Matthew Sanford teaches on Embodiment and Yoga

Matthew Sanford comes to London!

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Matthew Sanford, an Amercian yoga teacher who was involved in a car accident at the age of thirteen becoming paralysed from the chest down, was at Tri Yoga in London over the weekend. Nicole, one of our staff members, went along to his embodiment workshop on Friday evening.

Matthew began the two-hour asana workshop by reading the Introduction from his upcoming book, which is yet to be given a release date and a title. The room sat in absolute silence and captivation, with many tears rolling unabashed from attendees’ eyes. Matthew’s book Introduction speaks to the fact that despite each of our journeys in this life being unique and individual, they are in so many ways the very same story; ‘your story is my story’ he movingly shared. After speaking about his experience of connecting with the silence within his own body following his accident as a teenager, he went on to share how each and every one of us can both connect to and embrace this silence, this seeming void within us. Indeed, within the void, in so many ways, the truth of our existence lies.

The asana part of the workshop was fully focused on promoting and engendering a deep sense of embodiment. Matthew explained that each asana holds a rise and a fall with it, a holding onto and a letting go, a grasping and a surrender. In the gap between these seeming dichotomies, the essence of what it is to be a human being lies. He also explained that each asana holds a loss within it, and that it is from loss in life in general that our minds learn the most. The individual and partner-based asanas were completely focused on sensing the subtle body, whilst Matthew explained his ability to feel the prana in his spine and legs despite having no measurable physiological sensation within them.

There is so much more that could be said about this beautiful workshop, but perhaps it is better to absorb these few key points for now. It was a hugely profound experience to be there and we lovingly recommend that you go along to one of Matthew’s workshops when he is next in town. Namaste.

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS