Oh What Wow… The song in my head after my interview with Matthew Sanford, Founder of Mind Body Solutions…

Matthew Sanford, founder of Mind Body Solutions...

After taking a couple of workshops with Matthew Sanford not only, is his instruction inspiring, so is his mission, Mind Body Solutions, an educative non profit organisation that creates the possibility of connecting the mind and body experience, so that both, trauma victims and caregivers can find ease and freedom, whatever the ability. As we say at Plank, now informed and inspired, what’s left to do? Be in action… Thus I, (The Well Heeled Guru, (TWHG)) requested an interview with Mr. Sanford, himself. Thank you, Lindsay Gibson, owner of Majestic Yoga Studio. The intention of my interview was to share Mind Body Solutions’ mission, in order to further inform, inspire and cause others, to be action, too…

Wonderment is definitely one of Matthew’s intentions for his workshops, without doubt that is the experience I, and many others have felt, as we investigate together, with awe, the power of the communication that occurs, or does not occur, between the human body and mind. Language = Communication. Communication = Connectivity. Connectivity = Life.  A more fulfilled life is possible as a result of the body language of Yoga, as a tool for communication, connecting awareness’s of the body and mind to operate better. The possibility to leave students experiencing wonderment is a word that has a self fulfilling prophecy, to bring forth a never ending inquiry of Wonder… This quality could demand rock star material, Yoga Instructor, however Matthew Sanford, has an unassuming, gracious presence that when he’s not with his son, he’s an uber busy man, either in class, workshops and more recently involved in Public Speaking and Writing engagements, as part of  his ‘job’. Anyone who’s ever taken one of Matthew’s workshops or classes, knows ‘job’, is not a reality. Passion is the truth.

Background: Matthew Sanford, At age thirteen, Matthew’s world turned upside-down when a devastating car accident killed his father and sister and left him paralyzed from the chest down.  Matthew transforms his harrowing story into life lessons for individuals and organizations alike.  Matthew shows audiences the courage to transcend.  Thirty-two years later, Matthew Sanford has inspired and enhanced the lives of thousands by sharing the fundamental importance of the mind-body relationship. For him, connecting mind and body is not just a health strategy; it is a movement of consciousness that can change the world.

TWHG: You mentioned you were subversive, what would be the subversive possibilities of Mind Body Solution’s vision?

MS: I do believe that when the mind connects with the body, the world starts to change. When someone starts to witness self healing and nourishment as a result of the connection between mind and body, it is hard for a hard arse, to be a hard arse anymore…

TWHG: What is the best way to support Mind Body Solution’s vision?

MS: Money. Experiencing. Sharing.

TWHG: How can we share the vision with Joe the Plumber?

MS: There has to a Self Interest. The knowledge is not new, it’s common sense. Once Joe the Plumber and his network, experiences the freedom and ease, that can instantly and easily be achieved through connecting parts of the body to the mind, they then want to learn more and share it. The languaging and the self interest are vital for Joe the Plumber and his networks.

TWHG: Before the accident, did you have any ideas of what you would like to be and do any of the professions resonate with the direction your life has taken now?

MS: I was always an athlete, however I probably would have become a lawyer or a politician, I was still even considering this career choice for a while, as I liked to question perspectives and share to support different values. I know I would be less of a seeker, if the accident didn’t happen. Ironically, I know, also that I would be more disabled, if I was an able bodied person in an ‘ordinary world’.

TWHG: When did you decide to become a yoga instructor?

MS: I started to practice yoga, as part of my recovery and I was fortunate to be introduced to Jo Zukovich, ‘the first and best yoga teacher I will ever have’  she enabled me to experience the work of yoga within my body and it became a natural evolution to want to share this with others. Originally, I instructed mainly disabled individuals, as the insight Jo gave me, I knew would be relevant to others in similar situations to mine. However, it wasn’t until the late 90’s that I started to apply my instruction to able bodied individuals, it started off as private classes and I found my work was as relevant and sometimes, if not more, to the able bodied. My yoga practice is the source of my inspiration.

For me, my role of a teacher is to teach experiences in a way that enables people experience the benefit in order to help themselves.

TWHG: What is the most unusual yet rewarding experience of your journey?

MS: Hmm unusual yet rewarding, I would say, at the end of the day, the most unusual thing that surprises me, over and over again when I go to my practice, is the sheer simplicity that comes as a result of being on the other side of my disabilities and a spine that doesn’t work.  For example, a recent Refining the Bases class, a class I’ve done often, the realisation that the learning is infinite, fills me with Wonder. I think this is Wonderful. Every time I discover something anew about the connectivity between mind and body, for a subject, I thought I already knew, with awe, I say  “Oh My Gosh, can you believe it?”

TWHG: What industry or sector of the market place has been surprisingly supportive of Mind Body Solutions’ mission?

MS: The yoga industry has been overwhelmingly supportive. Surprisingly supportive, that’s hard to answer, less resistant however, I would say the Medical Community. In the last 3-5 years, to obtain data or invest in research would be an arduous task. The Medical Community are now more open to research  Mind and Body connectivity, the effort to drive a research project through is far less work than it used to be.

Where more support could be applied on the other hand, industries where people serve others are being depleted of their resources and are starving for this education and approach, such as teachers, caregivers…  The results which Mind Body Solutions have documented, have a proven track record for results that hit the bottom line, when the Mind Body Solution curriculum has been implemented.

TWHG: Where do you see Mind Body Solutions in 5 year’s time?

MS: Our mission, to be the preeminent school for a Mind Body approach for individuals and for caregivers will be securely entrenched into the market place. Our goal is to develop a self sufficient business model that supports and expand the Mind Body approach, on an ever increasing scale, for Trauma Victims, Caregivers and more. There are many ways to support, this can be witnessed in donations, buying the book, Waking, sharing of the methodology or participation in its educative programs.

The unfortunate thing about life, is you never know when trauma will become a reality, supporting Mind Body’s Solutions’ impactful initiative, with immediate results, that I have witnessed in myself or in others, ensures that those currently suffering from trauma, be it, the direct trauma victim or their network of caregivers are all fully equipped, physically and mentally to make a difference. Mind Body Solutions at first glance, may cater to a specific niche, however it has relevance to everybody. The possibility that everyone can be connected of Mind and Body, so simply… “Oh My Gosh, can you believe it…”  The Well Heeled Guru says “I do…”

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


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