Gary Cowlishaw

I'm Stepping Up for Parkinson's this May!

My Activity Tracking


My target 200 kms

post 6am yoga

I want to raise awareness for Parkinson's disease and help those people living with Parkinson's because it does not discriminate and turns up unannounced and uninvited. 

The cause of Parkinson’s is unknown

There is no test to diagnose Parkinson’s

There is no cure

Find out more

Please donate if you are able to - thank you 

My Achievements

Updated Profile Image

First Donation Received

Shared My Page

Super Stepper

Halfway to Fundraising Goal

Reached Goal

My Updates

Day 31 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Friday 31st May
Wow - we did it ! Today I completed 31 days of consecutive yoga . Why is this significant 
- you have helped me raise over $4,000 so far - its not too late to make a donation, every $ counts
- last year in May 2023 I missed a day 
- the year before in 2022 I missed 2 days (a wedding!)
- in 2024 we did  31 days 
Thank you to all my supporters who are helping make a difference and slow the progression of this degenerative disease that has no cure.  

Day 30 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Thursday 30th May
Salute the sun 
Todays pic was taken at 7.05am just after the 6am class 

Thanks to everyone who has supported me at 6am every day and all of you who already donated huge thanks. 

So far with your kindness I have raised $3,879  which will fund one Parkinson's neurological nurse for one week.  The trouble is there is a Parkinson's pandemic and each nurse needs to be out in the community 52 weeks a year. It takes $180,000 to fund one nurse for one year.  

The impact is huge as one nurse helps hundreds of people. 

Please consider a donation if you can and thank you in advance. *Remember Parkinson's does not discriminate, it is uninvited and there is no cure. It is a neuro degenerative disease.  

Day 29 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Wednesday 29th May
Thanks to every who has supported me on this challenge - those who have shared space at the wonderful Living Room Yoga School , 6am every day and those who have donated to such a worthy cause. 

So far with your kindness I have raised $3,879  which will fund one Parkinson's neurological nurse for one week.  The trouble is there is a Parkinson's pandemic and each nurse needs to be out in the community every week so we need $180,000 per nurse per year - one nurse can help hundreds of people. 

Please consider a donation if you can. Thank you in advance. *Remember Parkinson's does not discriminate, it is uninvited and there is no cure. It is  neuro degenerative disease.  

Day 28 post 6am yoga sunrise smiles

Tuesday 28th May
Thanks to Chrissy who taught a beautiful balance and twist yoga sequence at 6am this morning 

There is no cure for Parkinson's  and there is a shortage of specialist supports. 

A specialist neurological nurse can help hundreds of people living with Parkinson's every year.

It takes $308 to fund an in-home consultation with a Parkinson's Specialist Nurse.

$3,461 will fund a Parkinson's Nurse specialist for a week 

Please help fund a nurse if you can and pass this on to someone else to help spread the word

Day 27 Monday 6am yoga crew

Monday 27th May
Why I need to Step up for Parkinson's - incidence is on the rise: 
- 37 people are newly diagnosed in Australia every day
- 266 people living in Australia will be diagnosed with Parkinson's in the next 7 days
- 70,000 people in NSW are currently living with Parkinson's
- 400,000 people in Australia predicted to be living with Parkinson's in 2040 

Sunday 26th May

Day 26 of 31 days of yoga to raise awareness

Sunday yoga pic - thanks to everyone who joined in this morning.

Living with Parkinson's is a constant challenge - Lethargy and lack of response are often experienced.

Regular exercise has been shown to:

      • Reduce muscle stiffness
      • Improve mobility with better posture, balance and gait
      • Decrease depression and anxiety
      • Enhance memory
      • Reduce fatigue
      • Improve constipation
      • Assist with slowed movement (bradykinesia)
      • Improve speech, and reduce swallowing and drooling
      • Improve writing and fine motor skills

Exercise is crucial for living well with Parkinson’s.
Second only to your medication.

Day 25

Saturday 25th May
Sat 25th May 2024 = 25th consecutive day of early morning yoga - well I gave myself a self care lie in today and took a 9am . Thanks to Annie (front left in photo)  who went through a lovely align sequence and gave great tips on "twists".

For more information on Parkinson's disease, a neurological and degenerative condition that has no cure refer to 
A charity and the only organisation in NSW providing specialist supports to people living with Parkinson's.  Please support my fundraiser and help make a difference to others.  
Friday 24th May

Hi Everybody

You probably know every day this month , May 2024< This May, I am taking part in Step Up for Parkinson's.

Step Up for Parkinson's is a community fundraising activity where like-minded people like myself have come together to raise funds for people living with Parkinson's.

I’d love you to support me. The good news? If you make a donation between now  and Sunday 26 May 2024 (by 11.59pm), both you and I will get the chance to each win JBL wireless noise cancelling headphones. How awesome is that? 

Please help me reach our goal and donate to my Step Up for Parkinson's page:

Thank you so much for your support!


Day 23 salute the after 6am class sun

Thursday 23rd May
A nother day another $ donated - please 

I am trying to raise $5k - thats enough to fund a neurological nurse for a week or two.  One nurse in community can help hundreds of people. 

Even better - If you donate between now and Sunday 26 May (11.59pm) you will go into a draw to win a JBL wireless noise cancelling headphones (I can give you more details!). 

Day 22

Wednesday 22nd May
Sunshine after sunrise - Day 22 completed 
Thanks to everybody for your enthusiasm and support of this 31 days challenge - I could not do this on my own! 

During the challenge another 1,147 people will her the words "you have Parkinson's" for the very first time 

Day 21

Tuesday 21st May
Please consider a donation if you can - funds go straight to helping slow the progression of this degenerative disease

Thank you 

Day 20 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Monday 20th May
Sunrise delight - 10c = very cold and dark at 5.45am today

Living with Parkinson's is a constant battle 24/7 365 days a year . Research shows someone with Parkinson's needs to spend over 8,000 hours a year on self care

Exercise can benefit  people living with Parkinson's
 - symptom management improves gait, balance, tremor, flexibility, strength and coordination
- slowing disease progression : practicing movement improves movement slowing symptoms 


Day 19 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Sunday 19th May
Sunday sunshine 
There are 70,000 people living with Parkinson's in NSW - all needing specialist supports to help slow the progression of this degenerative condition.
Please consider a donation and making a difference  

Day 19 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Sunday 19th May
Sunday sunshine

There is no cure for Parkinson's.  So specialist supports are crucial in helping people living with Parkinson's cope and ideally slow the progression of this degenerative disease..

Please consider donating if you can so that these supports are more readily available to more people.  

Day 18 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Saturday 18th May
Saturday 18th May 24 
Yoga every day to support people living with Parkinson's

Did you know the NSW Government contributes only 47 cents per person living with Parkinson's disease in NSW


Day 17 60 mins of 6am yoga done

Friday 17th May
For people living with Parkinson's , which is a degenerative neuro condition, the goal is to live as comfortably as possible .

Second only to medication management, exercise is crucial.
Boxing is one of the best forms of exercise for a person living with Parkinson' s.

Exercise is a natural stress buster hat can help to work off anxiety and muscle tension. Regular exercise can strengthen your immune system, maintain bone strength, and manage cholestorol.  

Day 16 of 6am yoga (15 days to go)

Thursday 16th May
Not missed a day yet - half way there for a  good cause.

Todays subject is NUTRITION and Parkinson's 

The main  drug for treatment of Parkinson's is "levadopa" - so when it comes to Nutrition eating a well-balanced diet of smaller more frequent meals results in smaller serves of protein reducing the interference with levodopa.  This will also maintain blood sugar levels instead of fluctuations and this produces a calming effect (less stress). 

Day 15 6am yoga

Wednesday 15th May
Happy yogis - thanks everyone for joining in - what a good way to destress!

Ask for help - have a back up plan - find some time for yourself

Signs of stress in a Parkinson's situation:
Dry mouth *  Headache * Confusion * Nightmares * Clammy hands * Tearfulness * Depression * Feeling faint * Fingernail biting * Decreased talking * Over or under eating * Heart palpitations * Fatigue / weariness

Best ways to manage stress:
Relaxation = meditation - YOGA -  bed on time - delegating tasks to others 

Day 14 6am sunrise yoga

Tuesday 14th May
Glorious sunrise this morning and a full class of happy 6amers 

Stress is a normal chemical reaction in your body which can be either good or harmful.
People with Parkinson's are often under great stress which can lead to health problems. 
Stressors can include
- change of personal circumstances
- moving house or changing job
concerns about family or friends
medications new or changed

More information 

Day 13 6am yoga

Monday 13th May
Happy Monday 6am yoga crew bright and early today on another very wet morning. It was pouring down at 5.45am 

A specialist neurological nurse can help hundreds of patients every year.  $3,461 will fund a Parkinson's neurological specialist nurse on the road for a week. 

Access to a nurse makes an enormous difference to the health and wellbeing of people living with Parkinson's  

Day 12 Sunday yoga Step up

Monday 13th May
Sunday 12th May 2024
Sleepy Sunday

There is no test to  diagnose Parkinson’s. 
A Dr will refer a patient to a neurologist who will review and monitor symptoms and in some cases outcomes like loss of smell are indicative early signs.

More information  

Day 11 of 31 days of yoga @ The Living Room

Saturday 11th May
Happy Saturday  everybody
Completed Day 11 this morning - bucketing it down or raining cats and dogs as we say in the old country.

Parkinson’s and disabling gait impairments include problems like imbalance, shuffling, falling, staggering, and freezing.

Imagine trying to do yoga with a walking difficulty. People living with Parkinson's find this affects their ability to perform usual daily activities and are more likely to have falls.

Compensation strategies to help with walking are : 

1.     Internal cueing, like walking to a count in your head

2.     External cueing, like walking in rhythm to a metronome

3.     Changing the balance requirement, like making wider turns

4.     Altering mental state, which includes relaxation techniques

5.     Action observation and motor imagery, which includes watching another person walk

6.     Adapting a new walking pattern, like jumping or walking backwards

7.     Other forms of using the legs, like bicycling and crawling

Help and more info at

Day 10 6am yoga for Parkinson's

Friday 10th May
Fun with the 6am crew today @ The Living Room yoga and teacher Claudine.

Hallucinations are an effect of Parkinson's and of the medication. They increase with cognitive impairment, longer disease duration and age. Symptoms start with dreams, then illusions, then hallucinations at night-time and eventually in day time with the patient often unable to determine what is real and what is not. 

Day 9 of 31 days of 6am yoga

Thursday 9th May
Thanks to The Living Room 6am crew for supporting my 31 day challenge.

People with Parkinson's disease may have symptoms such as low energy levels and problems with appetite and sleep. Anxiety and depression have a major negative influence on quality of life.  There is no cure for Parkinson's 

Day 8 of 6am yoga

Wednesday 8th May
Thanks to the Wednesday crew for joining in and supporting my Step up for Parkinson's challenge.

Day 8 of 31 days raising awareness for Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative condition with no known cause and no cure. Medication and exercise can help slow progression. 

Help is available from  

Day 7 6am yoga for Parkinson's

Tuesday 7th May
Great to see a happy smiling bunch at 6am today and sharing space . Thank for your support everybody. 

There is no cure for Parkinson's and it is a degenerative disease hence access to specialist supports is vital in slowing the progression of Parkinson's

Day 6 6am yoga Monday

Monday 6th May
Huge thanks to my fellow 6am yoga crew Dani, Iris, Frank, Becky, Sam, Row and Sarah who all braved the pre 6am darkness on a Monday morning. 

My aim this year is to raise $5k which would keep a neurological nurse on the road for a few weeks. 

A neurological nurse is vital in regional communities where there is a shortage of supports and no neurologists. 

Day 5 Sunday yoga

Sunday 5th May
Parkinson's is a neuro degenerative disease that has no cure. Diagnosis is usually in the above age 60 . It comes as a massive shock to people as it arrives uninvited and unexpected and often to people who have been healthy all their life.
Supporting my Step up for Parkinson's challenge allows Parkinson's NSW to help those living with Parkinson's.  
Huge thanks to the Sunday early risers who made it to yoga in the torrential wind and rain early this morning  

Day 4 6am yoga sculpt Saturday crew

Saturday 4th May
Parkinson's disease - the incidence rate is on the rise
400,000 people predicted to be living with Parkinson's in Australia by 2040

Supporting my fundraising activity enables the provision of specialist services for the Parkinson's community which will help slow the progression of this degenerative condition  

Please support me if you can.

Thanks to the Saturday crew for their wonderful support on the mat  this morning (well before sunrise). Awesome effort guys... 

Day 3 6am yoga for Parkinson's disease

Friday 3rd May
70,000 people in NSW living with Parkinson's who need specialist supports like neurological nurses. 
Your donation enables Parkinson's NSW to help people living with Parkinson's who have just heard the words "you have Parkinson's" for the first time .  

Day 2 6am yoga sunrise smiles

Thursday 2nd May
266 people living in Australia will be diagnosed with Parkinson's in the next 7 days Funds raised from this challenge have an immediate impact helping newly diagnosed every day

Day 1 May 1st

Wednesday 1st May
37 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every day in Australia 

6am yoga every day in May to help people living with Parkinson's and their families 

post 6am yoga

Monday 11th Mar
Ready to step up every day in May 2024 -6am yoga for people living with Parkinson's

Thank you to my Sponsors


Kate Baddeley

Keep up the amazing work Gary!


The Livingroom Yoga School Coogee

Thank you for sharing your inspiring and important work with our yoga community at The Livingroom!


Mark Ashmore

Go Gary!!! 🌈


Nancy Mikhaiel

Go Gary! 🎈


Martin Ostrowski



Ben Fung

You're a champion Gary!


Monique De Gabriele


Martin And Jane Evans

Go Gazza !


Bernd Hammann



Enjoy Gary 😊


Seth Hertz




Stefan Schickinger


Gail Kenning


Matt Petersen

Great effort mate, and a worthy cause.


Kasia Hamann

Well done Gary, very worthy cause.


Perry Papast


Jayron Jaro


Robert Deans

Great work Gary


Thelma Cowlishaw

Enjoy your yoga for such a good cause


The Howsons’s


Stacey Muscat

Well done Gary