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When Yoga Works

Two weeks ago Time magazine wrote this article about the pitfalls of yoga. They talked about the rise in injuries, too many uncertified teachers and pointed to studies that showed yoga was a bad way to burn calories.

There have been many responses to Time's article, but this post is not one of them. Instead I'd like to share an interview which moved me deeply and reminded me about the true power of yoga.

Speaking of Faith Interview with Matthew Sanford
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Matthewsanford This past weekend PRI's Speaking of Faith interviewed author and yoga teacher Matthew Sanford, about surrender, silence and transformational power of yoga.

When Matthew was 13 years old he was involved in a terrible car accident that killed his father and sister, deeply injured his mother and bother and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Over years of mental and physical rehabilitation, Matthew was forced to get a much deeper understanding of the mind-body connection. This understanding ultimately led him to using the vehicle of yoga to teach others how they to could deepen their connection.

Here's a great excerpt of Matthew's book, Walking, which Matthew read to interviewer Krista Tippett:

As I wake up to the horror of traumatically induced body memories, I am forced to feel death. Not the end of my life, but the death of my life as a walking person. In principle, my experience is not that uncommon, only more extreme. …If we can see death as more than black and white, as more than on and off, there are many versions of realized death short of physically dying. The death of a loved one sets so much in motion. …Then there are also the quiet deaths. How about the day you realized you weren't going to be an astronaut or the queen of Sheba? Feel the silent distance between yourself and how you felt as a child, between yourself and those feelings of wonder and splendor and trust. Feel your mature fondness for who you once were, and the recurrent need to protect innocence wherever you might find it. The silence that surrounds the loss of innocence is the most serious death, and yet it is necessary for the onset of maturity.


You can find out more about Matthew Sanford and his book, Walking, at matthewsanford.com