Anything is Possible

Carrie Writes: For disabled yoga teacher Ela Wojtowicz, practice opens pathway to self-knowledge

by Carrie Barrepski

I always love connecting with people who are doing amazing things.

Recently I met a young woman through Facebook named Ela Wojtowicz who, like myself, doesn’t let her disability stand in her way.

Ela and I soon discovered that we had many similarities, from our passion for yoga and having Seane Corn as our mentor to being involved with Off the Mat Into the World, a yoga activism group.

Ela lives in New Jersey and, like myself, has mild cerebral palsy. She uses crutches and a walker to accommodate her disability.

Ela practices vynassa flow yoga, a practice that links breath with the body movement. She says yoga came into her life at a time when she felt something was missing. Ela has completed a 200-hour yoga teacher certificate, and her personal practice has empowered her to bring the benefits of yoga to other people with disabilities. She currently teaches a yoga class at Ramapo College, where she is also working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Ela says her purpose is to inspire individuals down the path of good health and wellness. She attributes her success to strong advocacy skills and a good support system of family and friends. Ela feels that the biggest challenge that people with disabilities face is acceptance for who they are without a lot of stereotyping. Her philosophy is to live your personal journey without distrusting or judging yourself. Most importantly, accept that where you are is where you’re supposed to be.

Ela says that her yoga practice has improved her physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. She has learned to express and open herself while finding her own voice. I see Ela as a role model for many, showing that obstacles can be overcome while living our best life.

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