I have never tried yoga, so I arrived for a class at Triyoga in Chelsea feeling pretty intimidated. My inner cynic expected sinewy people standing on their heads in a fug of incense, but instead I find a large white room scattered with purple mats, foam bricks, blankets and other participants. I choose a space and sit on a mat on the floor.
When our teacher, Matthew Sanford,
arrives he lays a calming hand on my shoulder and in a soft American
voice describes me as sporty and determined to the point of
bloodymindedness. He recognises this, because I am on the floor with my
wheelchair parked next to me – and we are both paraplegic.
was just 13 when his family's car hit a patch of ice and slid down an
embankment. His mother and brother survived, but his father and sister
were both killed. Asleep at the time of the accident, he suffered a
broken neck and back, among other injuries. He was in a coma for three
"I was a very athletic kid, and I loved feeling my whole
body," he tells me. "After the accident, doctors told me I didn't have
sensation and I believed them. They called the tingling and burning in
my legs phantom feeling, in case I took it to mean I would walk again."
Actually, as I know myself, the constant "noise" in my legs, which can
be anything from an almost pleasant, warm tingling to excruciating pain,
may not be functional, but it is certainly real.
Source - Guardian