As a Westerner, I have lived all my life in an environment that emphasizes competition, ambition, success, and progress. I can see now how I approached the Eastern practice of yoga with these same values. I trained as a yoga teacher and was always striving to get “better”, to reach more, to deepen. But only physically. The mind was ambitious and my humble body did what it could to accommodate the instruction. Over the years I found I sometimes did yoga and hated it, I was expecting too much of this body and when I didn’t get results I thought I should, everything felt uncomfortable.
Although I knew in theory that yoga had nothing to do with fitness nor flexibility, I still insisted on pushing my body to get up into a backbend, to force a triangle. I’ve been blessed by amazing teachers who all kept telling me not to push, but this ambitious mind kept pushing.
After teaching yoga for many years, I had taken a pause as I felt I didn’t have anything new to offer my students. Although my teachers (who use the Scaravelli approach) were brilliant and insightful and helpful, I just wasn’t deepening in my own practice.
It was humbling for me, a long trained yoga teacher to admit that something about my practice was no longer working, I kept looking into why my practice had become stale which made me hungry for something I couldn’t find. And I was no longer a 25 year old yoga bunny, now in my 50’s my body is starting to give me “niggles” that no doctor would be able to diagnose, but seemed like inevitable evidence of growing old.
Then last summer Kaiut Yoga found me – through listening to some recordings from a Spiritual Retreat where a Kaiut teacher-in-training had been offering sessions, I began a daily practice. Within a week I was so amazed at the results in my body. I was experiencing surges of awareness and presence that led to moments of pure joy and bliss.
Excited, I flew to Toronto to meet Francisco Kaiut in person and attend module one of his teacher training. It was humbling to let go of everything I thought I knew about yoga, to release any ambition to become an expert in the Kaiut method and just simply begin anew. In each moment, to be in service to the consciousness that lives and breathes me into being.
And so the body rejoices, I see a path to create a healthy tone in my joints. I am discovering how consciousness itself creates flexibility in the body. My breath has deepened not through breathing exercises, but because more space and a deeper relaxation have entered. I shared the practice with my husband, my 83 year old mum, my 87 year old dad and they all loved it.
Just this month, wanting to share these insights, I put an article about this Kaiut practice in our community newsletter here in Findhorn and offered a series of classes. And so teaching has begun again. And there is no ambition just a simple offering. Drop the ambition and the body knows what to do. As many postures are on the floor this has encouraged my nervous system to be in a state of deep relaxation. I am not up there “doing” yoga, I’m on the floor having yoga done to me. I have no option but to surrender to the postures because they are held for lengths of time. I see that my yoga practice cannot be used to avoid, but rather deliberately expose rigidity and tension.
I love how the Kaiut Method has offered me a way to touch into that “golden layer” of resistance in the body which is probably there in the first place because of all my striving, pushing, driving and the persistence of an ambitious mind. And as I practice now, I can release those long held ambitions to get somewhere, and instead rest in the simple moment, remaining in humble awe of the body wisdom and intelligence to be found inside.
Kaiut Yoga Teacher-in-Training.
Kathy is currently teaching in Findhorn, Scotland and will be relocating to Vancouver Island, Canada and teaching there in March 2018