A column I wrote for the republican

Every once in a while, I come across an inspiring story, but this one was especially inspiring to me since it is about an individual who overcame a life altering event with the help of yoga.

At a young age, a tragic automobile accident changed the life of Matthew Sanford’s family forever.  The accident killed his father and sister while Matthew, his mother and brother survived.  Even though Matthew was paralyzed from the waist down, he managed to pull himself up and move forward with his life.  In his book, “Waking: A memoir of Trauma and Transcendence”, published in June 2006 talks about his long journey to recovery, while learning and adapting the mind and body connections to help change his life.

The mind and body connection refers to the bond between physical and mental health.  This bond is very powerful and strong that must be kept at a healthy, even balance.  If one is unbalanced, the other will also be unbalanced.  This can cause ailments, stress and depression.  Yoga is an excellent tool in keeping a good balance because it works both sides while teaching us how to keep an even balance.  Today Matthew Sanford is dedicating his life to teaching the importance of the mind and body connection.  In 2001, he founded Mind and Body Solutions, where he helps individuals integrate their minds and bodies through yoga.  The organization operates a yoga studio in Minnesota and does public presentations on taking care of your mind and body.  They are known as the national leader in the practice of adapting yoga for people with disabilities.  Their message is that trauma and loss can be transformed into hope and potential.

Matthew is an example of someone with a physical disability who is using the experience to help and inspire others to any negative into a positive.  Like myself, Matthew sees his disability as a characteristic that is a part of himself, rather than a barrier in life

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