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Matthew Sanford


Matthew Sanford’s inspirational story begins at age 13 when he survived a devastating car accident that killed his father and sister and left him permanently paralyzed from the chest down.  Now 45, Sanford is a public speaker, healthcare pioneer, award‐winning author, and nationally recognized yoga teacher who has inspired and enhanced the lives of thousands.


Sanford shares his philosophy on the importance of the mind‐body relationship and our inner capacity for strength, growth and transformation in his critically acclaimed book WAKING:  A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence. In 2007, Waking received both a Minnesota Book Award and Northeastern Minnesota Book Award and is fast becoming required reading for medical and rehabilitation schools and yoga teacher trainings.


Sanford weaves his unique story of paralysis, yoga and transforming trauma and loss into life‐lessons for individuals of all ages, organizations, and businesses alike.  In all contexts his core message remains the same:  the courage to transcend comes from within, from deepening the connection between mind and body.  Deepening the mind‐body connection is more than a personal health strategy – it is the secret to living well, achieving success, and finding purpose.  Sanford delivers his powerful message as a keynote speaker to a wide variety of audiences, including higher education, healthcare, professional conferences, corporations, trade associations, and the yoga community.  Clients include University of Minnesota, University of Buffalo; Mayo Clinic, Sharp’s Hospital, Charleston Area Medical Center, and the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals; Yoga Journal’s national yoga conferences; as well as RBC Wealth Management, Medtronic, Best Buy, Target, Cargill and the United States Business Leadership Network.


In 2002 Sanford founded Mind Body Solutions, a non‐profit 501c(3) dedicated to transforming trauma, loss and disability into hope and potential by awakening the connection between mind and body.  Mind Body Solutions is redefining ability and disability by offering a variety of resources, classes and workshops.  Sanford is also using his pioneering experience to transform our current approach to rehabilitation, including a growing initiative for veterans.


Sanford received the 2010 “Pioneer in Integrative Medicine” award from the Institute for Health & Healing at California Pacific Medical Center, one of the most comprehensive integrative medicine programs in the nation.  Past honorees include Doctors Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz.  In 2008, Sanford was also recognized as a national hero with a Volvo for Life Award, Yoga Journal’s Karma Yoga Award, and KARE‐TV’s Eleven Who Care Award.  In addition, Sanford’s inspirational story has been featured by the NBC Today Show; Dr. Oz/Oprah & Friends, XM156; Voices of America hosted by Sen. Bill Bradley; NPR’s Speaking of Faith; People Magazine, Natural Health and many more.   


For more information on Matthew Sanford visit and  

Photos and Bio were provided by Matthew Sanford and can be found on

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