Matthew Sanford’s workshop weekend, a gift and seriously a bargain, to the abled and disabled bodies alike…

Matthew Sanford’s workshop weekend, a gift and seriously a bargain, to the abled and disabled bodies alike…

Sending out good energy to ensure that the stars will align my childcare network to be available, so that I can participate in Majestic Yoga’s, Weekend workshop with Matthew Sanford

After being left paralyzed from the chest down at the age of 13, Sanford is able to share a unique perspective through his yoga instruction, that challenges and supports, ALL physical abilities from the very advanced yoga practioner to the beginner, with or without disabilities… Even Seane Corn, renowned yoga instructor, “tells everybody – teachers and students alike – they should – study with Matthew

At Boston’s Yoga Journal Conference, 2008, I had signed up for a few heavy duty, sweat producing, pretzel twisting classes, adding pose by pose, to my yoga knowledge.  Due to the emotional biz-divorce, where I had stopped my practice, I finally, allowed myself to actually participate in some yoga R&D, I do own Plank, a company, whose roots are entrenched in the benefits of yoga, after all. I am not sure what drew me to Sanford’s class, 3 years ago, probably some attempt to show some noble interest in, how yoga heals and supposedly, help the severely disabled experience movement.

Yoga loving, yet cynical, I wasn’t expecting much out of class, I began, by listening to his instruction from the perspective, ‘I already know Triangle Pose’. Having instructed many a non believer or regular yogi, Sanford quickly cut through, my righteousness, and possibly that, of some others, so that we can ‘be present’, hands up who’s not present when in class. The workshop turned out to be an amazing investigation into grounding, i.e. what that means for the body, to be physically grounded and how the earth and the use of interior shapes, within limbs, can create resistance and support. Us, able bodied students saw our kicks become higher or balance poses more secure, as we pushed against the earth or imaginary shapes… For the participant who was paralyzed from the neck down, we witnessed a self actualised shift of her slumped trunk, which was typically collapsed in her wheelchair, to sitting upright. As Sanford, instructed her to ground the energy of her feet, since they have absolutely no ability to move, into the pedals of the chair, he pointed out what was happening within her body. We followed the instruction and the internal body awareness too. With tears rolling down our cheeks, this new-to-self movement/yoga practioner, her caregiver and all of us participants,  got a taste of the capacity of our minds and the power it has to move shift bodies and perspectives beyond our preconceived notions.

Sanford’s precise instruction and inspiration continues to be present, 3 years later, every time I roll out a mat, preferably a Plank mat. However, what surprised me, the most, was when I applied his grounding instruction to my 4 year old daughter, whose base line cerebral palsy made climbing stairs, doable one laborious, step at a time. As we climbed together, I could feel a lift resulting from the energy produced from pushing/grounding with my feet into the earth and I requested that my daughter “to Push that step down, Push it, Push it…”  The result was immediate, we swiftly climbed those last steps with ease and speed, alternating the steps like any other 4 year old… It is this immediacy and tangibility of his instruction, the result of his Iyengar Teaching Certification and being registered as E-RYT 500 yoga instructor, for me and other lay people who have no ideas of Yoga Teaching qualificiations, I think it means Sanford has a more than normal, mega amount of body alignment mastery and awareness. For once in your life, do take advantage, cos this workshop is a bargain…

So I have to thank Matthew Sanford and his inspiring journey to share what was probably considered poppy cock, when he first proposed the concept of practical mind-body transformation, to now, being a much sought after thought leader in this area. A pioneer, that leads by example, i.e. disability does not equal being disabled…  Why I’m going? If Sanford, can create heightened body performance for those with disabilities, imagine the results, if you consider applying that same instruction  to able bodies…

Watch this space for Plank AAPPs where I will share my results from class and add a few audacious applications and benefits to Sanford’s highly knowledgeable insight…

Hark, the phone doth ringeth… I hope it bringeth forth one being of childcare givin’ nature…

TWHG, an audacious expert on all things, upgraded, heels + fitting yoga into a busy lifestyle…

 


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