Educate Inspire Change

Jonathan Maccaul: ‘Hit to Heal’ with Systema—Bridging Yoga, Meditation, and Martial Arts

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Host Kash Khan interviews Jonathan Maccaul, a wellness professional who shares teachings on yoga and breathwork while incorporating martial arts. He offers Systema, which is a Russian-based martial art that works as a method of healing and harmonizing ourselves. This episode delves into the principles of the practice which help people reconnect with themselves through energetic and physical expansion and integration. 




Systema Bridges Practices to Heal From the Inside Out


From a young age, Jonathan was living in Japan training as a professional martial artist. After experiencing physical ailments, he explored the yoga and meditation path to heal on an internal level. This is what led him to discover Systema which served as a bridge between all practices. He touches on the importance of breath as a barometer to measuring and freeing ourselves from fear.


“The Systema breathing principals is what really allows people to develop witness consciousness, to really start to tune in and become the nonjudgemental witness, the nonjudgmental observer,” Jonathon shares as the foundation of Systema.


When we return to our breath we strengthen the relationship we have with nonjudgmental observation and grow stronger in taking full responsibility for our lives. 


Body Work, Massage, and Energy


Body cultivation is a technique, Jonathon incorporated from his years of practice and expertise. In his session, he coaches with powerful words, “I tell them right from the beginning, the more you breathe, the more you relax, the deeper we can go. The deeper we go, the more tension we can remove in that session.


While the breath is the foundation, other practices like bodywork and massage serve as a means to consciously work with and direct our breath. His main intention is to meet others where they are at and empower people to look inside of them. 


Kash and Jonathan continue to discuss the way pharmacology has really impacted healing practices including meditation and yoga that promise longevity.


“One of the biggest journeys I had in my life is realizing I can’t fix the world’s problems. I can only fix myself. When you fix yourself, you do in turn fix the world because the world changes around you as soon as you change,” Kash shares in response to the importance of stepping into your personal power.


Embracing Masculinity While Honoring the Feminine


When it comes to stepping into our personal power, there is a lot of healing in vulnerability and taking down walls. Kash mentions how Jonathan’s work incorporates tools many men can resonate with such as martial arts that in turn, get them in touch with the subtle bodies and the divine feminine.


“Systema is the only martial arts I ever encountered that is a holistic martial art…” Jonathan says in response to Kash’s question regarding the power of its healing. “In Systema, any opponent or aggressor, we view as someone who is essentially holding excessive amounts of tension that requires healing. In Systema, we hit to heal, not hurt, and it is all intentional.”


The physical components allow people to feel safe enough to drop their chains and surrender to the good fight. This requires us to let go and embrace both the masculine and feminine which allows the higher self to channel through.


Jonathan reminds us of the power within the subtleties, “Understand the body is a reflection of what has happened within us. It’s all there. The issues are in the tissues”


Plant Medicine Reveals What Is Inside


Growing up, Jonathan always had a deep respect for plant medicine such as psilocybin and in the last four years, his experience with shamanism and ceremonial settings has been a big part of his journey. 


His perspective toward plant medicine stems from his philosophy, “We don’t require anything outside of ourselves.” While plant medicine has played a major role in his life, he also shares the wisdom to remember and to properly integrate the lessons before jumping into another ceremony. It is a joint effort and when approached with reverence, respect, and patience we are able to get the most out of our work.


Kash elaborates on this idea, “You don’t need to rely on any medicines… Often the medicines show you what is inside and then you have to go and do the work yourself.” This stems from the practice of ceremony in the everyday life rather than going to sit in ceremony after ceremony. Ayahuasca will always show us what we need to see. It is up to us to show up and do the work and apply it to our life.


Actionable Tips to Make Positive Change


“The moment you feel yourself being triggered, stress—Whenever you come into tension… take a breath into your nose, exhale through your mouth,” Jonathan shares as the first breathing principle of Systema.


As simple as it sounds, it is easy to forget to consciously breathe. This is especially true when we face stressful situations. Our breathing becomes short and shallow which communicates to our body that something is not alright. 


Jonathan continues, “The more you find yourself in that present moment, the more you will naturally free yourself.”


These practices are more effective when we do this consistently. They allow us to know and understand our triggers, listen to our bodies, and be in our bodies.


This episode continues to explore concepts around modern medicine, self-healing, and getting out of our comfort zone.


Continue to listen and follow the conversation in Educate Inspire Change Episode 5 with Jonathan Maccaul. 



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