In this May newsletter, I decided to talk about a key concept within my work, which perfectly expresses the most essential part of the Kaiut Method: The safe joint stimuli as protagonists of the process of reconnection between body and mind. I named this concept JOINTFULNESS.
For this newsletter, I gathered a lot of what I’ve been studying and building about jointfulness, besides a true story directly from the classroom, as a way of showing how it works in real life.
I hope you like it! Enjoy your reading.
– Francisco Kaiut
Jointfulness is the state of presence obtained through one or more joint stimuli. Each stimulus provides an important neurological reconnection between body and mind. According to the Kaiut Method, each yoga pose is designed to be a lever system that acts biomechanically, stimulating an alignment between the brain and each part of the body. Such stimuli work as a natural realignment of the organism, physically and neurologically, with our highly functional ancient nature.
In order to generate results, these stimuli must be identified by the organism as 100% safe. In other words, each pose during class must be done in a way every student reaches their optimal performance. Our goal isn’t to replicate the pose done by every teacher or student, but to understand how far your body can go without feeling pain or too much discomfort, because that would bring uncertainty to the organism. Without safety, there is no state of presence, there is no jointfulness.
The joints are believed to have an instant connection with the brain, being a very fast access route to the nervous system. Thus, when a yoga pose – which is done safely and steadily – positively causes stress to a joint, that results in a reconnection between that area and the brain.
Consider a 60-year-old practitioner, with lumbar rigidity. That’s someone who hasn’t been able to bend their back for years. During the Kaiut Yoga practice, that person will be motivated to bend their back during the poses. Always safely, comfortably and without any risks. The goal isn’t to force the movement, but to do it with consistency so that such stimulus in every lumbar region slowly lets the brain begin recognizing that action again. Little by little, the brain will work neuroplastically and it will create new neural connections with the whole body, including with regions without any mobility, in order to let the movement be attainable again.
That’s the jointfulness logic. To stimulate the joints so the brain can reorganize and create new neural connections. It’s very important to have that neurological reconnection with the movements of the body, after all, it’s not the body that changes the brain. It is the brain that changes the body. Therefore, every joint work needs to have this kind of neurological alignment as a goal. An aligned system can respond in an integrated manner, bringing tangible benefits, such as mobility restoration, recovery of body functions that were lost, organ massage for better functioning and, in the long run, the achievement of longevity.
“One of my longtime students once reached me out so I could help his mother. He was also a yoga teacher and he was very much involved with yoga practices. He even worked with other health-related matters. He asked me for help because every time he had tried to start practicing yoga with his mother, two things used to happen: Firstly, there was a strong emotional resistance on her part. He couldn’t even tell if such resistance was cultural or something related to some kind of trauma; the second one was his mother’s awful body reaction when he was able to convince her to try. Pain and a lot of discomfort.
So I asked him to send me videos showing his mother walking. I needed more information to help me create the best way to approach this work. That’s why he sent me some videos showing her walking in many different directions. Thus I could see clearly her mobility patterns.
She was a frail old woman, whose body shape showed her lack of vitality and energy, as well as how underused her body had been for several years, maybe decades.
The first suggestion I gave him was to have his mother lie down on a bed, with her legs up against the wall. That’s a classic opening pose. Quite simple yet very powerful.
After less than ten days practicing like that on a daily basis, he gave me the following report: “My mom loved lying down with her legs up, and she felt great doing that. What’s our next step?”
Due to how this old lady’s back was shaped, I knew that having her lie down on the floor would be the next step. That’s exactly what I suggested.
With my student’s support, she started to lie down on the floor, with her belly up and leaning her head. The idea was to let her loose, to be left there on the floor, with the necessary support under her head and behind her knees.
Within 5 minutes, her back expanded. Then, I asked them to repeat that pose daily, just 5 minutes with her back on the floor. Every new week, he was supposed to have her practice this pose for another extra minute.
Then, that daily practice became a real ritual.
The week they got to 8 minutes, he told me his mother had woken up in a lot of pain on the first day, all over her body. However, at the same time, she described an inexplicable feeling of well-being. She couldn’t even explain how she was feeling so well while she was in pain.
From that moment on, we started to vary. Her practice started to include poses where she opened her arms with the palm of her hands up, different angles for her arms, and I started to remove the pillows supporting her… Safely and steadily, her body reacted really well.
It’s very interesting to notice that what I did was very simple: I took a bent body and got it lying down on the floor.
When the joints were stimulated in this safe environment, the reconnection with her brain happened and, naturally, her brain started to send her muscles messages asking her body for support. I was able to counteract that aging pattern that was strong in her and which is really common: A bent and falling forward pose.
Then, she had a natural, healthy and positive muscular reaction. A feeling of well-being and a significant improvement while walking. That pain she felt while practicing? Gone!
That’s jointfulness. The safe and steady joint stimuli developing mobility.
This is just one of the many stories I’ve seen throughout the years, and all of them were fundamental for me to develop my work and get to the conclusion that, in order to have a state of presence, you need to work your body. To be precise, you need to have joint stimuli!
How did you like this concept?
Always be inspired while practicing,