KEEPING IT REAL: Carolyn’s Story

Fri 19 Nov 2021

We recently had the chance to chat — and do a virtual yoga session! — with Carolyn. Here is her story.

Keep It Real: Carolyn's Story
By Carolyn Bowman

I am 57 years old and have spastic-athetoid cerebral palsy.  All four of my limbs have involuntary movement but the right side is more unstable.  I have difficulty writing, cooking, eating and organizing daily activities.  I have an awkward walking gait but am relatively flexible.  Meaning I can sit cross-legged on the floor but drinking liquids without a straw is impossible.

I found yoga 30 years ago when I was completing my Master's Degree in Special Education.  I immediately embraced the practice as it calmed down my wigglies, my thoughts and my yoga mat became like a magic carpet.  Anything was possible.  Though I look quite awkward when I move, yoga postures are uniquely individual and I always feel so relaxed on the mat or in the chair.  Yoga moves the body and quiets the mind.

As I retired from full-time teaching after 30 years in the public school system, my passion for yoga intensified.  I completed a 200-hour yoga-teaching program and am registered with the National Yoga Alliance.  I have been teaching gentle and chair yoga for the past two years.  My passion is bringing yoga to people who do not have yoga yet.

This story is part of KEEPING IT REAL — a series of personal stories that will take you deeper into the lives of people with CP. Each person makes different choices based on what works for them, and we’ll showcase that — highlighting what life is like for them on a daily basis, what they care about, and the ways CP impacts them. 

The KEEPING IT REAL blog is intended solely to raise awareness about the varied human experience with cerebral palsy and shouldn't be read or construed to contain any medical advice, medical endorsement, or other endorsement by Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. Only you and your doctor know what's best for you. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

Thu 11 Apr 2024

In the first part of our newest Science Spotlight blog, learn how scientists can harness electricity to help with movement disorders that sometimes accompany cerebral palsy.

Thu 04 Apr 2024

Check out the final part of Rindi and Soren’s story.