy, and the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability state that regular yoga sessions can help people with cerebral palsy improve their muscle tone as well as reduce tension in muscles and joints.

Yoga isn’t limited to just adults. Jamie of, a yoga instructor, has a six-year-old student named David who has mild cerebral palsy. “I had no idea how beneficial yoga would be for David,” said Jamie. “He lights up when he comes into the room and sees me setting up the mats!”

Sonia Sumar, who runs Yoga for the Special Child®, LLC, describes the benefits of yoga for individuals with cerebral palsy:

“The practice of Yoga poses (asanas), followed by deep relaxation, can help to significantly reduce high muscle tone, which is characteristic of most children with cerebral palsy. Holding an asana gives the muscles and tendons a relaxing stretch, releasing overall stress and tightness throughout the musculature and around the joints. At the same time that asanas are relaxing the body, they also provide just enough resistance to exercise low muscle tone areas of the body. In this way asanas actually improve both high and low muscle tone problems in children with cerebral palsy.

Perhaps the most important aspect of asana practice for children with cerebral palsy is its ability to stretch and realign the spine. Asanas flex and twist the spine in all directions. This scientifically designed series of stretches and counter-stretches helps to create more space between the vertebrae and reduce pressure on the disks and nerves that radiate out of the spine. Reducing the pressure on these radial nerves facilitates the release of muscular tension throughout the body and enhances overall nerve function. As a result, the child is able to develop a greater range of movement and coordination, as well as greater independence.”

If you have cerebral palsy and have had experience with yoga, we would love to know in what ways it has helped you. Share your experience by leaving a comment below.

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Time to refresh my blogging and mean it.

As some may know who fellow my work. I have been away from my blogging page. Well I am going to try writing and putting my ideas and thoughts again to wordPress  ( Such as they are) . I have missed putting my piece of my soul to share  with other spirited souls who like positive  thoughts and curious ideas. See you all in blogg land


Kathy 🙂





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Catholic guilt what it can do to a sister.

Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Billingsley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My two sister’s (Karen and Patty) and I grew up in the The 60’s and 70’s generation where parents if they wanted there children to do something as in daily chores would put a guilt trip on them. Not only would they put a guilt trip on them,  The guilt  would be ten time worse if the kids were brought up catholic. I bet those of you, and you know who you are  🙂 can really relate to this little well known fact.

My mom God rest her soul was the most sweetest and kindness of all motherhood put together. My mom was the kind of mother  who would bake cookies, and sew all of our clothes, and tend house all the wile maintaining  a full time job. My mom was known as the  June Cleaver of  Woodland Park .

 My mom who was brought up Methodist had  married my dad who was Catholic. My mom  had to sign a paper to the catholic church promising that the children would be brought up catholic Mom even went as far as converting to CatholicismWikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Karen , Patty and I had certain chores to do doing the week including weekends such as: cleaning the bathrooms, taking out the trash, and running the vacuum. Now as kids will do we would at times try to prolong our task of chores for as long as we could. After my mom numerous amounts of nagging she would then come to us and say: “If you girls do not do you chores I am going to go outside and eat worms.” Mom would also use this tactic when we would not agree with her on a particular issue..

Karen  my middle sister would be totally freak out my this statement that Karen would look out the bed room window to see if our mom was actually going to go though with eating worms Worms. When we were in our teens my sister Karen decided to put my mom’s money where her month was. It all happen one night when we were talking about something or other of which us girls did not agree with. all three of us said mom that’s ridiculous what you are saying. Mom then said her  ever familiar  line: “OK I AM GOING OUTSIDE TO EAT WORMS” Well right there and then Karen proceeds to open up the back door and said  “ok mom go ahead  do it. Go out side and eat your worms”. OMG I never ever laughed  so hard in my life. I thought I would pee myself . I thought how brilliant of  Karen to challenge my mom to that kind of move.

My mom then went up stairs with her dignity in hand  to our living room and said: “ I can not believe you girls would do  that kind of thing to your mother” From that point on we never really hard that statement again. My mom instead resumed her duties  as a good mom with baking cookies sewing our clothes and seeing to it that we grew up  into good young strong women.