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Looking For More And Finding Yoga Mais

When I look back 20 years ago, I see myself laying down on a yoga mat for the first time. I can attest to how much I have changed and grown throughout the practice. Yoga evolves and transforms: it takes time, it brings sustainable results and it helps us handle our lives better.

I was 28 years old when I heard about Yoga. Suffering from a severe back pain and a sciatic nerve inflammation, aggravated by chronic headaches and sleep deprivation due to the constant pain in my legs and feet, I decided to face the fear of admitting that something was really wrong with my body. The body aches were the symptom, the cause was my lifestyle and the pace of my own mind, which I later realized throughout the practice. I was introduced to the Kaiut Yoga Method in Brazil in 2001, a therapeutic yoga style that slowly reestablished the quality of my life, aligning and restoring the connection between body, mind and heart. After a few months of practice, I was pain free. Years later, my lifestyle also began to change throughout the practice. I changed, transformed, and grew in many ways; not only as a yoga student, but as a human being.

Practicing yoga became part of my daily routine. I say that “the alignment between my inner and outer world rises from the yoga mat, on a daily basis”.

When I turned 40, I developed mental health issues. Anxiety, panic attacks and mild depression associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease, which was a recurred disease in my body. Facing another fear of admitting that something is wrong again with my body and now my mind as well, I had to receive the support of my personal physician in Dallas and be treated by the conventional medicine. My anxiety and sleep deprivation became even more severe from the unstable thyroid function.

The entire time during my personal treatment with conventional medicine, which was about 7 months of my life, Yoga was always there for me and most importantly, I was there for Yoga too. Every day, even during the darkest times, I would feel my body and notice where my mind was and how I was functioning at the moment. I decided to go to my mat, practice and be aware of my feelings, my state of mind and my emotions. As it happened before, the practice evolved and it brought me the cure, helping me to function better in life, one more time.

My first episode was physical and yoga allowed me to become free of pain. My second episode was mental and yoga allowed me to become free of medication. I was healed twice.

The empowerment of my own healing brought me the desire to help others heal as well. In 2016, I became a Certified Yoga Therapist. The training in Psychotherapeutic Yoga introduced me to new concepts of thinking: yoga and neuroscience, meditation and mindfulness, nervous system and body structure, and the spectrum of yoga benefits became even more real with the knowledge that I received. Later, in 2018, I became a Kaiut Yoga Certified teacher and I started to teach my first students in May of 2018.

When I opened my Yoga studio in 2019, my foundation of teaching was based on Yoga Therapy and Kaiut Yoga, both styles built on Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga, in modern terms, is a practice associated solely with physical movement, typically involving a sequence of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), but with specific characteristics of sequences and teaching that made them unique in their own sense. I could see positive results in my student’s lives as their practice became more consistent and they were gradually understanding how vital yoga can be for the quality of their bodies and minds.

Then came 2020 and the world faced COVID-19. I had a challenge on my hands: how can I continue my mission and purpose while facing a worldwide health crisis that affected my work directly in so many ways? And, more importantly, how can I become a fundamental tool as a yoga teacher to support the needs of my community, facing a pandemic?

I needed more: more support and knowledge from a teacher, more efficiency from a yoga sequence, more results from a yoga practice, more personal connection with my student’s individualities. Each student is a unique person, with specific characteristics and health history. So, I looked for more. Yoga would become an experience, not only a practice; an emotional experience.

That’s when I connected with the Yoga Mais Method and its founders in Brazil, Cristiane Sprengel and Daniela Goncalves. They both taught Kaiut Yoga for more than 10 years as leading teachers in the first Kaiut studio in Curitiba, my hometown.

MAIS in Portuguese means "more" or "plus". It appeared in 2020 as a result of my desire to provide more, better, and with integrity, inside and out of the yoga room. Yoga Mais is as an evolution and an innovation of the previous methods that I had been trained on, symbolizing an opportunity of growth, refinement and improvement in my personal practice and my teaching skills.

Kasa Yoga Dallas is now the home of the Yoga Mais Method in the United States. A Yoga style based on the ancient practice, redesigned to support and attend the needs of the modern body and mind. Why Mais? Because it's a different teaching methodology that enhances the importance of how we see, understand, recognize and approach the right and efficient way for each student’s needs. Because there are customized and crafted sequences of poses carefully elaborated by Cristiane and Daniela, perceiving the body as a whole system. One pose integrates into the next and at the end, there is a sense of unity in the practice.

A mentoring program was established between me and my teachers last year. Every week, we discuss the sequences that I will be teaching to Kasa members, with a personal practice of each sequence and an online practice with my teachers, twice a week. Every single member of Kasa Yoga Dallas is a student of Cristiane and Daniela as well. Together, we are committed to providing the best service to our community. Our mission is to deliver a yoga practice that will ultimately transform lives, bringing them self-awareness, consciousness and transformation to enhance the quality of their lives.

We want more for 2021! More yoga, more health, more joy!

Kasa is Mais for YOU!

Christina Siepiela

Founder and Teacher

Kasa Yoga Dallas

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