Keith Mitchell (USA)
Former NFL All-Pro NFL linebacker, Motivational Speaker, Yoga/Meditation teacher, Founder Light it Up Foundation
Keith Mitchell began his career as a collegiate level outside linebacker at Texas A&M University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Though he was left undrafted in the NFL, he would not let that stop him. In fact, Keith used this setback as motivation to fuel a spectacular football career, starting in 6 of his 7 seasons in the NFL.
He received MVP honors, became the NFL’s highest paid undrafted player, and earned admiration as an undrafted pioneer who ultimately achieved All-Pro status. In 2015, he was inducted into the All-Time Hall of Fame for the Texas A&M Letterman’s Association and is a member of the NFL Players Association.
Keith was respected on the field for making record-setting defensive tackles and quarterback sacks. He earned the adoration of raving fans across the NFL. In essence, he was living the American Dream…and it ended in a single moment.
At the apex of his success, a paralyzing tackle caused a horrific spinal injury that ended his football career and forced him into the agony of early retirement at 31 years of age.
Transition was unavoidable. A choice had to be made. Either continue in the depths of defeat or find the strength to overcome the obstacles he faced. The grip of emotional depression was real. Keith had witnessed the physical atrophy experienced by other NFL peers in his situation.
Then he stumbled onto something BIG.
It changed his life forever.
In his darkest hour, Keith discovered conscious breathing, yoga, and meditation. He made them part of his daily practice which not only helped him recover physically but provided a refreshing sense of self-awareness and fulfillment that far surpassed his love for football.
After experiencing transformation from this profound, life-changing insight, Keith developed a new passion - to share these liberating tools with others. He soon realized that many people had little to no exposure to these practices that were paramount to his healing.
Thus, Keith started on an entirely new journey: to teach others how to enjoy the amazing benefits of mindfulness and break free from the negative emotions that hold them hostage.
Keith Mitchell is now a well-kept secret amongst celebrities, professional athletes, top executives, and notable institutions across the globe. He has been featured in numerous national newspapers and magazines.
At the request of The White House, Keith participated in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. He has also collaborated with The University of Rochester Medical Center, and has shared the stage with Bruce Lipton, Dr. Michael Roizen, Dr. Oz, and even former President Bill Clinton.
In addition to his world-wide collection of ancient practices from his extensive travels, Keith’s formal meditation and yoga training includes 200 hours with Chinock Wusdu, 1000 hours at White Lotus with Ganga White and Tracey Rich, and 200 hours with Baron Baptist at Yinyoga.
Tell us about yourself?
I learned at the early age to manifest, to compete on the highest level, to work hard and to dream big. In my mission of servitude nothing’s changed, we can dream just as big, be just as creative in conjuring our energies in order to shift the collectives consciousness.
I suffered a career ending injury while playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars and from this spinal injury I learned the concept of conscious breathing. I believe through conscious breathing I was able to contribute to my healing. From this tool, I was no longer the victim - I was empowered to know that I could fight for my life and be well. My journey from having that experience allows me to travel the country arming the masses with tools to use no matter what the situation may be – they can transform it.
What mantra do you live by?
All problems are solved by question and answers and we have inherited the intelligence to solve our own problems
What’s been your biggest life challenge?
I don’t dwell on the challenges because they are ultimately opportunities. Challenges come in order that we may grow, we can't stay the same, there are only two ways of being – you're either growing or dying, you can't be in-between.
What’s #1 on your bucket list at the moment?
I've done a lot. So being a father is what I choose to be, being a father for my children during adversity - choosing to hold space for and support my kids is the ultimate. Everything else really I've conquered in this sense.