The Story of LYT

The Story of LYT

by Lara Heimann, PT and Founder of LYT

Creating LYT was truly a calling, the ultimate ‘vocation’, when one feels deeply committed and motivated by a sense of purpose. From my early years of crawling and playing with my two triplet brothers, my background has been rooted in explorative movement and curiosity. With age, I continued to be drawn to the art of movement, from athletic sports to dancing, discovering the powerful impact of embodiment, where my sense of self was fortified with the experiences my body had in the world. When I suffered a serious ankle injury in high school, I lapsed into a mental and emotional stagnancy that felt unfamiliar and heavy. Craving that state of grounded energy that I had received from regular movement, I hopped on a stationary bike, following an instinct that I needed to purge some lethargy and self-pity. I later wrote my college essay application about the power of the mind-body connection, not yet realizing the path that I was setting and following as a vocation and profession. Those formative years set the stage for my pursuit in the healing arts of physical therapy, neuroscience, and yoga, the key pillars in the story of LYT. 

The LYT method (Lara’s Yoga Technique) is an evolution and compilation of my work in neurodevelopmental physical therapy and my vinyasa yoga practice. After my initial years of teaching and practicing yoga, I recognized there was a gap in improving habitual movement patterns in the traditional vinyasa practice and I included more of my background and clinical work with neurologically impaired clients into my yoga practice. Intuitively, I surmised that the developmental work that I was doing with physical therapy clients would benefit all able-bodied people since we develop suboptimal postural and movement habits during our daily life. The LYT method is designed to empower practitioners through the education about their bodies and brains, enabling them to rewire brain mapping to optimize posture, movement, energy, and breath. I incorporated the neurodevelopmental techniques that I was using with my functionally impaired clients who had sustained some kind of brain injury into my yoga practice and within weeks, felt as if I had breathed new vitality into my gradually stagnating practice. I discovered deeper connections to core/postural muscles that enabled me to move more efficiently and energetically on and off the mat. I was teaching myself, re-educating my motor programming to recover and revitalize both play and precision in my movement. The reclaiming of organic movement patterns released accumulated postural tension, rebalanced my nervous system, brought me a heightened respect for challenge, and helped me rediscover the artistry of play—bringing me to the initial full cycle moment that I would find again and again with this practice. Neuroplasticity inevitably leverages the vast wealth of brain real estate that is devoted to movement and offers us an endless supply of unrealized potential in our brain-body connection. This newfound zest in my own practice translated into my teaching, where my students felt similar energetic awakenings of possibility.

I codified my new findings with a blueprint, designed to reset, rewire, and reinforce more optimal brain mapping—how the brain develops controlled signals for the body. The beginning of each LYT practice goes through the developmental phases of life, where we begin on the floor and move onto all fours and then into standing. Revisiting our early movement patterns is an essential ingredient in learning how to rewire existing movement patterns that may be less optimal because of our modern-day lifestyle that often restricts our movement variability. And people love the RESET in LYT because it connects us to our core and to our personal journey in ways that we may have forgotten. The RESET reinforces the alignment of our Triple S (skull, scapulae, sacrum) and primes the deeper core muscles to awaken and activate just as they first did when we were learning to move in our early years. After Sun Sal 1, which is the final step of developmental stages with the half-kneel lunge, the sequences further organize the body, mobilize the joints, and take us through different planes of motion in more functional ways. Our beloved STREAM is where we revisit the sequences to encode stronger neural connections and possibly add more challenge while also experiencing the residual effects on the body due to the intentional staging of movement. And even though each class follows this format, the blueprint ultimately serves as a launchpad for creativity and curiosity. The brain continues to grow in complexity in response to challenge and the challenge can be introduced because of the primed brain-body pathways. LYT, like life, can adapt, evolve, and fuel the sparks that make us feel most alive.

The story of LYT is both professional and personal, equally revealing and affirming. LYT has been like a tuning fork for my mind-body-heart connection. When I pluck one area, it reverberates throughout. When I strengthen my core, I create a calmer and clearer ecosystem in which my values and decisions and behaviors and breath can thrive. I feel more confident and compassionate because of my practice, which makes me feel energized and motivated and resilient, despite what might happen in life. LYT truly is the key to my adaptability and endurance. I call it the “one-stop shop” where you can get better alignment in both the physical and spiritual realms and create greater homeostasis in your movement on and off the mat. Before I arrive on the mat, I often feel an intuitive sense of what kind of practice I want to have, whether it’s slower and more focused on an area or creative movement that generates heat. The practice is like a paintbrush of artistic healing for me, and the creative juices never dry out because I explore new ways to get my brain and body challenged and balanced. Hundreds of examples of these practices can be found on the LYT daily platform taught by me and other certified LYT teachers. We have had hundreds of teachers worldwide who have completed our LYT training because of their own desire to better understand the body, biomechanics, neuroplasticity and the LYT thread line that weaves the concepts all together. There is a great saying I reference in my yoga teacher training: “copy skips understanding “.  In yoga, just like in other forms of movement, we can copy what people are doing but we might not understand the underlying mechanics. Our LYT blueprint is a functionally educational road map for improved neural firing, rooted in core strength and integrity. And the inevitable result is that good movement yields a healthier nervous system and an awakened perception and reception.

What makes LYT so unique is that it is rooted in science and in spirit. My goal has always been to empower people through the neuroplasticity of the brain and the machinery of their body to realize their innate greatness. When people feel better about themselves, they are better citizens of the world. The body is the easiest pathway to wellness. In the yoga world, even though many forms of yoga involve body movement, teachers and practitioners have often not been educated about the body. In fact, most of us received little to no education about our bodies and the inner workings. We deserve to learn about our bodies and behold and nourish the body’s capacity and greatness. I have seen it over and over again—when people learn how to inhabit their body through an understanding, both intellectually and emotionally, it is transformative. I am grateful every time I step on the mat. I rarely struggle to show up; I know too well how important the physical body helps the spiritual ecosystem after witnessing numerous physical therapy patients whose physical functions have been diminished by disease or accident. I am humbled by the body’s deep well of strength and I appreciate all that my body can practice on the mat and how much that affects my mental state. That feeling of being “LYT UP” is shared by others and everyone deserves it!

I truly believe that through the magical vehicle of our bodies, we will discover an infinite source of strength and resilience that can help us overcome, survive, and thrive in any situation or circumstance. And, when we combine our individual power and work toward a collective global goal of goodness and kindness for all, we will be unstoppable. So, let’s continue to be LYT UP together! Thank you for being on this journey with me, inspiring my story to continue and flourish, and for showing up for yourselves. 

With gratitude and LYT love-

Lara

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A smarter, safer, and more effective approach to movement.

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