In January 2017, I started having problems with my S.I. joints. For the next few months I saw my chiropractor at least once per week, more often twice, and by summer time I thought, “This is nuts. I’m spending all this money and this condition is persisting! I need a new approach!” My chiropractor had suggested I do specific muscle-strengthening exercises and I found they helped so, as I have always enjoyed Pilates, I thought I would get serious about doing Pilates workouts again. I decided to add yoga as well and started to frequent a studio close to my home. My S.I. joints soon weren’t bothering me as much and I was encouraged by this improvement.
Then my friend, Lela Iselin, sent me an email about a workshop she was teaching that included Kaiut Yoga classes. As I’d never heard of Kaiut Yoga, I was curious to try it. Lela said she was teaching classes twice per week at her home so I showed up for the next one.
Although I was doing quite a bit of yoga that summer, I had never been enamoured with yoga. My fast-paced personality often found it boring and I preferred the stretching/strengthening combination of Pilates. But somehow, after my first Kaiut class with Lela, I was hooked! It slowed my nervous system down in a way no yoga class had done before and my body felt fantastic after each class!
As I continued practicing however, my S.I. joint issues got worse. There were days where it was impossible for me to sit on a bolster because the extra pressure it created was agonizing. I also felt that doing sukhasana was making my hips stiffer; often when getting up from a seated position I would feel so sore I would be stooped over and it would take me a number of steps before I could straighten out and walk without pain.
By this time, Lela had gone traveling so she wasn’t able to advise me on what was happening in my body, however I had signed up for the Toronto teacher training and was committed to learning more about Kaiut despite it seemingly hurting my body rather than helping it.
Two things happened at the teacher training that turned things around for me. Firstly, Francisco told me to do my sukhasana with a straight back. When I first started doing them that way, there was still intense pressure in my hips. Three months and a lot of Kaiut practice later, I can actually angle forward a bit now and my S.I. joints don’t hurt anymore!
The second thing that happened was that at the end of one class, while still lying on my back, I decided to twist with my spine to make my S.I. joint pop. I thought I was helping my body but Lela saw me and said, “I suggest you don’t do that. That puts your body back into its old pattern around your S.I. joint. Let your Kaiut practice create a new pattern and let your body make the necessary adjustments.”
I really “got” that.
I don’t self-adjust anymore and I avoid my chiropractor too.
Instead, I’m happy to do my Kaiut practice, create new patterns, and let my body sort itself out - as I know it can!
So when I woke up the other day and my upper back was locked up I thought, “I am going to do some serious Kaiut alphabet work today!”
No more chiro… Kaiut!
Nicolette Groeneveld, Kaiut Teacher-In-Training, Edmonton, AB, Canada