Reflections on Kaiut: Collection 3

Modern yoga has missed the mark. We are trained to perform a yoga pose rather than improve biomechanical functionality. We’ve been praising the problem (flexibility), not the solution (mobility).

Getting to the optimal functioning of our system requires patience, trust, and clear communication. We must slowly train the nervous system through repeated exposure to gently increasing levels of sensation.

The problem isn’t pain, it’s our resistance to feeling pain. Pain is better than a lack of mobility and functionality. We have separated body and brain and thus all of our issues have arisen.

Imagine pain is a pool. At first, just touch the surface. Over time with much patient and supportive nervous system programming we can eventually dive deep.

The ideal is to increase our awareness until there is coherence between our subconscious and conscious minds. The goal is not to have everything under control but to have everything under your awareness.

Diminish the unknown sides of your existence and light up your blind spots.

In your home practice, you must approach yourself from the perspective of a teacher. Otherwise, you will repeat the same practices and patterns over and over.

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Proper asana will meditate you. Asana is a natural way of using the body that mimics our original interactions with nature. Asana is the cessation of all opposing forces. It is a consequence of the practice, but not the practice itself.

You don’t have to experience unnecessary losses. We can’t change trauma, but we can change the consequences. Through constant practice, the trauma can’t land anywhere and compensations can’t solidify.

If something has landed or solidified in the system, it is never too late. Progression is available to everyone. Don’t define what is doable. Loss doesn’t have to define you. We are made to compensate and adapt.

We have the capability to experience PTSD or to experience PTSGrowth. Our trauma can propel us to evolve. We do everything not to feel pain—this is the problem.

The more you try to control everything around you, the less you can handle your environment. Yoga is increasing your adaptability to everything.

Yes, you broke your knee. Yes, you might have pain for the rest of your life. How can you work in a way that looks at it directly and prevents more loss of function?

Deny nothing. Face everything. Be non-aggressive. Diminish resistance.

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As we age, our bodies solidify. This is not because we are aging but because we’ve lost mobility and stopped exploring movement. The body wants to protect the system so it solidifies and we lose more mobility.

If it diminishes mobility, then it does not belong in the system. The root trauma that brought on the restriction in your system does not matter. It is the fact that we avoid the restriction that matters because we build layers of compensation around it. Pain comes when the adaptability comes to and end.

Through practice, we peel back one layer at a time to eventually expose the root issue. Sometimes we can dissolve it, but sometimes all we can do is polish it and keep it clear from developing build up. Over time, we can reprogram the nervous system and change the patterns that perpetuate the issue.

We must always ask ourselves, “How can I establish a sustainable relationship of care and support with my body? How can I change the focus from performance to sustainability?”

You can do the same pose in a way that improves or damages the system. The yoga poses are all meditation poses. There is no separation of meditation and asana. There is a way into every single pose that is healing. It’s all about the approach.

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If flexibility was developed as a compensatory response to a restriction in the system, then through the practice the student should stiffen. Too much strength decreases mobility and wastes energy. Our bodies evolved over thousands of years without worrying about what muscles to fire when. The key is to focus on function, not performance.

Find your inner animal. You have four paws. The intelligence of your system lives inside. It is far more intelligent than you are. Learn to access and listen to it through your practice.

Deprive the student of their daily mindset for a while so that nature can spread out. There is no such thing as symmetry in the human body. Forcing symmetry on the body is traumatizing and destructive both physically and emotionally. It is more important to support than fix.

Bring the student to a place where they can feel sensation without concern. This is where they can realign with their inner nature. The state of presence is created in, with, and through the body. Your brain is new, but your body is a million years old.

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The two main causes of blockages in the body are our modern way of living (sitting) and trauma (physical and emotional). We sit for an average of 9 hours per day (12 hours per day if you’re in the 🇺🇸).

Sitting weakens leg muscles, reduces digestive efficiency, depletes circulation and breath capacity, causes hip and spine issues, is linked to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, causes varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and neck and shoulder stiffness. Netflix is killing you.

The areas most affected by sitting are the hips and pelvis. Having a blockage in the hips is like having the head of an octopus in the hip with its tentacles spreading throughout the body. 🐙 The systemic impact of a blockage travels in various patterns around the system. When we experience pain and restriction in a body part, it is usually just the surface layer restriction, and the true blockage is rooted much deeper inside.

The blockage is always blind. This area is totally disconnected from our capacity to feel. To reach it, we must start at the outermost layer of restriction and work slowly. As one restriction shifts, another will pop up somewhere unpredictable. With patience and kindness, we can slowly inch our way closer to the source.

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The American mindset prioritizes over-working. If you don’t have time to stop and rest, you absolutely must stop and rest. In order to heal, there must be no action.

You can’t relieve a pain that is caused by exhaustion, tension, and stress by using a physical, aggressive approach. This only complicates the issue more. You must instead work through relaxation. The approach to any asana must come through the Peripheral Nervous System (rest and digest mode), or it will only add stress to the system.

Don’t underestimate the system’s defensive responses. The stronger you get into it to target a blockage, the safer and safer you must feel. For a long time, you remove that which doesn’t belong, and only way down the line do you work on improving and evolving the system.

The changes should move so slowly that they might go mostly unnoticed. The more slowly you go at the beginning, the faster the progression will be later on. If nothing in the system changes over the course of ten years of practice, isn’t that remarkable progress?

The goal should not be to look amazing or to put your foot behind your head. What 90 year old yogi do you know whose body can sustain such a practice without injury? The goal should be to not lose mobility. To lose mobility means you are losing life.

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The mind is a machine designed to give you what you want. It is a wish box. Your thoughts create your reality, so believe in possibility.

Elevate your expectations and align your subconscious and conscious intentions. If you don’t expect anything good to happen, nothing good can happen. We have no idea how much capacity we have to heal and recover.

If you only think about the things you can’t do, you are only focused on the problem, not the solution. Focus on the creative approach. If the result isn’t as expected, change your approach and try again.

Creative solutions have to be extremely simple. You can’t solve a problem from the same frame of mind that created the problem. Instead of analyzing your own behavior, imagine someone else in the same situation, and think about how to help them through it in a sustainable way.

You must practice dissociating from your situation. The brain avoids pain and pursues pleasure, so your decisions don’t come from a place of logic. You have to reroute your approach and ask your brain to pursue your restrictions and dissolve them. Make friends with the process, and it will guide you well.

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The way your body is has everything to do with your story. We reshape our bodies to match our stories. DNA is the physical proof of our karma.

Through practice, we dismantle patterns of restriction in the system and soften even the genetics to a degree. This creates freedom and manifests a new body to match our new story. With the body and mind newly evolved, we can live a life based on conscious choices.

There is no such thing as a similar experience between two beings. We are all so different. The interpretation we make of the experience we have is through the lens of our story. Over time, we work to dismantle the narrative that holds us captive.

You must work for a very long time with kindness and patience in order to realize that your trauma, your blockages, your restrictions, your stories are not actually who you are. The process of differentiation takes time.

Never let the practice become a discipline. Discipline is a word of warfare, soldiers, and no freedom of choice. Discipline makes the system rigid and blind. Practice instead with inspiration and kindness.

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Everything we do in Kaiut yoga is weird and something you’ve been taught not to do. Every angle, every motion is important. The system needs them all to function optimally. We are doing what yoga is designed to do. We are realigning the system with nature.

Our system evolved to handle extreme levels of stress and catastrophe. We no longer face the dangers of the premodern world, so we stress instead about unreal things. Our system hasn’t caught up with society, so there is a gap. We buy food at the store and sleep on soft beds, but we are still stressed to the same degree as if we were experiencing a great threat to our lives. Kaiut yoga is designed to harmonize our animal nature with our social development.

The Kaiut sequences travel through the body like a spiral, mimicking nature. Kaiut recognizes that there is impoverished mobility as a result of modern life and works to rehabilitate the micro movements of the body. I can say firsthand that this process releases restrictions, frees energy, increases strength, improves mobility, and increases brain mass. It is not a quick fix or a pain pill but a slow and patient method built for sustainability.

Never in my life have I encountered a modality so profound as the Kaiut Method. I am eternally grateful for this practice, my teacher, and my community of peers. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll consider giving it a try sometime.

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Tucker Shelton