YJ People's Choice Seva Award scholarship nominee, Good Karma Awards
Founder, Mind Body Solutions
When Matthew Sanford was 13, a terrible car accident on an icy Iowa road killed his father and sister, paralyzed him from the chest down, and changed his life forever. For years after the devastating accident, Matthew felt a disconnect between his mind and his body. But as he grew into adulthood, he began studying philosophy, then discovered yoga, and he started to learn what it truly means to live in a body.
Over time, Matthew slowly learned that the mind-body connection is important not only in dealing with illness but also in living well and achieving success. In 2002, he founded Mind Body Solutions, whose goals are to share yoga with those living with a disability, help them turn trauma and loss into hope and potential, and transform our current approach to rehabilitation, including rehab for veterans.
In 2006, Matthew also wrote the critically acclaimed book WAKING: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, now frequently taught in medical and rehabilitation schools and yoga teacher trainings. He delivers the same messages as a frequent public speaker and yoga teacher, and is a pioneer in adapting yoga for people with disabilities. He is currently working on his next book, Waking Again.