At one point or another, we all experience some type of pain, whether it be physical or emotional. It’s something that connects us all as human beings. As humans, it’s within our nature to feel.
In our modern lives feeling is something that has been neglected and underdeveloped within the nervous system. It’s not entirely our fault. It’s a result of the world we live in today, where we have been conditioned to see feeling as weakness or too uncomfortable to approach.
Over the past 18 months of studying the Kaiut Yoga method, I have seen through my own experience that my perspective on feeling has changed completely. After a full reconstructive shoulder surgery at the age of 13, I was told by doctors that I’d never gain full range of motion in my right shoulder. By the age of 19, I had arthritis developing in the shoulder joint, and was crippled with pain when I played tennis, or lifted weights. Anything that stimulated the shoulder area created excruciating pain.
So I stopped playing tennis and I stopped going to the gym. I should have never stopped. With the pain, I only saw one option which was to stop doing the things that hurt, and accept that my shoulder just wouldn’t let me be as active anymore. I didn’t know there was something that I could do that would keep me doing the activities I loved, and something so simple like yoga. Sometimes doing more is exactly what you need to take you where you want to go or to keep you doing what you love, longer.
So, at the age of 20, I found Kaiut Yoga and my love hate relationship with the method began. Every position hurt. Every sensation was read as pain, not because I was going to hurt myself but because my brain was programmed to interpret every discomfort in my body as pain and that pain turned into an emotional reaction which in turn, transformed into fear.
Slowly my brain started to read these sensations in a different way and my body started to change. The “pain” was still there but slowly that pain felt more like a reference point. A reference point that allowed me to regain mobility and full function of my shoulder. All this and without the crippling sensations or fear and emotional reaction connected to these strong sensations.
The sensations gave my shoulder the same freedom it had before the surgeries. Positions that are meant to reach the shoulder joint are still the toughest for me but they’re the ones I need to do daily to keep my shoulder healthy and at its maximum potential. My journey with this method has given me a way to navigate the various discomforts of life, as well as teaching me how to lead a life without avoiding pain or strong sensations. Rather, allowing that pain or sensation to offer me something in return. Truly feeling, pain and sensations have been my best teachers. Listen to them and learn.