What is the alternative? These feelings—of space, rest, lightness, energy and strength—should be our response, our answer to stressful circumstances in life. We should not lose our own internal relation with space under stressful circumstances. We should not become victims of stress but stay connected with our own feelings of strength. But when these feelings become shallow and meaningless, we become victims of stress instead of knowing how to deal with it.
Restoring mobility to the spine restores the sensitivity in our bodies. Internal feelings can be experienced again to such an extent that our negative survival strategies can dissolve in them. When the body starts to speak its silent, nonverbal language—as it should do and did when we were young—we learn to connect to stressful environments.. Then our practise becomes meditative, and we respond to stress in a nonviolent way.
What is new about CAT-Y
1. Based on tradition and science
▪ CAT/Y has been developed through intensive study of yogic traditions, movement science and modern psychology, and the method uses a novel combination of these disciplines.
▪ In his book of 400+ pages, Gert van Leeuwen provides the philosophical, psychological and scientific background of the method, along with comprehensive, illustrated descriptions of human movement patterns and the exercises and poses themselves.
2. New insight into the body
▪ CAT/Y uses a system of 11 movement chains, based on connections between the bones. By following these sequences in the body, any asana can be constructed in alignment.
▪ The method is based on the notion that the upper back should be straight, rather than curved. The benefits of a straight upper back cascade to the neck, lower back and extremities.
▪ CAT/Y reconnects movement and relaxation through the distinction and differential use of the muscles used to hold our posture and the muscles used for movement.
3. New insight into stress- and trauma release
▪ The root of all tension is in the way we behave in social interactions. Our negative actions and behaviours are directed by old fears, trauma and stress and from the suppression of needs. Suppressed and damaged feelings tighten the body and block the relationship between our bodies and our inner worlds, expressed through connective feelings that are produced by the body: space, rest, relief and so on.
▪ Words cannot replace the experience of suppressed feelings. Therefore, whenever we want to make structural and emotional changes possible, we need to start from the body.
4. New insight into teaching
▪ CAT/Y uses a new, comprehensive, 'problem-oriented' teaching model.
▪ Effective teaching methods create a strong link between active yoga and meditation and support integrating practice with daily life.
▪ The method uses a specific style of language based on relaxation in action.
▪ Classes are built on a systematic and structural approach, in which each element of a lesson forms a coherent part of a larger plan.
5. New tools
Unique and ingenious tools enable mobilisation of inaccessible parts of the body, for example, by releasing tight upper and lower back muscles.
6. New therapy
CAT/Y is a logical extension of yoga, in which students make radical decision about their practices and their lives. This transformation is based on the fact that it is not the teacher or the method that is responsible for the process of healing. Clients themselves are the only ones who can go through their personal, deeper layers of tension that form barriers to relaxation and healing.