I will break my typical silence on this blog to share a personal side to Ravi’s journey. When it comes to teaching and working, I know my brain works in a very non-linear way which makes things harder for most of my students, as well as my business partner. But, quite often I feel inside that I am right, even when I am not able to put things properly into words. I usually take the risk and move from my inner calling because this works for me. It usually ends up benefiting not only myself, but my students as well.
Having Ravi teach such a large group of people with so much complexity could have been perceived as the wrong thing to do. Heidi accepted my suggestion only because when it comes to teaching, I get to make the call in our business relationship. And, she was kind and respectful enough to surrender to it, even with butterflies in her stomach. I am super thankful for that.
The fact is, Ravi’s trajectory to this moment of immense success didn’t happen overnight. Aside from what he just shared with you, there is one piece to the story he does not even remember and I have never mentioned until now. Over 15 years ago, I was having a conversation with a couple of students at the studio about their son: a young boy, a little bit younger than Ravi at the time, that had a major complication at birth which lead to brain damage. He had a very strong spirit with lots of energy, as such one of his doctors recommended Kaiut Yoga to the parents as a potential therapeutic option. During one particularly emotional and intense conversation with the parents, Ravi was dropped off at the studio from school. He gave me a kiss and I asked him “can you please take this boy to the practice room for me.” Ravi took the boy’s hand and they walked together towards the main teaching room. I wanted to observe the movement patterns of the boy as they walked because most of his physical restrictions were in the lower part of his legs. But instead of seeing only that, I noticed that even without me saying anything young Ravi recognized the boy’s difficulty to execute some of the ankle, knee and hip movements all together. It was a glimpse, a fraction of a second, and he read the restrictions. And instead of walking with the boy towards the stairs to the room, he naturally walked around through the grass, finding a real-time solution that would present the teaching room to the newest student without creating struggle or frustration. In that moment I understood the potential in front of me. And my first thought was that I needed to be mindful not to mess this up.
The first bolsters at my studio as well as my first sandbags were handmade by Ravi’s mom while we were a very young couple, way before he was born. So yoga was part of his environment even before conception. Knowing all that, plus now this newly revealed potential, my challenge was to plant more seeds in Ravi and keep the ground fertile for them to grow. I had to educate him without words and establish the basis for his comprehension to blossom at its own pace, without creating the unproductive ‘classic conflicts’ between father and son. Learning to keep my mouth shut was probably one of the most important teaching skills I have developed.
Before considering Ravi for the opportunity to teach in Europe, I knew that I needed to send a teacher able to teach from the heart; someone who had the knowing inside present, instead of class plans and intellectual preparation. Despite the demands and challenges I often present to my teachers, and the way they quite often feel that I expect too much, my hope for all of them is to eventually be able to express their own knowing from the heart just as it happened for Ravi in Europe. Yoga has to flow through us. Practice is the way to prepare the soil and plant the seeds. Blossoming happens between nature and our own soul. My wish for all Kaiut teachers is for them to be blessed with the experience of teaching a perfect class. Congrats my son.
Francisco Kaiut, creator of the Kaiut Yoga Method, Curitiba Brazil.