By Britt Moreno
DENVER (CBS4) – Jeremiah Stanfield pushes people in wheelchairs at Denver International Airport for a living. He takes pride in knowing he is helping people by making sure they get to their flights on time.
He’s always on his feet, rarely has time for breaks and estimates he walks five miles a day. It’s a rewarding job, but challenging especially because Stanfield has cerebral palsy.
“When I am walking and stuff I lose my balance,” he told CBS4.
Stanfield has always struggled with low energy and his equilibrium. However, a recent discovery has reinvigorated his drive and reignited his energy. He claims he has never felt better, and it’s all because of a yoga class that is now home to people with special needs like him.
His caretaker recently found out about Mary Sims’ yoga class.
“There was a big hole. The yoga community tends to be geared towards … able-bodied white females,” she told CBS4’s Britt Moreno, who observed Stanfield and the other yogis in one of her classes.
The fact that yoga was not offered to people with different needs troubled Sims, so she started Healing Yoga.
In Sims’ class people have Down syndrome, there are some with wheelchairs and others with intellectual and physical disabilities. People cannot fully move their limbs in some instances, but the goal of these classes is to have them move in their own way and to be present in their class. Sims verbally and physically guides those students who move in a different way.
“How has yoga changed your life?” Moreno asked Stanfield.
“It makes me feel like I am the same person, but able to move around and do my job and help others who need help,” he said.
He says he loves looking around the studio and realizing he is in a community. What once seemed like a reach is now within Stanfield’s grasp. He moves better than ever and without pain.
He and his yoga classmates are now accepted in a place where they once felt they didn’t belong.
“It makes me feel great to see people doing yoga,” said Stanfield.
To donate or to learn more about the class, visit guidedbyhumanity.org.