Stories of yoga inspiration! Not hard to come by these days, and that’s a wonderfully fabulous thing. Meet Matthew Sanford, he’s been paralyzed from the chest down since he was 13 and has spent the past 29 years in a wheelchair. But he’s not sitting still. Approximately 20 years ago he discovered yoga and the power of mind/body connection, which he says has changed his life. Now he spends his days teaching yoga to disabled kids and adults, as well as typical students, inspiring them to increase strength, flexibility and balance, not only in the body, but also in the mind.
“Don’t give up on your bodies,” Sanford pleads, reminding them — and himself — that their bodies didn’t ask for the circumstances that caused their disabilities. “Your body’s doing the best it can.”
Sanford believes that yoga increases strength, balance and flexibility (both mental and physical), spurs discovery of a subtle level of mind-body sensation not impeded by disability, improves the quality of breathing, provides a sense of lightness and freedom within the body, helps manage stress, and offers a deepened sense of wholeness and connection with others.
We are so grateful to hear about Yoga Heroes like Matthew who defy the odds and find the strength within to go out and help others. Also, we love when we get even more proof that yoga is for everyone!