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Wanderlust

Published on Mar 7, 2016

Elizabeth Wojtowicz weighed one pound five ounces when she was born three-and-a-half months premature. For More: (http://wanderlust.com/journal/elizabe…)

As an effect of her prematurity, she has grown up with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects her balance. She has used crutches to help her ever since she can remember.

Elizabeth’s story has evolved, and is still evolving, through the practice of yoga. She found that she needed to do something for herself: her psyche and her emotional body in particular.

She began taking private restorative yoga classes.

After three years or so of classes, including anti-gravity yoga, Elizabeth found Seane Corn’s Detox Flow workshop. Despite it being the most challenging class yet, Elizabeth also says it was the most rewarding. Elizabeth knew she was in good hands with Seane, who told her that she didn’t see Elizabeth’s crutches: She saw Elizabeth.

This was a pivotal moment for Elizabeth.

She knew then that she was a part of something bigger than herself, that there was a reason she was born early and had survived: She was meant to help people find their own gifts.

In order to do that, Elizabeth decided to become a certified yoga teacher.

Elizabeth practices the yoga of acceptance. She believes that without challenge, there is nothing. She embraces her crutches and her disability, realizing that they aren’t her. Life, for Elizabeth, “isn’t a matter of can’t; it’s a matter of yes, I will.”

She is on a mission to be inspired, and also, to inspire.

Yoga is in the Heart

“You do not have to be strong or flexible to create a work of art.”

“This quote by Seane Corn speaks to my heart and soul on a deep level. Being a young woman who has a physical disability, I never thought that I would be doing Yoga, let alone become a Yoga Teacher.

Being a Yogi with Cerebral Palsy I want to inspire others and, in doing so, I inspire myself.

Yoga is not about the physical—whether we can get our leg over our head—but rather what is in our Heart.

Yoga is an art and I know in my heart, that I am here (like all of us), for a reason. My purpose is to share my challenges and disability through the art of Yoga. Yoga is an expression unlike any other and it allows me to truly be open and confident and vulnerable to whatever comes.

It allows me to accept myself for who I am: as a person with a disability. I am and will be forever grateful, honored and humbled by the love of healing, compassion, and beauty that Yoga and this Life has given me.”

THE MOST PASSIONATE YOGINI IN AMERICA

 


There are a lot of people who love yoga but nobody loves it more than Ela Wojtowicz (see pic of Ela and Seane Corn).

I see her at yoga events all over the nation.

She has cerebral palsey AND you will never meet someone who is more FREE!

For anyone today who is feeling a little down, I’d like to share a bit about Ela and fire you up!

When asked about cerebral palsey, Ela shared, I was given the gift of Cerebral Palsy through my early entrance into world 3 ½ months early at 1 pound 5 ounces.

“Now, when I was a young girl I did not at all see my CP as really a gift. I saw it as a frustration and confusion and concern in many ways.

“Growing up with a younger sister who is able bodied, I was around sports and games and physical activities and I always had this feeling of, ‘Will I ever get to experience the excitement that my sister feels?’ It was a longing that I had for a very long time.”

Six years ago, Ela found yoga, first in the form of restorative, then Anti-Gravity, and then Seane Corn’s class which she described as “the most challenging but amazing class that I had EVER taken. It is a moment that I will truly never forget.”

Yoga has inspired Ela, as it inspires YOU and me…to recognize that our weaknesses are designed to embolden our strengths, and our challenges only sweeten our victories.

As Ela says, “I want to use the gift of my disability as an ABILITY to show people out there that yoga is a state of mind and heart and if you feel good in your mind and your heart, then you WILL succeed in this journey!”

INspiration Nation Community Spotlight

Ela is an inspiring young woman whom LBG has had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with since our involvement with the “Off The Mat…Into NJ” fundraiser for those affected by Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City this December. Her passion and dedication to helping those in need through activism and her involvement with OFF THE MAT radiates from her when she speaks of it. She has volunteered with the organization for several years now. Every year she raises the money necessary for her to take part in and travel to different areas of the world with the organization for SEVA Challenge projects…yet, due to various circumstances in her life, has not been able to go on one of the trips that she works so hard to raise money for an support.

This year is different. Ela knows she will be traveling to Equador with the team and she can’t wait to get started in her fundraising efforts. LBG could not help ourselves but want to be a part of her story. We are teaming up with Ela, helping her to create and produce a special Tee/Tank to promote the OFF THE MAT INTO THE WORLD GLOBAL SEVA CHALLENGE to Equador and to help her raise the money necessary to make the trip!

 

Below you will read her words about what this means to her and for the next several months you will be able tosupport her by pre-ordering her unique tee and/or tank on our website (click to purchase here).

 

HELLO FROM ELA

“Off The Mat, Into The World is a beautiful non-profit, grassroots organization that bridges Yoga and Activism together. It was started in 2007 by Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling and Hala Khouri for individuals like myself to stand in our Leadership, Passion and Purpose with Love. The beauty of the Global Seva Challenge is that it brings our awareness to the fact that the everyday world that we ALL live in is ONE WORLD. We are all united and therefore we are responsible for helping one another.

Every year we focus on a developing third world country that needs our support, attention, and love. In 2013 we will be traveling to the heart of the Amazon Rain Forest. Here we will be focusing on environmental justice, bringing awareness to the oil spill and to the people of Ecuador. We will also be focusing at home on bringing much needed attention and awareness to the United States regarding foreign oil dependency.

Will you help me help Mother Earth and her Children by helping me stand in my Leadership, Passion and Purpose? By raising $20,000 by December 31st, (with your help and support) I AM stepping up to do so and I WILL travel with my dear teachers and soul sisters to the Amazon for this exciting and important mission”.

 

Join us in supporting Ela’s dream to take part in the challenge in Equador in 2013 by purchasing a Tank or a Tee!!

 

BUY A TANK