What is Ki Yoga?
Having healed herself of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder thru the use of yoga and complimentary modalities, Kiara now aims to bring a style of yoga to others that can offer healing for life's stressors.
Kiara combined the methods that healed her to create Ki Yoga.
We all suffer from stress, whether it's time-to-time or on a daily basis. Kiara believes there is a stress spectrum that we each find ourselves on: PTSD at one extreme and occasional, temporary stress at the other, with varying levels of chronic stress between. Whether you're a college student or family provider, a single mom working full-time or a stay-at-home-mom, a corporate executive or laborer, every day we each find ourselves managing stress somewhere on this spectrum.
Ki Yoga is one natural way to manage the stress.
Ki Yoga begins with the body by teaching alignment-based asanas (or yoga postures). Stress is a physiological response that’s proven to be tempered by exercise, so one variation of the Ki Yoga practice is aimed at being a workout. Classes are built to challenge the student’s balance, flexibility and strength with modifications given for each student to practice at their desired level. The other variation of the Ki Yoga practice is grounding and includes aspects of Yin and Restorative to help the student integrate calm and meditation into their bodies.
With Tantra roots, Ki Yoga emphasizes that the way out is through.The way through is through the body and its sensations. Asana alignment is ultimately key in teaching this; helping the student build a stronger mind-body connection by emphasizing proprioceptive and interoceptive awareness. The better connected one is with their body, the more attuned they are to when stress arises and how best to manage it.
Breath work is paramount to Ki Yoga. Using a wide range of neurohacking breath techniques, students are guided in how to use their breath to shut off the stress response and turn on the rest, restore, digest response (or parasympathetic nervous system). In yoga philosophy the breath is also called prana, which has the same meaning as Ki, or life-force energy. By using the breath with the yoga asanas, the locked life-force energy (perceived as stress) begins to dissolve and disperse.
A healthy body has Ki or vital life-force energy moving freely throughout.
When Ki becomes contracted or locked, we experience stress or even pain. When it’s locked in the mind, headaches result. When it’s locked in the belly, stomachaches result. When it’s locked in our muscles, tightness, pain or tremoring results. Breath paired with the yoga movements encourages the Ki to move from being locked in regions of the body causing pain and stress. As a result of moving the Ki throughout the whole of the body (as it should), we maintain health by revitalizing the tissues and nervous system.
Thai-Massage style adjustments are also used to encourage the movement of Ki. Kiara has always known the healing power of touch and now science is proving just how helpful touch can be in reducing stress and improving overall health. (For some, touch may not be perceived as therapeutic so the option to decline is always given and respected.)
The last components of Ki Yoga address the mind.
Sometimes the yoga asanas aren’t enough to deeply access the nervous system and brain. Over the last 20 years, Kiara has learned and effectively used a vast repertoire of unique meditations that go to work directly on the overstressed brain. These meditations applied after the yoga practice profoundly reset a person’s overall system.
To encourage presence, aromatherapy is used in every practice. With that same emphasis on mind-body awareness, aromatherapy powerfully pulls the student into their body and into the present moment. Oils are intended to compliment the practice and time of day. Like adjustments, students are also welcome to decline the aromatherapy touch.
Ki Yoga classes often incorporate music to compliment the practice. Do you recall ever hearing a great tune and for those few minutes forgetting all your concerns? Music has been proven to have stress and pain reducing effects on the mind. For this reason, when appropriate, Ki Yoga emphasizes engaging playlists that invite you to leave your concerns at the door so you can step onto your mat with full mind-body awareness.