DEFYING THE ODDS in YOGA and DISABILITY

Inspiration Interview:

Ela Wojtowicz:

ela-wojtowicz-omsingles-interview

Persevering through a loss of oxygen in the incubator, born 3.5 months premature, at 1 pound 5 ounces, a beautiful spirit named Ela was born with Cerebral Palsy.

Along side her life journey are crutches and a diagnosis that severely restricts her physicality, muscle movement and balance.
It affects every area of her life.

Ela teaches us that we are all disabled and affected by either our own disability, or our experience with someone else’s disability.

She has first hand experience dealing (and coping) with this reality as she represents a mirror of life that reflects back. She is a vehicle for which humanity is exposed.

Ela was born for a special mission. She knows there is something bigger that she is meant to be doing and in time looks forward to that higher purpose revealing itself. At 25, she is beginning her quest for meaning, survival and triumph.

Her physicality is different, but her heart shares the same need we all have for love and acceptance.

A full time Yoga Teacher, Ela completed her RYT200 Yoga Alliance teacher training in 2012.

Q: What made you want to be a Yoga Teacher?
A: I wanted to show myself I can do anything physically and I wanted to live my life in the fullest way possible. Even though I am the smallest in weight, I feel lucky to be able to speak, think, move and enjoy through the experience.

Q: What is your favorite pose?
A: Child Pose. It speaks to our soul. For me it is very emotional since I did not grow to capacity in my mother’s belly. This pose has the power to bring us to our fetal core.

Q: What does being a Yoga Teacher teach you?
A: It’s a hard career path. I’m dealing with a lot of people and a lot of sensitivity. I work with able-bodied and disabled alike and this path helps me realize that we all have unique strengths and also weaknesses to overcome. It also teaches that there is a lesson in everything.

Q: How can we help remedy the confusion and challenge you experience daily as people interact with you through their own life mirror?
A: I think communication is key. People need to talk and express their confusion and emotions as they come. My intentions with people are made
with sincere gratitude, yet I feel they are welcomed by confusion. And being in the world of yoga, spirituality and meditation makes everything more sensitive.

Q: What do you feel is one of your special missions to fulfill?
A: I would love to work with disabled people and help them persevere through challenging ventures. I am greatly inspired by Amy Purdy who is a Paralympic winner in Snowboarding. She was able-bodied and is now a double-amputee. She competed in “Dancing with the Stars” TV show this season and it was amazing to watch her defy the odds. I would love to meet her!

Q; What has been one of the most profound experiences in your Yoga Career?
A: Meeting Seane Corn and taking her Detox Flow Workshop. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I know I was meant to meet Seane and I know that spiritually, I have known and been connect to her for a long time. She taught me to see my disability as a gift and blessing. When she met me, she told me she sees me, and not my crutches. Our friendship is a true privilege. She is my mentor, friend, teacher and inspiration!

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