Kelly's Barn, 1360 Sumac Ave., Boulder, wendyzerin.com
Instructor: Wendy Zerin is a retired pediatrician and a student of yoga since 1989. She practiced ashtanga yoga before discovering Kaiut yoga in 2014.
"I felt like this was a practice that would serve me in terms of what yoga is supposed to be all about, promoting health and vitality and longevity and union of mind and body for the rest of my life," said Zerin. She completed her level one Kaiut yoga instructor training in 2017.
What is the workout? Started by Francisco Kaiut to address a more modern lifestyle, Kaiut yoga works primarily through the joints. The foundation of the practice is rooted in the idea that traditional yoga catered to people that lived a different — and considerably shorter — life than we do today. "These poses are actually truer to the original intention of yoga which is to promote health and vitality and prolong the life span," said Zerin.
Each class comprises a pre-planned sequence of poses intended to improve mobility in the three main joint girdles — shoulders, hips and ankles. While in a seated position or lying on our backs, we moved methodically through each pose, holding the positions for a prolonged time.
"It's about touching and dissolving the restriction and mobility in the joints," said Zerin.
What's different? The joint specific nature of the practice and the absence of many of the well-known poses gives Kaiut yoga an entirely different feel from traditional and non-traditional yoga classes. It was equally as challenging, just in a way that was less about cardio and sweating and more about pushing into areas of the body that are tight. Kind of like pressing on the knots in your back; it hurts so good. We held the poses for an extended time, going deep into the joints and, for people who are less flexible, the muscles as well.
Another element that made this a unique experience was the venue. There was a noticeable absence of music, modern design and pretention in Kelly's Barn. Built for square dancing, the space felt like a cabin retreat instead of a yoga studio.
Cost: Drop into class for $15 or $10 for students. A five class punch card is $65, ten classes is $110 and 20 classes is $180.
Level: This is an exceptionally accessible yoga classes. Most of the moves are performed either sitting or lying down. While it's not only for people recovering from injury or with limited mobility, it is ideal for people with these restrictions. There is no impact and the class moves at a sedate pace. Experienced yogis would benefit from this practice as well. It targets areas of the body in different ways than other yoga styles.
When: Classes are at Kelly's Barn at 10 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There are classes at 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays.
What to prepare: Zerin provides mats and all the props. Just bring yourself, water and comfortable clothes. You don't need expensive yoga gear. Lounge wear is perfect for this class.
Muscles worked: There were some poses where I was stretching my muscles, but mostly the class was joint-centric. I felt a bit tender in spots the next day, but this isn't an intense workout class, and it's not meant to be.
What I loved: Such a chill class with no pressure or nervous energy. It was very calming and I still felt like I was pushing my body without the music and fast paced yoga-workout fusion that has become more prevalent in yoga.
What I didn't like: Instead of demonstrating the poses, Zerin talked through each one. For the most part they were easy to follow, even with no prior experience with the moves. There were a few times when I wasn't sure if I was doing it correctly and could have used a visual cue.
How I felt after the class: Relaxed and limber. I could have gone down for a nap.
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