Quinn is an athlete, activist, and yoga teacher. A 100-foot fall on October 11, 2017 in Yosemite resulted in paralysis from her waist down. Quinn fell from the Nose of El Capitan, a route that she had set the speed record on in 2012. While Quinn’s activism has shifted from the preservation of the outdoors to promoting collaborative research on spinal injury recovery, and the mechanics of getting her outdoor stoke on have changed, as she puts it, “yoga has been here the whole time.” You can begin to meet her humor, honesty, vulnerability, and bravery here.
We met on Instagram, through this image of Quinn in physical therapy. I doubt I would have noticed, or even been given the chance to see it if I also had not been in physical therapy after major knee surgery. Scrolling back through her feed, it was clear that Quinn’s life had abruptly shifted. Below the pictures of her in the hospital, x-rays, rehab, and laughing and crying with friends were photos of her rock climbing, handstanding, running, and laughing and crying with friends. Her story drew me to her and simultaneously deeply into myself. Quinn agreed to come out and make some yoga movies with us, resulting in Season 1 of Yoga for Paralysis and Dear Diary. We got to play together for a week resulting in new friendships, powerful insights, and lots of laughter.
Coupled with all of Quinn’s Instagram photos are raw, beautiful field notes from deep inside the experience of radical, unexpected change. She exposes the after effects of an experience in which so many aspects of the identity are suddenly unavailable, taken, ripped out. The question of “Who Am I” (Ko-hum) is central to the study of yoga. Rarely do we even bother to ask such a question until our world gets rocked. Quinn’s technicolor unfiltered account of the inner workings of her heart, mind and body after her reality gets T-boned will draw you back into your self-study with renewed vitality. Her willingness to admit that this sucks, expose her loneliness, doubts and fears right along side her joy, her depth of gratitude, and adventure pics will create a new space for the wholeness of you.
September is Spinal Injury Awareness Month. We are happy to launch Quinn’s show, Yoga for Paralysis, in celebration. You can access some of Quinn’s yoga practices free here. Learn more about spinal injury, connect with resources, and how you can help further the efforts here.