Today, our newsletter features the testimony of a dear teacher of the Kaiut Yoga method. She gives a detailed account of how the practice helped her overcome the chronic pain she had been facing for years.
As you read I suggest that you reflect on the responsibility that we each have over our own health and how urgent, and precise the practice of self-care needs to be. Finally, I complement our conversation by inviting you to ask yourself this simple question: How about making your own point of view more flexible?
I hope you enjoy the content I have prepared with love for you.
Movement has been central in my life since my early childhood, from a child who grew up in a rural neighborhood, surrounded by trees and cousins. When I was 7 years old I moved into an apartment, but the running, the games and the biking continued on the sidewalk. It was the 1960s and that was still possible! No activity was too much, I did gymnastics and tennis, both until my early adolescent years.
My relationship with the movement was strengthened and with the college of Physical Education and the beginning of work at the Department of Sports, Recreation and Leisure in Porto Alegre, became professional. In the years that followed I coached soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, weight training, walking, stretching and gymnastics. All the modalities that I had already practiced in my life and thought were important to make a body strong and healthy.
In 2005 I was invited to work in sports management in the city and, with that, came the chair, the pain and the diagnosis of osteoporosis. I was only 44 years old and, despite having spent my whole life exercising in the sun, I had osteoporosis.
In 2013, in the coordination of the Municipal Gymnasium, sitting in a chair remained a central part of my daily life. At this time I was looking for all possible alternatives to “get rid” of the pain that accompanied me 24 hours a day. It also included weight training to “end” osteoporosis, as well as walking and hiking (a passion!).
It was then that I had the second diagnosis: fibromyalgia and a degenerative process in the left hip, which according to the doctor, in a few years would require a prosthesis. The diagnosis was accompanied by the prohibition on hiking over 30 km in a single day. Just me who went hiking every weekend and had already arrived on foot in Santiago de Compostela twice.
– “But what am I going to do with physical exercise?”, I asked.
– “Water aerobics”, was the answer.
I need to explain that, in Physical Education, water aerobics is considered an exercise for elderly people. After talking with several colleagues, I decided to give yoga a try, even though I thought it would be a drag.
After almost four years of practice, the pain still remained. Until I fell in an inversion, and ruptured the tendon of a finger, and dislocated a cervical vertebra, which just gave me more pain. So I abandoned the practice. It was March 2017.
During that year I heard a lot about Kaiut Yoga. I received invitations to take classes and they told me about a training that would take place in Gramado. I was about to retire and was thinking about all different possibilities, so my answer to all invitations were no.
In August, I hiked the Camino de Santiago trail, carrying my backpack and the pain. When I returned, two modules of the Kaiut Yoga course had already taken place and by then, two other people had told me about Kaiut Yoga. Moved by the curiosity that is part of my being, in December of 2017, I was sitting in the Sukhasana in the classroom room in Gramado and asking myself : “what am I doing here?”
I felt a lot of pain and, worse, I had the perception of loss of movement. Accepting this was very difficult, especially as a physical educator. The modules followed and, with them, the denial of the condition of my body, translated into resistance and a constant anatomical / biomechanical / physiological analysis. Then, I started to notice improvements in movement and the level of pain decreasing. So, I surrendered to the method.
Today, I am a totally different person than I was three years ago. I am better physically, despite being three years older; I rarely feel pain, and when I do, I know the cause and the solution. My osteoporosis has reverted, something that years of strength training failed to do. I am less anxious and more relaxed. My repetitive thought patterns, which I called “hamsters running on the wheel”, no longer torment me. I learned not to let them dominate me.
I have completely lost the fear of aging because I feel better everyday. And I want to bring Kaiut Yoga to as many people as possible, as I trust in the quality of the results and delivery of the method due to the change that the practice caused in my life. I want to be a better teacher every day and promote the best results for my students, just as I received from Francisco.
My purpose has always been to bring people the possibility of a long and healthy life. Now I have found a tool that makes a lot of sense. I believe it was a blessing to find the method.
Whoever suffers from chronic pain understands my desire, I would say viscerally, to live without pain …
* Helô, teacher of the Kaiut Yoga method
My professional life has always been unique. Starting with the choice I made to build myself professionally as a free thinker, instead of following family trends with university degrees, master’s degrees, doctorates etc.
The choice for natural health and yoga needed to happen free of the influence of medicine, psychology and the culture of exercise in the West. For me, the outsourcing of the individual’s health, promoted by current medical thinking, is a central part of the human health problem and is also rooted in the psychology and culture of physical activities. All of these areas are, in a way, contaminated.
Don’t get me wrong, I respect these sciences and I believe they work, but they are not what I wanted in creating the essence of my career. I wanted health without strings attached and without any influences. Over the years I have confirmed that being freely responsible for my successes and my mistakes was the best way! As in the story of dear Helô, I saw many people paying a high price for the assimilation of concepts and ideas from competitive sports and professional athletes. It is a mistake to adopt these habits when you are a normal human being and with a routine divided between the car, the office and the family.
I do not believe that information from the sports or fitness universe based on professional athletes applies to us, ordinary human beings; just as I do not believe that those coming from cutting edge competitive sport can be adopted by us. This is dangerous, unsustainable and, in the long term, a “factory” of injuries.
This is because, as I usually compare, the human brain functions as a wish box. Whatever you ask for, the brain will do what it needs to provide you with your desired interest. The problem is that we place orders without knowing that we are asking. For example, when you want to move, play football, run, walk this is what you are asking for and the brain will give you the movement.
And if there is something wrong, from the point of view of biomechanics, the brain will anticipate this, understand the problem and create alternative compensatory routes of body movement so that you continue to have the movement you’re asking for.
Thus, it maintains the function of being that wishbox. However, as with Helô, there comes a time when these compensatory routes are exhausted and pain appears. This usually seems to happen overnight but it’s been building up for many years. Only the perception is sudden.
When the student realizes the losses they have suffered, they become aware and take the first step towards reversing this process. The message that is sent to the brain is that it wants to find the places of movement or freedom. Only after those places are found, the brain can reconstruct the movements.
This was Helo’s phrase: “I had the perception of loss of movement”.
This is the crucial point. Although initially frustrating, the perception of our real condition is the only possible path for positive transformation.
For a long time I harbored the idea that using the body as it had been propagated for decades in physical education schools was fundamentally wrong and hoped to find evidence of my suspicions.
Helô, as well as being part of a huge list of my students, did the right thing, in the right way, according to all the existing manuals and according to the best teachers and doctors available, however, everyone forgot one detail: our dear mother nature had not been consulted.
And, after all, what would be her plan for us?
This has been the central purpose of my life. Discover how to align my students with their individual natures, creating conditions for nature to return to its state of health or, as I prefer to call it, balance.
I am not against any science, nor against medicine or psychology, but I am absolutely against the ignorant human tendency of dogmatization. This habit of hiding behind laws designed to generate market reserves and, moreso, I am against the human tendency to outsource your own health, expecting from medicine what it never promised!
Yes, my dear. Only we can build our health and our physical, mental and emotional quality of life. We even count on the help of fantastic professionals, but health is ours and we build it every day, in every mouthful of food, in every use of the body, in every thought and emotion that we welcome or nurture in ourselves.
Longevity with fullness is a direct consequence of our attitude towards life and every second counts.
With Helô I literally did nothing. I stopped, watched from afar, cleared my mind and heart of any prejudice or judgment and allowed myself to see only the reality of that human being in motion.
In my casual and apparently disinterested style, I saw everything that moved and everything that did not move in that hurt, aching and frightened body. I saw the vivid expression of frustration and conflict for the trust placed in so many empty ideas. Another body like so many others expressing itself, “transparently”, the essence of transparency. Something that I only saw in my rooms and in collective environments and, therefore, inclusive, safe and great facilitators of the comforting anonymity that generates transparency.
Helô really showed a lot of pain, frustration, emotional and intellectual conflicts. And wept for many mixed reasons. I may seem hard, insensitive, but this is the only way to be a teacher and, thus, to profess convictions through consistent and sustainable teaching. I need to be able to see beyond tears and through the body without getting carried away by murky emotions that deprive us of real empathy and, especially, prevent our students from achieving results.
In this way, I acted as if I didn’t see, but I knew how honest and genuine everything was and I cared about making that delivery. A class, just over two hours and a conclusion: despite all the suffering, she did not need to go through all those pains caused by poor guidance and several medical attempts or not to fit it into a general rule, however, nothing natural.
My opinion, stop everything you’re doing and just do it here. But do little by little. Yoga for me is homeopathy. It is the right and gentle remedy, diluted and potent!
More conflict, a sense of loss and frustration. It is difficult when the exit from a situation accentuates our fears. Anyway, she didn’t resist much. She didn’t necessarily agree with me, but rather in the logic of what I offered. She trusted her own ability to listen, understand and learn. She freed herself from a life of unreflected information, and absorbed new information which gave her wings.
As always when something is well understood and applied, yoga pays its dividends. A life without pain and the inevitable pains we accept without conflict. Wisdom to distinguish the unnecessary from the inevitable.
Congratulations pupil! Her greatest credit was allowing herself to make her point of view more flexible. I’ve worked with doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, natural therapists, chiropractors, yoga teachers and many other professionals. In my experience what most of us lack is reality is internal flexibility. This is the ability to change your mind when a new idea, even if it is very challenging, shows up better. We lack curiosity and independence to think freely.
Helô did not lack this. This is rare!
Practice with passionate inspiration,
Kaiut Yoga Online School
Your body independent and intelligent.