DALLAS — The idea of yoga can be intimidating based on the visual images that come to mind: bending, contorting, stretching to lengths beyond our bodies' capabilities.
What about something more simple and gentle? Kaiut Yoga focuses on the joints and nervous system. "I've got arthritis, as well as muscular dystrophy," said Cindy Chadwick, who started practicing Kaiut Yoga one year ago following two neck surgeries.
"I can tell you it's saved me a couple of times because I've fallen and nothing broke," said Chadwick, 59.
Kaiut Yoga began in Brazil with creator Francisco Kaiut. "It's about you going from your 30's and 40's all the way up to your 90's increasing mobility and functionality," said the founder, from Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas where he was teaching a 3-day workshop.
The method is slow and gentle. Poses are held for a few minutes usually on the floor or with support from a wall, blocks, bolsters and straps. The idea is to work from the joints, freeing the body of chronic pain, general aches and stiffness.
"This work of mine has been delivering only good results," Francisco said, noting his own son's experience.
"When I was four, I was diagnosed with a degenerative genetic disease called leg perthes," said Francisco's son, Ravi Kaiut.
The childhood hip disorder caused imbalance in Ravi's body. One of his femur heads was evidently much larger than the other in x-ray. He walked with a limp and was often in pain. "It feels like I'm locked down," said Ravi, describing the sensation the disease caused.
As a teenager, Ravi started his father's method of Kaiut Yoga two to three days a week. Over time, his body responded. Ravi developed the freedom to run, bike, play soccer, workout at the gym and three years after starting his consistent Kaiut Yoga practice, he became a state champion bodybuilder.
"If I spend about two or three weeks without practicing yoga, the pain comes back. I start getting stiff, my knees hurt a lot," said Ravi, now 22. It's why Kaiut Yoga which is part of his blood, is now also part of his lifelong routine.
"Yoga is for me what keeps me doing all that I love," Ravi said. "It's actually what keeps me walking, what keeps me standing. And I'm pain free!"
Click here for more information about Kaiut Yoga classes in Dallas taught by Christina Siepiela.