Better Together – Kaiut Yoga and the Value of Community
We all think we know the basics of how to take care of ourselves: eat veggies, exercise, and get enough sleep. However, how many of us understand the importance of social connection in longevity?
Research shows that a lack of social connection has a greater negative impact on our health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.
Even though the Kaiut practice is well known for its curative effects, perhaps one of the most special components of Kaiut Yoga is the community of people that are drawn to practicing together.
Current research and studies reinforce that humans are indeed social creatures. Feeling socially connected and a part of a larger community may:
- lead to a 50% increased chance of longevity
- strengthen the immune system (research by Steve Cole shows that genes impacted by loneliness also code for immune function and inflammation)
- help you recover from disease faster
- lengthen your life1
Kaiut Yoga can be a resource to help students develop stronger connections in one significant way that is often overlooked- by developing a connection with ourselves first.
Vivek Murthy- who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States- speaks of the importance of connection in his groundbreaking book, Together. Vivek states:
Solitude allows us to get comfortable being with ourselves, which makes it easier to be ourselves in interactions with others. That authenticity helps build strong connections.
Every time we encounter the mat, instead of approaching an often intimidating subject like solitude, we begin by approaching the physical body. Over time and with practice, we develop a personal relationship with our practice that helps us explore our solitude in healthy, life-affirming ways.
Yoga in general- and Kaiut Yoga in particular- is about self-awareness and self-care. Learning more about ourselves- how we operate physically, as well as emotionally, so that we can be of more service to others. In the end, we continue to practice this yoga so that we can ultimately live our best life with our friends, family and community.
The next time you practice, think about these things:
- Connecting with yourself first: When opening your practice, take your time. Close your eyes, scan your body, and notice how you’re feeling that day and in that moment. No need to change anything- just listen and observe. Establish a kind and authentic connection with yourself that you can access throughout your practice session.
- Feel the support of those practicing around you: Once you have a strong connection with yourself, feel the support of the room or those practicing at the same time as you. It’s common to feel isolated or alone in our efforts. When we can tune into the support of the community, we are much more likely to have a transformative experience in our practice.
- Let the “better” feeling inside radiate out to others: Many students report feeling a positive shift by the end of their practice. Most report feeling more calm, centered, and settled. After your next practice, let these positive feelings extend. See how long they can extend throughout your day
The beauty of a Kaiut Yoga School is the ability to bring people of all different walks of life together. Kaiut Yoga is designed to be accessible for all, regardless of experience, flexibility level, or age.. This is the type of connection that we’re all craving- where we can put our differences aside and practice together in a way that feels healing and productive. Come join us in-person or online for daily classes.
As always, if you have a friend that you believe would enjoy Kaiut Yoga, please forward this post along.
- Dr. Emma Seppala. Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection – The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. http://ccare.stanford.edu/uncategorized/connectedness-health-the-science-of-social-connection-infographic/. Published May 9, 2014. Accessed August 18, 2020.