Here is the story of Dina from Israel, a new Kaiut Yoga teacher, about her early experience teaching this method. We share it with all of you to hear, even if you are not a teacher, what teaching Kaiut Yoga is like.
I’m a Kaiut teacher-in-training and to date have been teaching only a handful of people: my husband, my friends and public classes of only 2 or 3 students. On Sunday, my dear teacher offered for me to teach a Kaiut class for her students. She wanted to experience herself what this thing was that I was so excited about!
I knew they were all experienced students, each one with at least 20 years of yoga! All in their 60s or 70s except for one young pregnant woman. I felt very anxious… there would be 12 people in class.
I prepared class plan #1 - I translated it, practiced teaching it and practiced the class myself a few times before the big day. Still I felt nervous...how would they receive such a different approach? How would my teacher herself experience it? Would I remember all the important words? Would they even hear me? I know there’s no easy way to start anything, and if I want to go forward with my teaching, I need to start teaching bigger classes. I know I want to help bring this method to as many people as possible.
So I just jumped in!
Right when they walked into the room, I felt resistance coming up in the students - this entire bolster thing was strange for them. They were used to putting their mats wherever and however they wanted to. I instead had aligned them in the room. “But I’m used to that spot...”. that’s ok, I said, today it will be different.
Then the class started and it just flowed.
I felt as if I was being guided. I felt something bigger than me was helping me: in my words, in my way of positioning myself in the room, in the way I was approaching each student individually, even controlling the time - I rarely looked at the clock and knew exactly when to release a pose. I felt calm, confident, connected to my inner self. I knew exactly what I was doing in each moment of the class!!!
Francisco was there with me. All my teachers were there with me. My 12 years of yoga were there with me.
I could see old patterns arising in the students. I could feel in me exactly what they were feeling. I was able to connect to each one separately: the stiff man, the pregnant woman, the one who could not sit on the bolster, the one with her knee…. Suddenly, it made sense to me how we can teach several individual classes in one class at the same time.
I felt good. I felt as if I was a person who knows what she is doing, not just repeating the words. Totally connected.
Savasana, namaste. Class was over and students began to share their experience:
- During and after class there was a line up for the bathroom! All had to pee. They say that never happens. Internal organs? Metabolism changing?
- All were amazed by the level of relaxation they felt during and after class. One woman was sitting on her bolster a long time after the class finished, just sitting there. Just like that.
- Deep meditation. One of the women said that during savasana she was seeing the color yellow very vividly.
- “So it seems we were doing nothing, but it was sooo deep!”
- “You always said what I needed to hear at the right moment!”
- “It was a 90 min class? I didn’t feel the time passing” (in Israel classes are 90 min)
- “Your voice was not very loud, I couldn’t hear you and sometimes I had to guess what to do.” (I have to work on that...but also I think that they are not used to having their eyes closed and only listening to instructions. They are used to looking at the teacher or to the other students beside them so to ensure they are doing the right thing. Just listening and feeling is an entirely different experience.)
- I saw how difficult it was for people to let go, to do what was asked of them, to be with their eyes closed.... to give up control for a brief time...
- I noticed that the more experienced yoga students were the ones having a hard time letting go… more attached to the patterns of their regular practice. I understand them. I was like that in my first Kaiut class.
- Although I was teaching it, afterward I felt as if I had taken the class myself. I was so relaxed and connected to myself.
I’m really proud of myself and grateful for having being introduced to this wonderful technique!
Kaiut Yoga teacher-in-training