The Body’s Grace

For many years now, I have practiced yoga as a form of meditation, and from time to time, I catch a little flack for it.  Even though yoga has emerged from ‘new age’ to ‘mainstream’, it seems many people find it hard to associate with a person of ‘faith’.  Well, I believe this idea is about to be turned on its toes (so to speak).

We join Krista Tippett and Speaking of Faith once again as she interviews Matthew Sanford.  At the age of 13, Matthew’s body was severely damaged in a car accident, which also killed his father and sister.  Now, Matthew is in a wheelchair . . . teaching yoga.

What follows is a remarkable perspective on the ‘mind-body connection’.

From his book, Waking, Sanford writes, ‘Imagine walking from a well-lit room into a dark one. Imagine the darkness as a visual expression of silence. My rehabilitation made a mistake with the silence by focusing on the absence of light. It too quickly accepted the loss and taught me to willfully strike out against the darkness. It told me to move faster rather than slower, push harder rather than softer. It guided me to compensate for what I could not see.

Another course of action, however, is patience. Stop moving. Wait for the eyes to adjust, allow for stillness, and then see what’s possible. Although full-fledged vision does not return, usually there is enough light to find one’s way across the room. After a while, the moon may come out, sounds might gain texture, the world might reveal itself once again, only darker.’

I have no doubt that you will find yourself thinking of your body differently, so join us and become ‘attuned’ to what your body is saying. 


Credits: Tippett, Krista. “The Body’s Grace.” Speaking of Faith. Interview with Matthew Sanford. American Public Media, October 11, 2007.


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