Yoga - Conquering disability through yoga
by Jamuna Rangachari
To some, a trauma is not a setback but an impetus to growth. Matthew Sanford was involved in a devastating car crash at age thirteen, that took the lives of his father and sister, and left him paralyzed from the chest down. Though his doctors advised him to "forget his lower body," he discovered yoga and the power of the mind-body connection at the age of twenty five and has never looked back since then.
Learning Iyengar yoga from Jo Zuknovich, he realized how Iyengar yoga with its precise attention to alignment and innovative use of props within each individual pose, made yoga accessible to a much wider range of practitioners, including people living with disabilities.
He went on to become a nationally recognized yoga teacher, author, and renowned expert in mind-body integration who has inspired and enhanced the lives of thousands, most notably through his pioneering work to transform the conventional approach to rehabilitation, by proving that a mind-body approach to trauma, loss, and disability enhances the quality of life.
In 2001, Matthew founded Mind Body Solutions, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people transform trauma and loss into hope and potential by connecting their mind and body. "I want the world to know that healing is possible, even when curing is not," says Matthew, and helps people see how a mind-body relationship creates an inner capacity for survival, grace, and acceptance, no matter the circumstance.
Matthew has been teaching an adaptive yoga class for over ten years at a leading rehabilitation facility. With dozens of people on a waiting list, the demand for his breakthrough mind-body approach to rehabilitation far exceeds supply. His vision is to expand the adaptive yoga offerings nationally and to transform the rehabilitation process through training programs, seminars, and workshops. As Matthew says, "There are literally thousands of people going through rehabilitation whose quality of life can be improved."
To know more, see www.mindbodysolutions.org.