Thursday, November 5, 2009

Matthew Sandford

“Patience. Allow for stillness. And the eyes will adjust and the world might reveal itself, only darker. Work with darkness, rather than against it.” -- Michael Sanford

When I took Yoga Therapy a few weeks ago, our trainer Chrys Cub, shared with us a video of Matthew Sandford, speaking to the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and author of Waking. I found his experience to be truly inspirational.

After a near fatal car accident, he first focused on the absence of light, but then he found the stillness to be a feeling of loss with a sense of awe. He chose to work with the darkness (the silence) rather than against it. To live differently, with a new view of the silence. The darkness became a visible representation of the silence. "Stop moving, wait for your eyes to adjust. The world will reveal itself again, only darker and different". He believes this darkness is a fundamental part of us. In Yoga, we integrate what we can and can't control. Allowing our bodies (his, paralyzed) to be our teacher. Learning to recognize the subtler connections of our breath and the chain of alignment that moves up and down our bodies.

He said that we are all aging, or slowly leaving our bodies. So, we can all in some way have compassion for those who are injured. We share both mind and body experiences. A disabled experience is a loss of presence in the trauma. He found Yoga not to be therapy or a prescription but an experience. He urges us to try not to fix others but instead participate with them in the experience.

More amazing excerpts from his book are on his website.




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