In Practice, Opening Is Everything

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Since opening Kaiut Yoga Telluride three months ago, my main focus has been the business aspect of running my own studio as well as the preparation of classes. I love sharing this simple and profound work; it is alive and the feedback is amazing.

I teach many classes and it is not really possible to separate teaching and personal practice as they are completely intertwined. While teaching, I am collecting and absorbing a lot of data and fine-tuning my observational skills as I see many different spines, shoulders, knees, feet and hips. I am becoming more sensitive to the many variations and the differences that students present; the multiple facets and nuances with bodies of every type.

I am bringing this acquired knowledge to my personal practice. I am refining my ability to identify and reflect more clearly on the details and layers of the individual poses and whole sequences. The quality and depth of my time spent on the mat is evolving.

As my understanding deepens and unfolds, the most notable realization about my practice is the actual moment of opening. It's the most important moment; it’s the moment I am telling my mind, my body, my nervous system that something different is about to happen. It’s not formal but a conscious shifting of my focus. I am connecting my awareness towards the inside as I change the way I am operating. It is an allowing process as I set the tone for what is to follow.

As my mind begins to settle and resistance is diminished; space is created for me to connect with my true nature.  I am practicing my ability to be present.

I am a better version of myself with this incredible tool, Kaiut Yoga. I am more aware of my feelings, emotions and reactions. I am more at peace with myself and the quality of my life with this practice leads to more emotional coherence and clarity.

With tremendous gratitude to Francisco Kaiut, the creator and founder of this life-changing method.

Namaste

Yvonne, Kaiut Yoga Telluride

(Un)comfortable

One of the things I was most curious and excited about in attending Francisco’s retreat in Brazil this week was learning more about meditation. Our days here start at 7:30am (before breakfast and even water beyond a sip!), with Francisco’s coaching in developing a meditation practice. We’ve then been incorporating meditation into our personal practice throughout the day. And it has been profound.

I think I’ve shared before in this blog how I have always felt like a very unskilled meditator. The idea of emptying my mind has always seemed and proven to be an impossible task. I would always end up feeling frustrated instead of free.

But Francisco’s technique is different. So different in fact that I am now enjoying meditating in virasana and therefore, staying in virasana a really, really long time. Which is kind of ironic as virasana and I have never been good friends. An ankle sprain as a child, plus holding all my stress in my feet and calves, has always meant that virasana becomes super uncomfortable for me super fast. At my very first class with Francisco when in Boulder 3 years ago, Francisco took one look at my feet and said ‘we need to fix those!’ ☺ So I’ve always needed lots of support in virasana and felt lots of sensation.

But meditating in virasana this week, I have felt something entirely different.

Francisco has been speaking of the body as a vessel and asking us to pay attention to the inside and the outside of the vessel -  to go back and forth, back and forth, inside and outside during meditation. The deeper I go with this the inside becomes the outside, and the outside the inside. There is no separation. It all becomes one.

When I heard the other students speaking of a feeling of joy during the meditation it surprised me as I didn’t feel joy. But that didn’t make me sad or envious. What I felt was nothing; nothing in a really good way. I realized that while I felt no negative emotions, no sadness nor anger or anything, I didn’t feel any positive emotions either. I felt no emotions at all and that was really freeing. I didn’t have a need for joy. Perhaps that is what Francisco means by emotional coherence.

So, there was this sense of oneness and a lack of craving for positive emotions. And there was also this pure truth that came to me. That all is well in the world. My husband Daniel will often say the affirmation ‘All is well. Everything’s a mess but all is well.’ And I truly felt that during meditation this week. That nothing could hurt me.  That nothing was threatening me. That truth and light will always prevail. That I was safe.

So how ironic is that? Meditation replaced such strong sensation in virasana that I almost panic, with a feeling of being entirely safe.

I think I’m going to meditate in virasana a lot more often.

Namaste,

Heidi

When Being Ill is a Blessing

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After recently finishing another weekend of my Kaiut Yoga Teacher training program, officially having moved past the halfway mark, I am feeling inspired, energized and compelled to write about my experiences thus far.

As far as I know, I am not the typical Kaiut yoga student, if there is such a thing.  I often hear of people coming to the practice for pain, injuries, and the like.  My story is a bit different.  As a 38 year old woman, I am probably on the younger end of the average age in a typical class.  However, as Francisco has mentioned in training, you can’t look at somebody’s age from a teaching perspective to gauge what type of intensity they can handle in the practice.  You also can’t gauge someone’s energy level or level of health based on their age or appearance.

A few years ago, I became very ill to the point where I could hardly get myself up out of bed.  I had zero energy; I felt like I had the flu all the time, my whole body would shake, twitch and shiver; I was nauseous, dizzy, and felt hungover all the time, often vomiting for no apparent reason.  I stopped sleeping, even with heavy medicated, many times spending the entire night in bed, awake, unable to get my brain to that beautiful state of slumber.  I was a complete wreck.  I had strange and random symptoms, such as one day waking with a black eye that appeared out of nowhere.

After numerous visits to both allopathic and naturopathic doctors, I ended up with a variety of diagnoses.  Chronic Fatigue System, Chronic Lyme Disease, Mold Toxicity, Hashimoto's Disease, the list goes on.  I became so ill that I was completely unable to care for my two children, ages two and six at the time.  I was extremely sensitive to chemical smells and perfumes, to lights, to sound, to temperature, and to many foods.  My brain fog was so intense that I could no longer read or drive; unable even to remember how to get to extremely familiar places that I had driven to hundreds of times before.  

I traveled to three different states seeing different doctors who specialize in Lyme Disease and mold Toxicity.  I had a PICC line inserted into both my arms at different points, and spent over four months in both Florida and Las Vegas (many states away from my children who were at home in Colorado) getting daily IV infusions of various concoctions.  I was on hundreds of supplements as well as a couple of prescription medications.  As a person who never liked drinking, drugs, or taking medications, this was very difficult for me.

Then, about 15 months ago I discovered an amazing program, called The Dynamic Neural Recovery System, a neuroplasticity based program that didn’t involve pumping anything into my body or any doctors.  The program is based upon the idea that all the symptoms I was experiencing where actually a result of a dysfunction in my limbic system, causing me to be in a constant mode of fight or flight.  This made so much sense to me, especially considering the significant amount of trauma I had lived through in childhood and early adulthood, including a parental suicide.  I felt so hopeful about this potential way to heal, and immediately booked a ticket to Canada to go to a seminar.  Four days into the program, my brain fog and depression started to lift, I began to have more energy for walking, and I started sleeping better.  Suddenly, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

About two months practicing the DNRS program daily (in December of 2016), I was feeling so much better that I decided to try out a yoga class.  I had done a lot of yoga in my twenties, but nothing recently.  I was looking for something gentle, and after a google search of yoga in Boulder I came across a description for Kaiut Yoga, which intrigued me.  I went to my first class the next day, and instantly felt at home.

With Limbic System retraining, as it’s called in the DNRS program, there are going to be fluctuations, and “spikes” in which your symptoms may go up and down.  I found that when I was having a “bad” day; I would feel immensely better after a Kaiut class.  I was able to feel deeply peaceful in my body and mind in a way I had never experienced.

When the Boulder Kaiut Yoga teacher training was announced in the spring of 2017, I was eager to sign up, and my husband was thrilled that I was wanting to try this, seeing this as yet another piece of evidence that he was “getting his wife back.”

Now that I am halfway through the teacher training, I can say with the utmost confidence that this was meant to be for me.  There are so many synchronicities between Kaiut Yoga and my brain retraining program.  Many of the books on the recommended reading for DNRS are the same as those Francisco recommends in the teacher training (such as The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, and all books by Joe Dispenza).  I immersed myself in all the books (so joyful just to be able to read again!), and with every book I read, I felt a deeper connection to the whole, a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of everything.  It’s as if, once I finally jumped on the right path, the universe kept leading me towards different things that were crucial in my recovery; Kaiut Yoga being a huge part of that.

With each of our teacher training sessions, I feel my health progressing at an even more rapid rate, both from the volume of yoga we do with Francisco, and also from the many gifts of wisdom that he blesses us with us.  These bits of wisdom are continuing to expand and rewire my neural connections, helping my brain to heal even more.  

While I can’t yet say that my health is completely recovered, I am so very grateful for how far I have come and for my continued progress.  It has come to the point where I can now say that my life is better than it has ever been.  I had always, even in childhood, experienced some degree of depression and anxiety, and I never really loved life, always feeling like I was just getting through the day and getting by. However, now that my nervous system and brain are calming down and re-patterning; for the first time in my life, really, I finally know what it’s like to feel peaceful and present, and to experience true joy.  I visualize my future as completely healthy and joy filled, and as I tell my kids all the time; I plan to live at least to one hundred and eight, doing Kaiut Yoga all the way to the end.

While I can’t identify which parts of my healing came from my brain training and which came from Kaiut Yoga, I know that they are both an integral and highly interrelated piece of the whole; and I am so grateful and humbled to have the privilege of finding them both. I truly feel that after a lifetime of feeling amiss, I have finally come home.

Looking back, I can say with confidence that becoming ill was, in fact, a great blessing.  It was only through becoming ill that I was able to begin my journey of awakening to my true potential and life’s purpose, which is so much greater than I knew before.  When I started the training, I wasn’t sure whether I was doing it for myself or to teach.  Now, I know that I am meant to teach.  It’s almost as if I feel myself being called to teach.  And I am grateful for that calling, because what could be better than sharing this beautiful gift that I have received with others, so that they too can benefit in miraculous ways.

For all of you reading who may be experiencing health issues of your own; know that we have a lot more control over our health than we have been led to believe.  What an empowering idea!  And also know that Kaiut yoga addresses so much more than just pain. Trust your intuition and you, too, will find your path.

Love and blessings to this amazing community.  I am beyond grateful to be a part of it.

Namaste.

Lisa Stevens

Reversing Time

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I was brought to Kaiut Yoga at 38, already feeling the effects of time, gravity and habituation in my body. More and more those little aches and pains would turn into chronic pain patterns, more often my low back would go out, my neck would get stiff or I just felt lower energy even at the beginning of the day. At the time, I was going through a ‘healing crisis’: the 5/8” shoe lift my orthopedic doc had recommend I be walking on 20 years earlier had started to give me headaches and knee pain, and my hips were stiffening dramatically. I felt my body was wanting to change structurally (which I trusted) but didn’t have any idea what it was capable of, and I didn’t have a form within which to navigate this possible change.

Francisco said: ‘Just do the sequences’.  He didn’t give too much energy to any of it, but guided me to learn for myself what was possible with Kaiut Yoga. Time passed. I stayed with the sequences and many things changed in the structure of my body (including not walking with a lift at all). My muscle tone changed, my reflexes got better, my general chronic pain and stiffness diminished. Even more significant, however, is a diminished orientation to my limitations, a deeper sense of available resource and holistic connection with myself, a true and ongoing healing. Without Kaiut Yoga, I believe that the patterns of restriction, developed through life and a history of many surgeries and body casts as a child to reconstruct hip sockets would have diminished my mobility over time to significantly limit my capacity in many ways in this life. I had started to feel that future unfolding 4 years ago before I came to Kaiut Yoga.

I have encountered a variety of tools in my life to heal, grow and develop my body, mind, heart and soul. Much has helped, but only Kaiut Yoga has reengaged my whole system with its innate capacity to regenerate, reeducate and remind my body of its potential, rather than habituate to its limitations. I feel that this has truly changed and even saved my life.

My mind wants to make this practice something I am doing in this moment, through the pose: “what is it about this sukhasana that is opening my hip?” At the end of a class my hips feel more open (and I think that’s good), and I assess that I am getting benefit from the class. But what I am discovering as I move through the sequences over time is that the benefit is only minimally about my hips having less rigidity and more about what the sequences are doing systemically to open and reorient my body to its natural healing, innate potential and systemic developmental processes.

Sometimes spontaneously in a practice I will have a deep interior sense of a structure: a joint or a part of my anatomy (not from my mind but as a felt sense). It feels like awareness is getting connected up in my body, as if the pose is not just as some shape my body is taking, and the sequence not just a series of postures, but all of it an opportunity for my body to re-member its intelligence. The sensation created by the pressure of a pose draws my attention deeply into my physical structure. The focus and time spent there engages my awareness and initiates something deep within me that I don't understand. My body reads that awareness and engagement and a light goes on. Like turning on the lights in a room: it becomes clear what is in there. My body recognizes itself as a mainframe of alive, generative activity; rather than a bag of unconscious habits. My whole system relates more completely to its natural intelligence, from my bones to my skin, from my physicality to my luminosity. Healing takes place that I never thought was possible. I see my future differently. I change my orientation to my past. My life is changed. What a blessing.

Namaste,

Megan Eggers Zubaedi

Kaiut Yoga Teacher, Boulder CO