Movement is Not Enough

When movement is not enough for your everyday life.

Often times on my way to work, to teach yoga, I see elderly people walking and using a cane or walking sticks to help them move along. It is a fine form of exercise and a good reason to be outside enjoying the day. But beneath the activity, is a voice that says, “I need to keep moving. If I stop moving, I’ll lose my ability to move altogether.” The motivation? Movement today, will ensure movement tomorrow. The problem is that we walk and exercise in a way that accommodates and often reinforces the very patterns that contribute to the restrictions (in and around our joints). We move around the restriction (instead of through it like are meant to), which means movement alone will not increase mobility. If we want to remain mobile and youthful in our bodies for a lifetime, we need a way to identify and resolve the patterns and the rigidity they create.

Movement is not enough.

Movement everyday with kaiut yoga support at Yoga Loft, Boulder

To complicate the restorative process even more, the restrictions often lack feeling while having painful effects on other parts of the body. In a way, pain is a decoy. In an ongoing effort to eliminate it, we chase the pain and thus avoid the real problem. Rigidity shows up as limited range of motion, loss of strength and balance. Rather than moving more or doing more exercise, we need a way to isolate the problems so we can do something about them. “Moving” or strengthening our way out of a problematic pattern or restriction brings temporary benefits at best because neither gets to the heart of the problem which is almost always in and around the joints and hardwired into the nervous system.

We have an endless foray of activities and methods to get fit, but very few that promote lasting mobility and health—both of which are the keys to restoring the energy and freedom of our youth.

In my 52 years of life and 32 years of yoga, never have I found such a complete method of practice as Kaiut Yoga. It clearly identifies the restrictions and the patterns that maintain them while simultaneously providing the “tools” to resolve them. Most feel benefits after one or two classes and once real freedom is felt, you just want more! Kaiut Yoga is taught in a way that accommodates all body types and all ages. As the restrictions are discovered and relieved, greater range of movement and comfort is experienced in the body and mind. With Kaiut Yoga as a regular practice, all of life’s activities can be experienced with more freedom of movement—including that casual walk down the street.

See our schedule of Kaiut Classes

Kaiut Yoga Boulder, CO – Teacher Training

It is through Yoga Loft that Boulder, Colorado has become the hub of Kaiut Yoga in North America. Kaiut Yoga is taking root in the USA. When something works, people are drawn to it and Kaiut Yoga is a method that works—for every body. Anyone willing to try will soon discover that it unwinds painful patterns created over time and helps heal even the deepest problems and injuries. It brings comfort, ease and a sense of youth to people of all ages and abilities.

In years past, the teacher training stretched over a period of three years. Some students dropped out over time while new ones came in. Francisco taught the first 100 sequences in thirds with no firm sense of progression, but Yoga Loft will host the first progressive yearlong Kaiut Yoga teacher training north of the equator! The method will be conveyed in a way that allows students to build upon, practice and integrate the material all within the same cohesive group. The training will be an intimate, healing experience and the knowledge gained will be a powerful “box of tools” you will carry with you the rest of your life.

A Brief History
Francisco Kaiut, has been sharing, teaching and growing this method for nearly two decades in Brazil. Some 10 years ago, he was invited to teach at the Yoga Tree in Hotchkiss, Colorado, one of the states smallest, most unexpected places for a practice like this to take root. But root and grow it did and perhaps it was the perfect place to test the method. If farmers, ranchers, miners and hippies would come “out of the woodwork” to try this method and feel better, then it would surely appeal to people anywhere else.

Those people lucky enough to learn about the Kaiut Yoga Method began to flock to Hotchkiss once or twice a year to practice with the founder. They learned through intense one and a half hour classes (and longer workshops) and oftentimes practiced two or three times a day! Yes, it seems like a lot, but once acclimated to Kaiut Yoga, most bodies thrive on more of it.

Francisco taught intensively because he had to. He wanted students to understand the method well enough to continue their practice while he was away in Brazil. He taught longer classes to leave a strong impression of the work on their bodies and minds. It worked and soon he was invited to teach in Boulder, CO. He began teaching in the basement of a large church on Spruce Street, which is where I was lucky enough to
find him in January 2014. I walked into the room and was amazed to see some 40 yoga mats prearranged on the floor. Most of the mats were taken, but Francisco greeted me and gently introduced me to a practice that would soon restore the bodily youth I desired.

Since then, I have practiced nearly every day for 3 years and I am amazed at the improvement I continue to have in my body. In a recent phone call, Francisco shared a story from one of his most practiced students—a man who is now 82 years old but began the practice when he was 62. He told Francisco that if it were not for looking in the mirror each day, he would think he was in his 30’s or 40’s. This is the only practice I know of that can reverse the effects of aging, and I’m pretty sure I’ve tried most of them.

Come and practice with us! In addition to other  forms of yoga, we offer
over 25 Kaiut Yoga classes per week at Yoga Loft. But if you want the experience of a lifetime, consider the Kaiut Yoga teacher training that begins in late July. Most who take the training have no intention to teach—they only want the knowledge and the keys to the practice, 100 prewritten sequences that will serve anyone for a lifetime of health! It does require a commitment in time, but this is a practice that will save you time (and money) down the road. Consider the cost of lost health
and mobility. Consider the cost of the countless ways we try to fix ourselves often to no avail. Consider the cost of a joint replacement. Wouldn’t you rather keep the one you have? The time and money you dedicate to this practice is not really a cost at all. It’s an investment in yourself that pays big dividends over time. Kaiut yoga Boulder is a sustainable practice that will serve you for a lifetime, you just have to want a better way.

Contact us to learn more and come to Yoga Loft to sample some classes. Regardless of your condition, our trained teachers are eager to know your story so that we can best accommodate you in class. We’ll even arrange a private session for you, but the magic happens in the classrooms. Give it a try and you will feel the difference it makes.

Thank you and Namaste,
Jeff Bailey
Kaiut Yoga Teacher
Owner Yoga Loft

The Art of Giving—To Yourself

Back in December, I wrote a blog about the healing yoga of true giving. It emphasized the idea that a gift truly given is a gift received. When given freely, the gift given is therefore a gift to oneself. Gift giving can take many forms, but with healing intent, giving and receiving are one in the same.

This way of giving contradicts worldly thinking. We are programed to give in order “to get,” which brings me to the point of this article—the art of giving to oneself. To the ego, giving to yourself would be perceived as selfish. “How dare you take this time to care for yourself and heal your heart and mind,” the ego valiantly declares. “Think of the others that should come before you!” And the closer you get to feeling good about yourself, the louder the ego shrieks. These false feelings are chosen because they foster the ego’s ideals of separation. The ego knows that once you get a glimpse of your joined, healed Self, you will never go back to it’s old, painful, lonely, desperate ways of being.

Yoga_Joins

Yoga joins. It is a healing path that unites you with Self, healed and whole. How do we practice this? Follow your heart and not the fear. How often do we deny ourselves the simplest niceties? Are they necessary? Of course not. But if they are simple acts of kindness that foster the healing process, why would you deprive yourself of them? The practice of yoga is a gift to yourself. On an ongoing basis, our yoga is to remain watchful for the voice of fear and simply recognize it’s purpose to uphold a separated sense of self. Notice how often this false voice governs your daily thoughts and actions. As you start to recognize the ego, and choose against it, doors will open. Follow your heart and healing will take place and life will become more fulfilling. On a periodic basis, we come to the mat, surrounded by others who share similar intent. And while our paths are deeply personal and unique, we all share the same healing process in body and mind.

Yoga is a gift

We here at Yoga Loft are no different.  We are here to heal through the joining path we call yoga. If there is anything we can do to help you along your way, please let us know. Perhaps it’s help finding the right class or teacher? Maybe it’s help selecting a pricing plan that meets your attendance needs or desires? Perhaps it’s a chat about a recent injury and how yoga might help? Regardless, we are here to help. It is our true gift to you.

Namaste,
Jeff Bailey

The Eight Limbs of Yoga — A Non-dual Approach

The Eight Limbs of Yoga form the backbone to the many forms of yoga we know today. They are outlined and elaborated on in Book Two of the Yoga Sutras and include timeless mind training practices that move us toward a healed and whole state of being.

The Eight Limbs Yoga:
Yamas – ways of thinking that prepare the mind for freedom
Niyamas – ways of practicing that ensure success
Asana – movement that supports the goal of peace
Pranayama – breathing methods that calm the mind and body
Pratyahara – gentle withdrawal from the senses
Dharana – gentle steadiness of mind
Dhyana – a way of perceiving that provokes inner peace
Samadhi – a purposed way of living in the world, but not of it

Together they provide instruction that move us toward a liberated state of mind, free from attachment and joined with the Oneness we all share. Remember, yoga means “to join.” It is a journey without distance to a “place” we never left. It is a process—a gentle, inner practice. It is not something that you do, it’s how you do it. It is a way of thinking—and how you think is everything.

The Yoga Sutras, or “threads of truth” are each highly concentrated versions of larger topics. And because they are each a thread of the Truth (of which there is only one), to understand any one sutra is to understand them all. This takes work and dedication, but the Truth is what we all truly want. What we don’t realize and certainly don’t want to admit, is that we are afraid of the truth. Why? Because to learn the truth requires us to drop our own individual version of truth known as the ego. The ego will do anything, and everything to uphold its sense of (false) self, no matter how great the cost. It never has your best interest in mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to be guided by the inner voice of love rather than the one of fear?

Close your eyes for a moment and consider the underlying anxiety and fear behind many of your choices and decisions. No matter what the outcome, have those feelings ever really gone away? Do decisions come easy for you? Or are they wrought with struggle and uncertainty? The Yoga Sutras, when interpreted as a whole (body of work), representing the Whole that we all share (as One), will make sense to you. Free of confusion and contradiction it can be applied to your life exactly as it is now. There is nothing you need to change—except your mind, and that is entirely up to you.

Whether you feel like your life is in a rut, lacks meaning, or if you are simply looking for a better way, this two hour discussion on the Eight Limbs of Yoga will plant the seed for a new way of being. It promises more joy, freedom, and peace. It promises a gentle Guidance that always has your best interest in mind. Please join us for this lively talk. If you are interested but cannot attend, please let us know as a recorded version will be made available.

Thank you and Namaste,
Jeff Bailey

Click here to enroll in Jeff’s talk on the Eight Limbs of Yoga – Sunday, January 15th from 2:30 to 4:30.

Tis the Season for True Giving

To give is to receive. You’ve heard it before—perhaps to the point of it becoming a cliche. But how can it be true? It makes no sense. If I give something to you then I know longer have it. And if you give something to me then you no longer have it. In form, the idea of giving and receiving being equal makes no sense. It’s impossible! In spirit however, it’s absolutely possible.

It’s Christmas! It’s the season of giving, so let’s practice. Let’s practice giving in a manner where we simultaneously receive. We’ll call this true giving. And to understand how it works, let’s examine what it means to falsely give. We falsely give when there are “strings” or expectations attached to the gift. False giving reinforces false self. It originates with the notion that I must get something in return—even if it’s indirectly related and comes years down the road. To even the slightest degree, the false self depends on external gratification and recompense. If I expect anything in return for the things I give, then I am endorsing inner lack and emptiness which, as hard as we try, can never be satisfied. It takes effort to uphold these inner feelings of guilt and fear, which often become the primary motivators of giving, thereby increasing inner pain instead of healing.

 
No_Strings

True giving has no strings attached. True giving has no agenda because it is an expression of Love. How do we know love to be true? It increases as we give it away. Do we not reap what we sow? As I project fear, fear is what I get in return (in my heart and mind). As I extend love, it increases within. This is why, all real love is an expression of self-love.

True giving is a practice. Start with the small stuff and generalize it to the “bigger stuff.” Because there are no degrees to true love, there are no degrees to giving. “Large or small,” the simplest gestures of kindness can be used to heal, grow and join with the love that is your true Nature.

It’s the season of giving, but why not make it a year-round practice? Make it part of your day, make it a meditation. True self-love is a gift to yourself. And in spirit, what you give to yourself, you give to all. 

Kaiut Yoga Retreat: Magnific Rock Nicaragua

Dear Interested Traveler,

This is a retreat for everyone, even for those who have never experienced yoga!

If you have no idea what Kaiut Yoga is, you owe it to yourself to find out. This retreat will allow you to dive in and begin to experience the benefits immediately, by practicing twice daily in the midst of a carefree, paradisiacal location.

If you have experienced the benefits of Kaiut Yoga on your mind and body, you owe it to yourself to deepen into the next level. There’s nothing like devoting 7 days to Kaiut Yoga, meditation and the camaraderie of like-minded people. With nothing but leisure activities, great food and yoga, your body and mind will relax and evolve in ways you cannot imagine. This is an ongoing gift you can give to yourself. In our meditations, we’ll plant the seed of ongoing health and inner peace so it will continue to grow within you for months after your return home.

Kaiut_QuoteWhat makes this retreat unique?
Yes, Magnfic Rock is a stunning and exotic location, but it’s your practice there that makes the difference. Most yoga favors the classic asanas. The assumption is that once the pose is attainted, one will experience freedom from pain and/or enlightenment. For many, perfection of the pose becomes a never-ending pursuit, the goal of which is always just out of reach. Kaiut yoga slows the process down—a lot. The body and mind must move in synchronicity if we are to find comfort and lasting results the bring greater range of motion and freedom. While easily accessible to those new to yoga, the Kaiut grows with those who regularly practice. It works for any body, and rest assured, there is plenty of work happening in every class. The beauty of the retreat environment is that it allows your mind to relax making it available for deep, long-lasting results.

There is No Right or Wrong
With Kaiut Yoga, we do not push the pose with the idea that doing it “right” will yield physical benefit. Rather, we acknowledge the vast differences that each body brings to the practice and present it in a way that accommodates them all. As a teacher, I am able to control the intensity, direction and pressure of the yoga for each participant—essentially customizing the practice for each person.

Calm Approach
Gravity is removed from the poses as much as possible so that the body is stable and the mind safe. While there is a unique approach to standing poses, the floor becomes the main support for the movement which insures a very relaxed state for the work to resonate through the body and mind. Just as one may experience moments of discomfort or pain with massage and bodywork techniques, the Kaiut Yoga student will also have similar experiences knowing that healing change is taking place.

Kaiut_Floor

As the teacher and leader of this retreat, it is my job to create an atmosphere so that each participant has the greatest opportunity for physical, mental and emotional results. While the retreat takes place in a unique and beautiful location, it’s the yoga that I want you to remember. I want this to be a retreat you would have enjoyed in any location.

Thank you and namaste,

Jeff Bailey
Kaiut Yoga Teacher
Owner Yoga Loft – Boulder, CO

Learn more and sign up here!

Yoga In a World of Constant Change

Everything changes. It’s the way of the world. If outer circumstances change in a way that don’t meet our expectations, then we become upset. If they do meet our personal dictates, then we’re happy. In essence, our happiness seems to depend on things outside of our locus of control. To make matters worse, we then go about trying to fix or “change” these things to make them fit our own personal agenda. We rant, rave, point our finger and blame. What we don’t realize is that, while it “feels so good” to project our thoughts and feelings, we are totally disempowering ourselves in the process. These outer distractions are pulling us each away from our inner center where the real power of change can and does occur. Distracted by the drama of the world, nothing gets better because we are missing the point, trying to establish meaning and betterment where it can’t be had. What if the outer drama was pulling you away from the inner source of peace, creativity and joy? Would you be willing to let this happen?

Distractions

The Yoga Sutras tell us the obstacles lies not in the world outside of us, but in our mind. Our eyes and ears tell us, “The problem is OUT there! Don’t look inside, stay focused on the outer.” What has this way of thinking ever gotten you? This (ego) part of the mind would rather we be “right” than happy and it will fight for it’s “rightness” regardless of the cost. Attack and blame are the ego’s game, but it does not have to be yours.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” He didn’t say, “Do the change you want to see in the world.” Just be. What if the desire (to have things other than they are) is the very thing making it worse? If you perceive conflict, is it not conflict that is made? What if accepting things as they are (a major stepping stone to discovering your true Nature) was necessary for any lasting improvement to occur in the world? Don’t we reap what we sow? If you see conflict, conflict is what you get. If you see confusion, confusion is what you get. If you see peace, peace is what you get. Our yoga is to take back our power and “see” the inner obstacle as a distraction to true Self and the joy and peace that comes with it. It take’s practice but it’s worth it!

Kaiut Yoga: Working With Pain (part 3)

If you read the previous articles, you are probably beginning to feel the paradigm shift. But don’t worry, there’s no understanding required. Just show up and enjoy the ride. The practice can certainly be done on your own, but Kaiut Yoga is best practiced with an experienced teacher who guides you through the process. There are demanding moments but overall the practice is calming and simple. As the body is exposed to various positions, the mind simply observes. Most of the work takes place on the floor so nearly everyone can do it.

We are creatures seeking comfort, but living a life destined for pain. The more we chase comfort and avoid the pain, the more limited our range of motion becomes! Our world narrows, the body tightens and the likelihood of pain increases. It’s a vicious cycle that nearly everybody falls into. The third guideline for Kaiut Yoga addresses this innate biological fact head on by acknowledging that going to the source of the problem may be painful and/or irritating. In this practice, we investigate and shine light on the dark, stuck, unused corners of the body. It may be frustrating and it will likely bring up old thoughts, patterns, and visions of injury. To give practitioners time to adapt, Kaiut Yoga goes at a pace that the nervous system not only tolerates but appreciates. This is the healing journey.

What problem in your life ever got better by avoiding it? What problem was ever solved by going around it? Kaiut Yoga leaves no stone unturned. It takes a direct path, knowing the only way to truly correct any problem is to work through it. Sound scary? Maybe. But that’s why the correct pace and a skilled teacher are so important. We don’t try to fix anything in one session! To heal, time must be on our side. It took years for patterns to form and injuries to accumulate—it will take some time to unwind it. But the body has an amazing capacity to heal once given the space. Kaiut Yoga is a practice that provides the space for your body and mind to heal together.

Give it a try and watch it work. Be sure to catch Francisco Kaiut, a pioneer of yoga and the founder of this great method. He will be at Yoga Loft this July 1-12 for classes and workshops.

 

Kaiut Yoga: Pain is NOT the Problem (part 2)

In the previous blog on Kaiut Yoga I wrote about accepting pain as an inevitable part of life. Whether we like it or not, when we accept anything, just as it is, it helps us respond to the situation with greater intelligence. Our resources are broadened. But if we quickly react to pain (or anything we don’t like) there is a cascade of negative effects: our nervous system is triggered in a negative way, our focus narrows, and we reach for “quick fixes.” We grow impatient and important steps to a healthier body are missed. No matter how urgent the situation, panic does not serve us well.

Francisco learned early on that while related, pain and it’s source are usually not in the same place. The sequences in Kaiut Yoga take us through a systematic method so we don’t get fooled and misled by our symptoms. In Kaiut Yoga we don’t chase the pain, we seek the source of the pain. Ida Rolf, another pioneer in body work, said, “The problem is never where the pain is.” At first, it may feel this way: you have an injury and it hurts at the place of the impact. As time goes by, the place of impact heals and you feel better. But over the long-term, there are a multitude of unconscious ramifications that take place in the body. It’s not acute pain, like that from the initial impact, that bothers most of us on a daily basis. It’s the chronic, ongoing pain that is most troubling. Kaiut Yoga targets the sources of chronic pain.

We point to the pain assuming that’s where the problem lies. We try all kinds of therapies to make the pain go away—often attacking the same spot over and over never realizing it could be a combination of physical, psychological, physiological and even emotional reasons that contribute to the pain. This does not mean you should stop doing things that make you feel better! It just means that if your body continues to signal that something is amiss, you might want to try something else.

This is where Kaiut Yoga really shines. People often feel better but they’re not sure why. This is beautiful because it means we didn’t overanalyze our experience to figure out the problem. We don’t need to know why. We just want to feel better. Kaiut Yoga’s elegant sequences do the work while “we” stay out of the way. There is no single pose or “correct” way of doing any pose that will solve the problem. Remember, the pain is not the problem. It’s the sequences practiced with an open, willing mind that makes all the difference.

Be sure to catch Francisco Kaiut, a yoga pioneer and the founder of this great method. He will be at Yoga Loft this July 1-12 teaching both classes and workshops. The classes are experiential and transformative, while the workshops are largely didactic but with plenty of practice.

Kaiut Yoga: A Method for Pain Management (part 1)

I’m grateful for my body’s rigidity and pain. I know it sounds strange, but it has been a very good friend. Sure there are times when I wish it would just “go away” and leave me alone, but that’s not how pain works. It demands my attention. I imagine you have an “inner friend” a lot like mine who asks you to notice what is happening in your body and mind. If not today, then eventually.

Somewhere along the path, I learned not to let pain and rigidity rule my life. Rather, my friend and I have learned to work together. Pain has taken me on an inner journey that is infinitely more rewarding than any outer, worldly journey could be. As an athlete and yogi for over 30 years now, pain and injury have been a constant in my life. Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete (or a yogi) to experience rigidity and pain. Regardless of one’s occupation or pastime, stresses accumulate in the body and compound one another over time. It’s part of the deal of being human. To paraphrase Buddha’s first noble truth: If you live in a body, there will be pain. We can deny it, we can take pills to avoid it, and we can distract ourselves with activities that hide it, but if Buddha is correct, life and pain—whether it is mental, emotional or physical—go together.

Kaiut Yoga acknowledges this “painful” fact and does not try to avoid it. Having been accidentally shot in the hip at the age of 6, Francisco Kaiut developed an intimate relationship with pain. We can assume he experienced a time when he hated living with pain. We’ve all been there to some degree or another. Why me? Why this? But hate gets us nowhere. At some point, the fight stops and acceptance moves in. It does not mean we quit seeking resolution, it just means we stop fighting. Over the years, I’ve found that the more people identify with and focus on the pain, the harder it is to move past it. The fight holds us hostage to the pain, and the mind and body harden making healing impossible. For the willing however, there IS a way out!

Kaiut Yoga is the most effective pain management tool I have ever known. It operates under a few simple guidelines that I will highlight in this series of four short articles. The first guideline is: Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. This approach is what makes Kaiut Yoga not just a physical practice, but also a deeply spiritual path. And it fits nicely with Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. Suffering is an attitude not a certainty. Pain is part of life, but suffering can be transcended. The former is a fact, the latter a state of mind. Pain ranges from mild to debilitating, but one’s attitude toward it makes all the difference in the world.

If we can accept that pain is part of life, then we are not enslaved to it. The irony is that when they adopt this approach, many people (for the first time in their lives) begin to experience more mobility and less pain! Steeped in this mindset, Kaiut Yoga uses a systematic approach that addresses the whole body and it’s inner systems while navigating the sources of pain and gives those sources of discomfort (usually the joints) the attention they want and need. This yoga goes past the symptoms that normally distract us to the heart of the problem. It’s brilliant and it works.

Be sure to catch Francisco Kaiut, a yoga pioneer and the founder of this great method. He will be at Yoga Loft this July 1-12 for classes and workshops. The classes are experiential and transformative. The workshops are largely didactic but with plenty of practice.