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  • Writer's pictureRenae Molden

We are all here for one reason: Better function

Updated: Mar 16

Recently, a new student came to try a Kaiut Yoga class. She’s young, she’s exploring different yoga classes and she's seeking to understand the various styles. 


Kaiut Yoga is not a mainstream style of yoga. It’s been in development for over 33 years and has only been in the United States for about 15 years. Many people aren’t sure what to make of it.


I’ve been reflecting on this recently and want to say this: Kaiut Yoga is carving a path through mainstream beliefs. 


I don’t spend time studying, discussing, or even understanding what’s being taught through yoga teacher training offered at various yoga studios around the city. I’m not studying Sanskrit or religious beliefs. It’s not that I’m not interested; I am. The Kaiut Yoga skills I’m developing align with staying neutral and welcoming to all beliefs.


I’m more interested in helping all people work through chronic neck and shoulder pain, regain the use of their hands, move out of sciatic nerve pain, regain balance and enjoy an active life. The list goes on. It doesn’t matter to me what someone believes or thinks, because as a recent movie described it: “We all pee the same color.” This interests me the most and is the best way I can serve people. 


I’m developing a different set of skills, and these skills are customized per individual. Everyone who enters the room shows up with their own beliefs, values, goals, etc. This same student has their own physical history and biomechanical patterns. These patterns may include lack of tone, chronic pain, etc.  My job is to objectively view each individual’s restrictions through a non-judgmental lens and place them on a path toward freedom. Freedom in all senses. 


I've noticed a couple of beliefs coming from the fitness/yoga field I want to address here. I mention fitness with yoga because I’ve observed that the belief systems between the two have been mixed. Students come to class searching for the correct pose and believe that’s the goal of yoga. Through the lens of Kaiut Yoga, we don’t achieve poses. We use poses to find restrictions so over time, we can remove the restriction and bring more freedom to the body.


One of the other beliefs I’ve observed is that for yoga to be yoga, it has to have an origin in a specific place. If we don’t honor that place through our words, teachings, etc., it’s not yoga. Kaiut Yoga is more aligned with what Patanjali, author of the ancient text Yoga Sutras, has been quoted by B.K.S. Iyengar as saying, “It originated from India, that’s all, but it concerns the human being. Patanjali said, 'It’s a universal culture. Patanjali never said it was a Hindu culture.' ”


Iyengar, who basically brought yoga to the West, said yoga should “be free from afflictions of body and mind.” The Kaiut Yoga Method interests me as it aligns with what Iyengar expressed. 


Of all the dabbling I’ve done in various yoga practices, the idea that yoga is about restoring function to the body interests me the most. It’s what I’ve put to the test over the past six years, and I’ve seen fantastic results in my own body and mind and others. I’m free from chronic nerve pain, and my nervous system is consistently more regulated daily. 


“Yoga has always been about restoring function to the body.” — Francisco Kaiut


The student who came to my class for the first time to try out Kaiut Yoga had these questions. They are good and have challenged me to think more deeply about why I practice, study and teach this method. It’s the most effective way I know to communicate inclusivity and acceptance. For me, yoga is for humanity and always has been. 


How do the different movements relate to benefitting our nervous system? 


The Kaiut Yoga method was created empirically and scientifically, which took years, based on chiropractic, yoga and other healing techniques. Kaiut Yoga is a reinterpretation of yoga into a new method; it’s firmly based on the original vision yet adapted to the needs of a 21st-century reality. The primary work of this method is nervous system health with the side benefit of improving function, chronic pain, etc. The student's job is to align the nervous system toward growth and repair mode or rest. We do that using physical sensation, perception and awareness. We use these as an anchor for our brain to move toward a more profound presence, even spontaneous meditation. The brain releases mental and emotional attachment, supporting a clear mind-body connection to the areas needing healing. Over time and with consistent practice, the student's nervous system becomes more regulated and balanced. The practice of nervous system regulation emanates into the student's daily life, and they are, as a result, more present. Relationships improve, circumstances improve.


Which elements of traditional Eastern/South Asian yoga practice are applied in this method? 


Yoga is about the cessation of all opposing forces. One of the things that differentiates Kaiut Yoga from other practices is its inclusiveness of all people and humanity. As a teacher, I wear neutral colors, teach in a place that feels as neutral as possible, and use language and words that feel inclusive to everyone. We use "namaste" to close each practice, because it is the most inclusive. Our primary focus is nervous system regulation and restoring function where it has been lost. 


We support students by understanding them. If a student tends to go beyond what's available, triggering an emotional response, it's my job to back this particular student down so they can learn where they can be with those parts of their body in a way that supports a state of presence. Many consistently move into pain, trying to achieve a particular shape or pose. This habit is quite hard to break for many. My job is to back students off so they can get closer to a present state. When a student attaches to an emotional or mental response, their mind moves away from connecting fully with their body. It's an avoidance pattern, and we all have it. 


We all avoid the areas that need our mind connection. We lose the connection over time if we don't consistently stay present with them. It's the use-it-or-lose-it principle. It's my job to support students so that they can be with the areas of the body that need healing.


Yoga has always been about bringing function back into the body. We focus on helping students regain grip strength, kneel comfortably on the floor again, get back to everything they love to do, improve mental health and relationships.


At first glance, this is a practice for people 55 and older. With a closer look, we understand that we all have softer keyboards and sit in chairs for extended periods. We are all influenced by a modern society that praises achievement, pushing through, and adding excitement to the nervous system. These factors, over time, lead to a system charged with anxiety and functional loss in the body. Kaiut Yoga addresses both.

 




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