Pondering the Gifts of Kaiut Yoga - Part 8
This is Post 8 of 10. As I move towards my 60th birthday, I am pondering the gifts brought to my life by the practice of the Kaiut Method, my work with Tucker Shelton and Tucker Yoga and my studies with Francisco Kaiut. I’d like to share some of those thoughts with you. I’m thinking one post per day as I count down to 60.
Another gift has been developing a new relationship to pain and learning how to listen to the message it has for me! Francisco Kaiut says, “If you keep avoiding pain, eventually you will have unavoidable pain.” So true!
Pain is an indication of the presence of stagnation, a blockage of free movement of the body. When we feel those initial twinges of pain, it is wise to think of them as a signal from your body that there is a blockage and some attention is needed. It's easy to lose sight of the fact that pain is there to serve. If we only seek to alleviate pain by suppressing it, we have not addressed the fundamental cause of the pain.
About 6 years ago, I started turning my left ankle over and over again. I was in a great deal of pain. It was suggested that perhaps I had a stress fracture. So I went to the bone and joint clinic for x-rays. They did not see a fracture but treated it as a sprain and put me in the immobilizing boot to help calm my foot down.
I was told to wear the boot until I didn’t have pain in my foot any more. Oh, and also that I should prepare to put on some weight as I would not be able to be as active with the boot. After two months and several return visits, I still had just the same amount of pain. They did an MRI… that’s when I got the “oh isn’t that too bad, now you have arthritis” comment from the doctor. They sent me to an ankle specialist who wanted to do surgery to scrape the bones to see if that would help. I said, no thank you. Then I was on to one specialist after another, each with more ideas about what to do. I asked each of them if it could have anything to do with my hip or my back pain history… but they were specialists and really only paid attention to my foot. Finally I went to a chiropractor who was said to “know feet”. After determining that my outer ankle was hypermobile, his suggestion was to aggravate the outer ankle with a needle over the course of several visits. He said that this aggravation would cause the creation scar tissue and that in turn would hopefully create some stability in the ankle… Geez! None of this sounded good to me. I went on to try acupuncture, reflexology, ankle supports, physical therapy and more.
I was so happy when I found Kaiut to FINALLY be working with my whole body and not just the foot! With the Kaiut Method, each class plan is designed to work with the three girdles (the shoulder girdle, the hip girdle and the ankle girdle). The girdles are the areas of the body that really bear the brunt of the restrictions. We treat the entire body all of the time. Sometimes with a little more focus on one or two of the girdles, but always some attention to all of them. The Kaiut Yoga Method focuses on the joints to better allow blood, fluid, and energy to flow with ease throughout the body. It works to dismantle hidden blockages by identifying them and slowly dissolving the restrictions so that we can regain our biomechanical heath.
What I learned was that the hypermobility in my outer ankle was matched by a rigidity in the inner ankle. This imbalance was reflected both my knee and hip. It was all connected and until I started working with the whole body, I was missing the point. My foot now is in much better shape! The pain that affected every aspect of the foot is gone. I can walk and dance and be as active as I like!