I very much enjoyed "Waking." His story is tremendous. He began to disconnect his body from his mind for the very long and extremely arduous time in the hospital after the accident. Then, as a paraplegic, he was instructed by all to continue that disconnect. He would be a man with only 2/3 of his body from the chest down. He could be an athlete using his arms only. He could study. None of this felt right to him. After about 13 years he began to do a little bodywork. Then came yoga. Although he had no sensation in his legs, although he was paralyzed, when he first tried a couple of very simple positions, he felt his whole body. I understood it as sensing energy flowing through all of him. This moved me to tears. The end of the book I felt to be kinda rushed and I didn't respond to some things. Perhaps that bit he wrote on his website about money is an example of what I mean. I don't know... All in all I found "Waking" to be fascinating and moving.
I'm with you DOLLYHOLLY, I don't know what he means by the money paragraph at the end of his 'Vision' piece. Before I read it closely, my thoughts went to the idea that having the basics, things like food and shelter, come first. Adding a major physical limitation on to that such as being a paraplegic, having the pragmatic and primary things of our everyday reality squared away become such a challenge that thoughts of mind-body, yoga, meditation and the like could only come after one's survival is assured in a capitalist society such as ours. After reading the paragraph again, slower this time, I understand even less. I don't believe my supposition was at all on the mark. I'm perplexed by what he means, especially following all the mind-body/yoga stuff he wrote before that paragraph which made lots of sense (to me) and actually inspired me. I got his book 'Waking' from the library yesterday. If any light is shed on the subject, I'll write what I understand.
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Last paragraph on the page: "I am also a realist. We live in a capitalist society. This means that in order for a new level of mind-body awareness to take hold, it must travel through the sifter of money. This ultimately means it must make or save someone money. I do not mean to sound jaded. I mean that money is a practical part of the problem and thus a necessary part of the solution. Once this hurdle is passed, then flow of money will actually accelerate the proliferation of mind-body awareness."
DOLLYHOLY: I didn't know that he said anything about money. Where does he say this? I don't know anything about him and I'm curious to know more. If you could site his quote which perplexes you I would be most appreciative.
Thanks for this! :) His story is very inspiring. I feel the same way he does @ practicing yoga daily. To me,yoga is as vital as breathing. My day feels empty without yoga...
I'm almost 3-weeks postop from leg surgery and am nonambulatory and reading about how he overcame his paralysis to become a yoga teacher makes me believe in miracles again.
The only thing I don't understand is what he means that ultimately money must come into the picture? I thought yoga is about improving the mind-body connection and relaxation/meditation?
For myself, money is not involved. Perhaps he means by doing yoga, we can improve our health and save ourselves money from illnesses and having to see doctors and pay for treatments? Or yoga improves our mental focus and physical stamina, and we can then work more effectively and gain monetarily in our careers?
Matthew Sanford: " For me, everything I do flows from my daily yoga practice – the time I take to feel and refine the sensation of my existence. When I lose track of why I do what I do, I remember a simple observation from my years of practicing and teaching yoga. I have never seen anyone truly become more aware of his or her body without also becoming more compassionate. On the flipside, when we become more disconnected from our bodies, we become more self-destructive. Each day, as I practice connecting my mind and my body, I am able to feel a more compassionate path. I wish the same for you."
Has anyone read his book, "Waking"?
"When Matthew Sanford was just thirteen, his family’s car skidded off an overpass on an icy Iowa road — killing his father and sister, paralyzing him from the chest down, and changing his life forever. Years later, yoga would dramatically change it again. In WAKING: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence (Rodale, June 2006), Matthew chronicles his journey from the intensive care unit to becoming a paralyzed yoga teacher and founder of a nonprofit organization. Along the way, Matthew gains a deeper understanding of the connection between mind and body, and formulates an entirely new view of existence as a “whole” person.
For years after the devastating accident, Matthew felt a schism, or “silence,” between his mind and his body. As he grew into adulthood, he began studying philosophy in an increasingly frustrating search for answers. Then he discovered yoga. At first, he didn’t even know if a paraplegic could do yoga, but he was willing to try. Guided by his teacher, Matthew began to explore what it truly means to live in a body, and discovered new meaning and purpose in the “distance” between mind and body." From: www.matthewsanford.com/
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