When and how did you begin spinal release yoga?
I started 11 years ago, just before Kaya came to the area.
What were your earliest thought about / experiences of the practice?
I remember liking the hands on adjustments and individual attention. Mostly, I was attracted to the method because of it's permissiveness and allow-ness. It seems that it was ok to relax deeply and one would not be called "lazy". So it was taking an internal criticism and making it a virtue almost :)
How had the practice / seasons / home practice impacted your body, your mind, your life... And had this changed over the years?
It has made me less ADHD. But more importantly it gave me experiences of being in deeper states of consciousness which I always yearned for. I was into "new age" stuff and Indian traditions from a young age but I never had the "transcendental experience" I had heard about. With this yoga I was able to absorbed states of consciousness and experience bliss for the first time in my life. It was mind blowing!
Now as a psychotherapist I work with a body centered technique called Hakomi which takes into account the body and works in a an altered state (doing therapy while the client is in a meditative state). I would not have been able to experience this mindfulness state for myself without having done this yoga and being in this meditative state many times.
If you had to describe in a single word or sentence the single most important effect of this yoga for you, what would that be?
Meditative or deeper state of consciousness.
I would like to give a message to future new students...
First the precision is not because the teacher is OCD or controlling :) but in order to isolate the specific muscles that will give the release and letting go. Don't expect the meditative state of consciousness as a given, but be open to it. Observe your experiences and notice them with curiosity. I first felt it as a chemical release in the brain myself.