When Being Ill is a Blessing

Lisa Stevens.JPG

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