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Restoring The Self

With Yoga Loft

Article by Amelia Broughton

Photography by Poppy + Co.

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Blue yoga mats have been neatly organized along each wall of the studio room with bolsters and straps nearby. The center of the room is empty and each student already knows to line up in unison with legs up the wall, laying flat on their back.

This Avita Yoga® class at the Yoga Loft in South Boulder is almost full and is unlike any yoga class I've attended before. I follow what I believe is “the way” and find questions already starting to percolate about this new practice.   

Our teacher, Jeff Bailey, walks into the room and has the class place a bolster under our pelvis, legs still up the wall. As a newbie to this style of yoga, I have no idea what to expect, but here we are, doing seemingly nothing but relaxing on our backs. 

I notice my mind start to trust the relaxation, as he instructs us to turn our head to the side. I feel the compression of my shoulders while he shares helpful words about the purpose of this sensation in my upper back. 

In my meditative state, I forget the words, but the message somehow translates to my physical experience. He’s attentive, attuned to each body in the room, and is proactively facilitating adjustments for each person in the class as they transpire. 

In the slowness, the subtleties start to augment themselves to be seen and felt. I am aware of the tightness in my neck and the resulting impact on my breath, as the invitation to work with rather than against my tension is spoken.

According to Bailey, my body is reorganizing itself with each shape; reorganizing and releasing the patterns I’ve created throughout my life — previous movement practices, various injuries, traumas, muscle training, and the on-going pressure to keep doing. 

For better or worse, my body has created patterns to adapt to the demands of life and society — a behavior that encourages bodies to strategically hide the problem to keep the momentum going. Avita Yoga® gently reveals the problems in order to restore good health.  

After attending his first yoga class at the young age of twenty-two, Bailey asked his teacher what yoga meant. His teacher responded that it means ‘to join,’ which left Bailey perplexed. 

“If it means ‘to join’ then why do we spend all this time pulling ourselves apart?”

This question would lead him to the creation of Avita Yoga® many years down the road.  

Avita Yoga® is all about slowing down the pace to cultivate more presence for peace, health, and wellbeing. 

“It's the resolution of conflict on all levels - physical, mental and emotional”, Bailey says. 

Each shape and sequence is intentionally designed to take care of the bones and joints through specific pressures and compressions on which they thrive. It's the secret sauce to activating cells in your body that serve to take away things that are no longer needed and to stimulate the creation of new tissues.

The number one cause of pain is due to the lack of circulation, and one of the greatest benefits of this practice is the long-term increase in circulation. With less pain, your body can begin to increase its range of motion. 

Avita Yoga® is a moving meditation meant to bring bodily freedom, comfort, and ease.

To practice Avita Yoga® is to choose wellness. 

Many movement practices push us to sweat and exhaust ourselves and many of us have equated exhaustion with relaxation. If you’ve ever attended a yoga class you’ve likely put your body into poses that are much more complex than you’ve given yourself credit for. The body never forgets, especially when it comes to injury. Whether physical, mental, or emotional, it's important we give space and time to the yoga shapes and sensations so lasting, healing results can occur.

As I slowly press myself up to a seated position, my nervous system feels noticeably different. I can breathe deeper and I feel this sense of connectedness to my whole being. 

In the search to understand the perplexity Bailey once felt about the meaning of yoga, I believe I am feeling what he means to truly practice yoga: to join with the places in myself that I’ve wanted to abandon or give up on because they’ve been too painful, too frustrating, or confusing, and come into a deeper sense of wholeness. 

It’s nice to know that no matter how challenging or painful, there is a helpful way. It’s never too late to heal and join.