By Kiri Westby, with Ed and Deb Shapiro, who all attended the yoga class described here.
Doing yoga with Francisco Kaiut is doing yoga from the inside out. In fact, to say the word “doing” is already too active, too aggressive, as it’s more of an un-doing.
I am someone who has never felt very comfortable in a modern yoga class. Plagued by an inner clamoring about how inflexible I am, convinced I am doing it wrong and actually hurting myself in the process, I am often too intimidated to ask for support. When I do get talked into going to yoga, I put on my tough face and prepare to be sore for the following week. So that is how I came into the Kaiut yoga classes in Boulder last winter, prepared for a truly uncomfortable experience. Instead, I found something refreshingly different and even liberating…and everyone in the crowded room felt it too.
The Kaiut approach to yoga is inclusive, specifically catered to your body and very personal. Ever wonder what it would be like to have your favorite Chiropractor in yoga class with you? Well, Francisco Kaiut is a trained Chiropractor with a background in cranial sacral, polarity therapy, Tibetan Buddhism, and Hatha Yoga. He has used his in-depth understanding of the body, as well as years of research and experience within traditional schools of yoga, to develop his unique approach, which we can only call Kaiut Yoga (and why not? He invented it!).
“Each person’s body is aging differently from the moment we are born.” Francisco explained. “Even in the womb we are favoring one side or the other. So we have to pay very close attention to each individual’s body, to see where they have developed rigidity over the years and where we need to focus our efforts.” Specializing in addressing complex injuries and chronic pain, students travel to Brazil from all over the world to learn this unique method of yoga and experience real healing.
For me, the enticing thing about Kaiut yoga is that its devotees are not typical über-athletes doing extreme exposes, but rather an assortment of folks from all walks of life, young or old, skinny or fat, who are suffering from chronic pain and discomfort in their bodies. “Finally!” I admitted, “I have found my people in the yoga world.”
In class, Francisco uses his more seasoned students to demonstrate preliminary positions, asking everyone to abandon their mats and come up close to see the form he wants you to begin with. But by the time he and his partner, co-founder Luciana Ross, have finished fine-tuning each person’s positioning, looking around the room one might think 50 different classes were taking place.
“We have to make the poses fit the person, and not the other way around. There is no one place where the leg or the arm has to be in order to garner the benefits,” Luciana explained. “It’s very important to constantly move around the room and connect with each student to attend to their unique needs. Each person should feel like they are giving their body exactly what it requires.”
Eco-Activist Zoë Tryon is a Kaiut Yoga devotee. She spoke with me about what makes this style unique. “I have been a student of yoga for over 20 years, trying many different modalities. What deeply impressed me, and created significant change for me when I found Kaiut yoga, was the truly holistic nature of the approach and the depth of knowledge that Francisco and Luciana have. They have an uncanny ability to read the body quickly and adapt the yoga specifically. I was able to heal physically but also release many of the emotional issues behind my physical problems.”
Stay tuned for part 2!
Photo credit: Francisco Kaiut
* * *
Join our Be The Change Meditate e-Conference with 30 eclectic meditation teachers, including Marianne Williamson, Congressman Tim Ryan, Sharon Salzberg, Robert Thurman, Gangaji, Joan Borysenko, Seane Corn, neuroscientist Richie Davidson, Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara Stiles, and us, Ed and Deb Shapiro, authors of the conference companion book, BE THE CHANGE. Expect your life to never be the same again!