a little fairy tale about kayt bognar. once upon a time I was made of glass. like, seriously- I was always injuring myself. until one day…along came my RMT-in-shining-armour. things that had taken months to heal with other massage therapists or chiropractors took only one session with her before I felt relief. and the things we talk about in a session go deep- energy, thoughts, stress; kayt helps me get to the root cause of why I injured myself in the first place (usually because I forget to take days off). her homework gets me to pay attention to the subtle things and live a more present, mindful life.
this girl is more than a massage therapist, she’s a freaking healer. and in my mind, there’s no one better to speak to transformation than the girl who changed my thoughts of “I’m broken” into “we can do this”.
2015 has been a Big Change year for me so far, and not just because I turned 30 two weeks ago. So far I’ve built a successful freelance massage business, kicked some seriously bad habits, and ended several unhealthy relationships while nurturing and improving connections with the most important people in my life. I feel like a new woman, with more confidence and motivation than I’ve ever experienced before.
For a long time, I’ve struggled with low self esteem, mood disorders, and not enough steam to get ideas and projects up off the ground. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t vanished : dragging ass, avoiding mirrors, and the natural highs and lows of life are still challenges I face on the regs, but somehow they’re not the same burden they used to be. I can shake it off, shake things up, and persevere in a way that was inconceivable a year ago.
All this Big Change started me thinking about where it all came from, how I managed it, and why now? Spending time in a state of grateful surprise, I realized that while the changes I’ve experienced have stemmed from subtle shifts in practice and lifestyle, what lay beneath that was literally all in my head. I had changed the way I was thinking about things, examining the mechanisms behind my negative thoughts, exploring the perceived roadblocks that were holding me back from achieving what I wanted to achieve, and in doing so discovered that a great deal of what I believe to be standing in my way could be overcome with a little self-reflective and self-educated effort.
What’s all this got to do with the third chakra? A lot, actually. Manipura chakra, a bright yellow wheel spinning around the solar plexus, just above the navel, is a personal powerhouse when it’s tapped into properly. This chakra is a place where thought is transformed into action, the way food is transformed into energy to fuel us, it’s governance is willpower, identity, and action. When I started to change the way I thought about myself, I started tapping into this radiant nexus of self and it’s ability to manifest positive thought patterns into positive action, unconsciously starting a mental, emotional and spiritual renovation project that spun out to touch every aspect of my life. No wonder I feel like a whole new person!
So, how can you get connected with this sunny little spot inside yourself? Start thinking about your thinking, catch those negative thoughts when they pop up. It takes practice and patience, because for the first while you’ll probably just be looking at them, wondering what to do. The more you look, the more you try to suss out where they’re coming from and what they’re for, the more you’ll understand them. You may find yourself getting ideas about what to do about the stormy thoughts in your mind, maybe feel a little less caught in the cyclones when you can see into the eye of the storm. With an increase in awareness, you might even find yourself reaching out to make some positive changes in your actions, too. I know I did.
Sound daunting? You can start smaller by incorporating more twists and core strengthening into your movement practices, boat pose and seated spinal twists are great for this chakra. Playing with sound is another tool, focusing on your solar plexus as you exhale while chanting the sound “Ram” can help tap into the third chakra as well. Level up by chanting on your exhales through a sun salutation and see how powerful you feel linking breath, sound and movement together.
If all else fails, gift yourself a moment when you first wake up in the morning, when you’re falling asleep at night, or when you’re facing something you’re not sure how to deal with, and take a couple long, slow, nourishing breaths. Breathe down into your belly, feel the movement in the space between the bottom of your ribs and your belly button as it rises and falls. Visualize a lustrous, sunny yellow gem there glowing warm and bright, and remind yourself with compassionate conviction : “I can do anything I put my mind to.”
“I’m committed to taking people out of pain. I want to teach people they don’t have to feel pain forever. A new perspective needs to be taken on our bodies. When we don’t learn how to take care of ourselves, we see our bodies as broken. I am here to show people the freedom that comes from healing. Pain does not have to be a reality of your life.”
Kayt is a Toronto-based registered massage therapist with a passion for anatomy, movement, and the infinite healing power of making time to take care of ourselves. Using a basis of massage therapy, Kayt works with the muscle and connective tissue to release deep-set tension in the body. When she’s not working, Kayt is busy travelling, hiking in the mountains, and playing with her little cousins.visit her website.