IONS Directory Profile

Biography

Matthew Sanford is a visionary, philosopher, yoga teacher, speaker, author of Waking, and expert of mind-body integration. Sanford’s life’s work began at age thirteen when he survived a car accident that took the lives of his father and sister and left him paralyzed from the chest down. For the last twenty-seven years, he has been on a practical exploration of the mind-body relationship.

Matthew graduated with a BA in philosophy from the University of Minnesota Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, and received a Master of Arts from the University of Santa Barbara in philosophy, then shifted his primary focus to explore how the principles of Iyengar yoga travel through a paralyzed body. After years of trying to overcome his paralysis, he instead began to embrace it by re-establishing connection with his dramatically altered body. He believes that lack of mind-body integration is one of the critical problems facing our long-term survival. Sanford is committed to helping individuals and our society at large, realize the practical notion that minds and bodies work better together.

Matthew is the recipient of a Karma Yoga Award (2003) from the Yoga Journal for his work as founder of Mind Body Solutions, a non-profit 501c(3) business and yoga studio in Minnetonka, Minnesota where he and nine other instructors teach weekly classes to people of all abilities. It also serves as home base for Sanford’s outreach programs, locally and nationally. He specializes in adapting yoga to people living with disabilities and teaches workshops around the country to healthcare professionals on the intersection of mind-body integration, yoga, and rehabilitation. He was also awarded the Judd Jacobson Memorial Award (2004) for his work with yoga and disabilities through the Courage Center, a leading rehabilitation facility in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

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